The Dating Milestones

by Jake McMillan

When moving from initially seeing someone to having a serious long-term relationship with that person, there are a number of dating milestones you need to reach, but not necessarily in this exact order:

1. The 4th Date
If you get past date 3, there will likely be several more dates.

2. You’ve had sex 4 times
This shows you are, at least, fairly sexually compatible. If it’s not working out in the bedroom this early on then the relationship will unlikely continue.

3. Dating for 1 month
The one month marker is significant as usually people will have decided if the relationship has a possibility of long-term potential. If you’ve been dating for a month, you will not know for certain if it can be a long-term deal, but you will normally be able to tell if it’s only going to be short-term.

4. Getting past your first proper fight
All couples argue and row from time to time. Your first fight will demonstrate whether the two of you can actually have an argument and make up afterwards. If you’re not able to do this well, then it does not bode well for a long relationship.

5. Meeting the Friends
As my friend Risa pointed out recently, meeting the good friends of the person you’re seeing is a big deal. If you don’t get along with them, then it can cause issues.

6. Meeting the Parents
Even if not an ‘official’ introduction to the parents meeting, it is always a big deal to meet the parents of the person you are dating for the first time. It is an even bigger milestone when you have both met each other’s parents.

7. Dating for 3 months
This is an important milestone as you can no longer really say you are just seeing each other. If you have been dating regularly for three months, then that qualifies as a relationship.

8. Dating for 6 months
Making it past six months means you are definitely in a relationship and you will have evaluated whether the person you are with has real long-term potential. You might not know if you can go the full distance with them, but staying with them for more than six months means you think it could.

9. Dating for 1 Year
This is a big milestone. If you’ve dated someone for a year then it definitely qualifies as a significant relationship. All couples will seriously evaluate their relationship around this point.The continuation of a relationship beyond the year is a clear statement this relationship is more and more significant.

10. Dating for 2 Years
The two year marker for a relationship is very serious indeed. If the couple are to stay together then some clear sign of commitment of much further longevity is normally required, for example, getting engaged and/or moving in together. If this is commitment is not near on the horizon then it is likely one or both parties will seriously question the purpose of staying in the relationship.

Related Posts:
Women Asking Men Out
Be Cheap in the Beginning
The Relationship Evaluation Sketch
The Internet Dating Myths

9 responses to “The Dating Milestones

  • Bethan Hughes

    what if you never have a big row????

    • jakemcmillan

      Well, then you should have one just to see what happens! No, being serious, it depends on your definition of ‘big row’ … if you have rows/arguments but nothing too serious then that is fine and you don’t need to worry about big rows. However, if you never have a disagreement or cross word then it is bound to come sooner or later. Usually sooner.

  • Petillante Miss M.

    Okay, me and my guy haven’t had a single date, we haven’t had sex yet, but we’ve been together for three months. I must add, it’s a long distance relationship. I’m in one province and he’s in the one right underneath mine.
    About the arguing thing, we communicate through Facebook inbox and he made a comment about me eating too much, saying he doesn’t want a fat girl and I took a little offence to that and I retorted back, saying “hey I watch my figure, I’ve been fat before and i’m not going back to that!”. He immediately apologised.
    Does that count as a row?
    Sometimes I feel we’re just too lovey-dovey, or maybe it’s the distance.

    • jakemcmillan

      Long-distance relationships (LDRs) are the exception that proves the rule as things have to work differently. Reading your blog post about your TDH chap (, I see you met him whilst on holiday? It was interesting to read how strong he came on about being in love with you and how you initially reacted, “like, really?! I’ve only known you one day?” and how that changed and developed.

      My partner in crime for the Bounce Off (Relationship Blog), Risa, had a not too dissimilar start to a relationship and she is now engaged to be married. Read her ‘How to Guide to Long Distance Relationships:

      I’m not sure what you described is a ‘proper’ row, but it does show at least you are able to apologise and forgive each other. I wish you guys the best of luck!

      • Chris

        You know, my marriage is not in a great state, but it's stories like those that help me to keep working at it.The love of your life is THE love of your life and th39t#a&;s just the way it is.

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