The goal of dating is to determine that you are compatible for a successful marriage. That you have similar values and visions for your future and family. And of course that you enjoy each other’s company.
How long that should take depends on so many factors. There is no exact number of dates that is right or wrong.
Your personalities, what you have to share and learn about each other, resolving concerns, amount of time between dates and so much more all impact how long you might date.
NOTE: If you are feeling stuck, work out your thoughts and feelings with an unbiased third party or professional.
Do not allow anyone to pressure you with comments like:
- “By now, you should know.”
- “You know enough to commit to marriage; you’ll get to know her for the rest of your lives together.”
- “A frum person doesn’t date for so long (more than X dates.)”
- “What more do you think you need to know?”
- “You’re just dawdling. Make the commitment already.”
You can’t shortcut the process.
The dating process is about getting to know each other, so take the time necessary to get to know each other.
- Do not rely on what was learned during the research phase. Use that information as discussion starters, and confirm it all.
- Do not trust “I just knew on the first date that we are meant for each other”. While your intuition may be right, you still have to date with your head and get to know each other.
Allow for time between dates to process your thoughts and feelings. Even if you have travelled to date, do not rush the process.
As a general rule, schedule your dates to be a few days apart – not too many days, but not one day after another. This gives you enough time to work through what you have heard and learned about each other and to plan the next date (what you would like to learn about the other, and share about yourself).
This also gives you space to see if you miss them and think about them during the days between the dates.