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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.

How to Turn Casual Dating into a Committed Relationship

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.

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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.

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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. Those texts, emoji-filled as they may be, are shortcuts to intimacy. 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.

Here's How Quickly Couples Are Becoming "Exclusive" — And Why It's a Good Thing

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. I learned that girls who wear striped knee socks are trouble, yes, but I continued to make assumptions about exclusivity up until my 30s, and usually ended up the ass who got my feelings hurt. After my 30th birthday, I decided to take the opposite approach and go out of my way to leave my options wide open until the dude broached the subject of exclusivity. I thought somehow, this dating lots of people thing and not committing myself too soon was supposed to make me feel more powerful.

It made me feel like even more of an ass, just in a different way.

When is a relationship a relationship?

When we finally became exclusive, I thought all this anguish was worth it. But my exclusive guy ended up dumping me a few months later. My feelings were still hurt. After all of this, I made a decision for myself: I can only date one person at once.

Recently, my stance on the matter was tested. I have been dating someone I really like for about a month now. Right after we went on our first date, I met another guy at a wedding I attended. We exchanged numbers, I heard from Wedding Guy a few days later and he informed me that he was having surgery and would be out of commission for a few weeks. Our connection was growing. When Wedding Guy was healthy and called me to make a date, I panicked.

It felt way too soon to have the exclusivity talk with Sixth Date Guy, but too far in for me to go out on a date with someone else. And was Sixth Date Guy going out with other girls?

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How Long Should You Wait Before Having the ‘Relationship’ Chat?

Did that mean I was more into him than he was into me? Was I going to ruin everything by making the wrong decision? Let me jump right to the lesson. I was approaching this dating dilemma in the wrong way. I was dating multiple people preemptively, to avoid getting hurt or I was assuming exclusivity until the guy confirmed otherwise. I was waiting for someone else to make a decision about what felt right for me. How dumb is that? This time, I decided I was waiting for no one, I would make my decision based on what felt comfortable to me, regardless of what Sixth Date Guy was doing.