Plenty of our 21st-century dating rituals are painfully drawn out. But when we actually find someone we'd like to date seriously, that's another story. If four weeks sounds surprisingly short, it actually isn't. It's not that we're rushing into things. It's that the dating game has changed — maybe for the better.
A lot can happen in four weeks: They officially declare themselves a couple after nine dates, on average. So how can one month of six dates turn into an exclusive relationship? Let's do the math. People tend to spend at least three to four hours on a good date and that's a conservative estimatewhich means after six dates assuming no sleepoversyou'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. Six dates might not seem like enough to build intimacy, much less prompt an exclusivity conversation. But depending how physical those dates get, "How long is the average dating relationship" can. Judging by the data, we're making out and having sex shocking, we knowwhich can actually be How long is the average dating relationship 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. 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.