But when we actually find someone we'd like to date seriously, that's another story. If four weeks sounds surprisingly short, it actually isn't. It's not that we're rushing into things. It's that the dating game has changed — maybe for the better.
A lot can happen in four weeks: They officially declare themselves a couple after nine dates, on average. So how can one month of six dates turn into an exclusive relationship? Let's do the math. People tend to spend at least three to four hours on a good date and that's a conservative estimate , which means after six dates assuming no sleepovers , you've spent almost 24 hours together.
That means after six short dates, somethings are bound to have kissed, had sex multiple times and spent cumulatively an entire day with the person they're just beginning to date. Getty Intimacy on fast-forward: Six dates might not seem like enough to build intimacy, much less prompt an exclusivity conversation. But depending how physical those dates get, they can.
Judging by the data, we're making out and having sex shocking, we know , which can actually be a big deal.
A study from the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that the primary function of first kisses it to determine mate suitability and has a meaningful effect on pair bonding — what study author Robin Dunbar called the "Jane Austen" assessment. The more we engage in physically intimate behaviors with our partners, from kissing to casual sex, the more likely we are to form meaningful bonds that can lead to the real-deal girlfriend or boyfriend talk.
Plus there's evidence that heightened levels of the bond-forming hormone oxytocin are responsible for driving those got-to-have-you early feelings of love as well as maintaining long-term connections. That's a lot less than six dates. That physical and emotional intimacy is amplified by behaviors that connect us faster and more frequently to the people we've just met. That constant contact fosters feelings of support and communication that make relationships last.
We do not condone this practice. That increased communication, plus the physical intimacy, is jumpstarting relationships in a way not previously seen. In the early to midth century, young daters were actually likely to keep their options open ; women were discouraged from eating over a man's house during the evening, and young people were advised to date as widely as possible before getting " pinned.
Fast, but not crazy: When it comes to being "exclusive," six dates, or less than four weeks, isn't so nuts: It's the perfect terrain between something casual and something incredibly serious — but it's past the point where you're just leading someone on.
After six dates, spending time with that person becomes a considerable investment. It's not crazy to want to start assessing whether to move on or really commit.