How many times a week should you go on dates with someone you’ve just started seeing?
There are many things that can go wrong when you start dating someone. You could, for example, catch the dreaded “ick” and lose all interest quicker than you can swipe right.
They could also ghost, breadcrumb, or exhibit any other of the bizarre and cruel dating trends to you.
One common issue, though, is that you will have very different ideas of how often you want to actually see each other.
Some people have a two-dates-a-week rule, while others will limit themselves to no more than once a week because of work and social commitments.
But how often is too often, and how do you know if you’re not seeing someone regularly enough to form a romantic connection with them?
“There is no right or wrong answer, it’s really up to you,” says Natasha Briefel at dating app Badoo. “Locking in a date a week is a good benchmark to aim for to be sure you’re giving enough time to the relationship, without meeting up so little that the connection fizzles out.”
Of course, when you’re in those early stages of infatuation, it can be tempting to want to see someone you are dating as often as possible.
But Briefel advises imposing limits on this, even if the other person is as keen as you are.
“It can be really exciting to have that time apart and enjoy the build up before seeing each other again,” she adds.
“It’s also a great way to know how you feel about someone, if you’re missing them and can’t wait to see them again, and it gives you some time to assess if the relationship is working for you.”
You might also want to ascertain how each of you wants to take the pace of your relationship. For example, one of you might have just got out of a serious partnership and want to take things slowly, while the other may be ready to dive straight in.
The best way to navigate this is to have an honest conversation about what each of you is looking for as early as possible.
“The best thing is to just be honest,” says Briefel. “If you feel like things are going too slowly for you, let the person know that you’d love to see them again, even if you’ve already had a date together that week.
“Putting yourself out there can be a difficult thing to do, but the worst thing they could say is ‘not this time’, so try to accept their answer without taking it personally, and instead look forward to meeting with them again when they next can.”
You also have to take into consideration someone else’s work and social commitments, in addition to your own, of course.
“It’s important to be conscious of what else is going on in their life,” says Briefel. “Your date might really like you, but has a busy life, busy job, or perhaps going on multiple dates in a week is just too expensive for them.
“Having an upfront conversation about what feels achievable for you both in line with your other commitments is always a good idea and can help to set expectations and avoid disappointments later down the line.”
If you fall on the other side of the spectrum and actually find yourself wanting to see someone less frequently, again it boils down to communicating this as kindly as you can.
“Let the person know how you’re feeling and reassure them as you do so,” suggests Briefel.
“Explain you’d prefer to take things slow and that it’s not because you’re not interested in them.
“At the end of the day, it’s better to not put pressure on yourself to force progress, it’s better to go with what feels right and that can take time.”
It’s worth considering that the reason you want to see someone less might also be because you’re not as interested in them as you previously were.
“It’s important to ask yourself, do you not want to see them because you don’t think there’s much between you?” says Briefel.
“Perhaps you think it’s run its course? Would you prefer to see your friends, or just stay in? These are the signs that suggest you might not be so interested.”
In these circumstances, it’s best just to tell the other person how you feel rather than fizzling them out or worse, ghosting them. Like they say, honesty is always the best policy.