As you can imagine, after 13 years of matchmaking and dating coaching I’ve seen and heard a lot when it comes to relationships. However, there are some relationship patterns that tend to be more prevalent than others. One such pattern is believing that you are in a relationship from the frst date. Listen, I get it, really I do, and it’s why I have a job. We all want to be loved and settled in a relationship, but please remember that relationships, all relationships, take time to grow. You just can’t add water (or a Starbucks coffee) and have an instant relationship.
The motivation behind this article is a recent conversation I had with a male matchmaking client who revealed to me one of his most recent and confusing experiences with a woman he was dating. It goes like this. He was introduced to a lovely lady through mutual friends and they went on three dates. The dates were fun, he found her interesting and yes, he found her attractive. He was happy with the way things were being played out.
The dates were enjoyable and he was happy to be moving forward. Shortly after the third date, she let him know it just wasn’t working for her, and she was going to move on.
“She broke up with me, he questioned? We had such a nice relationship.” (Yeah, I know, confusing.) Well, apparently (but not surprisingly) he interpreted their three dates as a relationship.
Now, if this resonates with you, in any way, please listen up. They were not in a relationship. They were just dating. There was no talk of exclusivity (and shouldn’t be after only three dates) and, therefore, no committed relationship.
Keep in mind, three dates does not a relationship make.
All too often singles look to define dating as a relationship, and typically way too early. My client was guilty of this as well, and clearly not alone as I’ve heard this time and again from so many others.
As much as you may want to be exclusive, and settled in a relationship, as the song says, “you can’t hurry love”.
The danger of hurrying or defining a relationship prematurely can lead to you missing any potential red fags or perhaps missing the more obvious difference in your goals, values and relationship vision. When we become exclusive too soon we tend to turn a blind eye to those differences, which can lead to a relationship causing you more pain than happiness, which is in direct opposition to your original goal.
When you take things slowly you have a greater chance to create the relationship you desire and deserve. My advice is to take things slowly, enjoy the newness of a relationship and let it unfold naturally without defining it too early.