After How Many Dates Do You Have a Relationship?

Relationships are pretty straightforward, at least when it comes to the topic of “dating exclusively”. According to a new study, nearly half of all couples establish exclusivity within a certain amount of time after meeting someone new. Global market research and consulting firm Ipsos surveyed about 1,000 adults over the age of 18 in a survey. It found that about 39 percent of those surveyed think that three months after dating is an acceptable time frame to discuss exclusivity in a relationship.

10 to 12 dates before you are in a relationship


So if you’re wondering how many dates precede an exclusive relationship, we’ve done the math for you. If a couple has one date a week, that’s 10 to 12 dates before they establish exclusivity, according to the study. Suppose a couple can see each other more than once a week, it can even take 24 dates before exclusivity arises. However, the increased frequency in seeing each other indicates that exclusive dating is likely already established at some point.

However, the same report found that despite the time frame, sentiment about dating in general was slightly negative. Of all those surveyed, half thought dating was worse today than it was 20 years ago.

More and more people find a relationship through the dating apps

While it’s unclear what’s driving this shift in perception, one big change has occurred in dating behavior in the last two decades, and that’s the introduction of dating apps. The most popular way for couples-to-be to meet is now through apps like Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble. In fact, The Knot 2019 Jewelry & Engagement Study found that 22 percent of spouses met and got engaged online out of a pool of 11,000 respondents. The second most popular way engaged couples met was through mutual friends.

(No direct link has been made between dating apps and a less hopeful sense of dating, but in general there are more ways to meet a partner – widening the range of potential options, sometimes leading to “analysis paralysis”. However, couples who are intentional about finding a partner on dating apps could potentially see the benefits of a stronger marriage).

7 out of 10 men pay on the first date

Paying Make It Rain GIF by Travis

In addition to dating sentiment, Ipsos examined first-date behavior patterns, including who pays and why. Seven in 10 male participants told Ipsos that they are the ones who pay on a first date, and 43 percent of those respondents admitted that wallet reach is habitual. About 29 percent of the women surveyed said they’ve never paid on a first date, and wouldn’t consider doing so.

60% are already traveling with someone they’ve dated for less than 6 months


Regardless of how many dates it takes for a couple to establish exclusivity, another interesting relationship stat Kayak recently collected found that nearly 60 percent of all adults would travel with someone they’ve dated for six months or less. In fact, 59 percent of respondents said they’d rather travel together than exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day.

So what comes after first dates, exclusivity, first trips and first vacations? After dating for a while, the topic of engagement may come into focus. According to The Knot Jewelry and Engagement Study, 71 percent of those surveyed said they dated for more than two years before getting engaged. While every relationship is different, it’s good to keep in mind that this is data and patterns from respondents across regions, age groups, and education levels.

Dating patterns have shifted

Finally, dating patterns have definitely shifted in 2023, with the average age of marriage rising again. In 2019, the marriage age was 32 years. In a dating relationship these days, it’s totally okay to break up with your partner if your partner isn’t willing to meet your needs. Inevitably, this could lead to a higher marriage age as millennials are willing to wait for a partner who fully supports them.

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