Getting to Know Someone Before Starting A Relationship

Here’s one for you guys:

How much do you think you should get to know someone before perusing a relationship? Some people like to go on a few dates or get to know each other as friends first. But others, like my girlfriend and myself, knew we liked each other when we met. We were never just friends and tried a relationship from the start. Three years later, I’d say that worked pretty well.

Does it depend on the person/situation? Or is there a general rule of thumb for how much you should get to know each other first? Discuss.

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12 thoughts on “Getting to Know Someone Before Starting A Relationship

  1. Happy Pants says:

    [I like to go on a few dates and see if there’s any connection. If it’s physical at first, I’m going to try to see if there’s anything more substantial to make an actual relationship out of. If it’s intellectual or something other than physical at first, I’ll give it a few dates to see if that physical attraction comes up, and if it doesn’t, I’ll try to be friends with the guy rather than pursue a relationship.

    It really does depend on the case, but I like to take things slow and not jump into anything right out of the gate. Casual dating first, then if we want to be exclusive and get serious, we do. But I do think it’s important to get to know the person before attaching the relationship/exclusive label to it (if labels are your thing).

  2. Sabrina says:

    [There’s no single formula. While being friends first before entering a relationship is ideal, it doesn’t always work in practice. It’s not like you can say definitively “Yes, I think we’re going to be a couple but let’s be friends first.”

    Personally, I don’t like to have straight male friends, unless I can swiftly move them to “brother” or “never gonna happen” category. For relationships, I’d rather just jump into a few dates to see if there’s anything there.

  3. Kier says:

    [Normally I don’t answer my own questions, but this is something that everyone has an opinion on, so here’s mine.

    I don’t think it’s necessary to get to know someone a whole lot before dating them. If you stay in the friend stage too long, it can just make dating them seem awkward. That said, jumping straight into a relationship with a complete stranger seldom ever works out.

    Like I always do on Lemon Vibe, let me use my own relationship as an example again. My girlfriend and I met for the first time in art club in high school. She was wearing a Disturbed T-shirt, and working on a drawing of a dragon.

    Boom. Right there. I had never said a word to her and I already knew that we shared three interests: 1.) making art 2.) similar musical tastes and 3.) interest in fantasy. After the first conversation we had, it was clear to the both of us that we were very compatible, so we started dating right from there. We’ve been together ever since.

    Generally I like to know someone for a bit longer than that first, and she’s the first girlfriend I’ve ever had that I wasn’t friends with first. But I think I like it better this way. And at the end of the day, it’s a matter of personal preference and the kind of person that you’re looking for.

  4. BreckEffect says:

    [I like to take my time…I usually know I like someone, or have the potential to really like someone, pretty soon after meeting them, but at this point in my life I’m not so quick to jump into a serious relationship. I like to know a bit more about what I’m getting into because, let’s face it, breakups suck so if I can avoid it by taking a little more time at the beginning then that’s what I’ll do.

    In the end, though, I think even if you try really hard to take things slow and learn about each other, if you like someone enough, well, you like them and no amount of taking your time is going to change that.

  5. resullins says:

    [I think you HAVE to get to know each other on some level before pursuing a real ‘relationship’. But really, this whole question can be further whittled down to “What do you consider a RELATIONSHIP?”

    Some people say they’re in a relationship with someone when they’re casually dating… while they’re in the getting-to-know-each-other phase. Some people don’t use the word relationship until they’re about to have their first kid. So really, you’d have to define your definition (shut-up grammar nazis, I know), of relationship first.

  6. Dave Jag says:

    [Being a friend is definitely a stepping stone to being a serious girlfriend. I have to know as much as possible about their character before making that leap with my brain. My HEART on the other hand is much less particular, which is why I don’t let it drive anymore!

  7. PKP says:

    [It’s probably a great idea to get to know someone first before getting involved. Unfortunately, it just never seems to work out that way. I don’t know. I get the feeling if you could stand to get to know someone first before any real intimacy, then you probably aren’t very attracted to them. Or I’m just a lust filled pervert who has no patience.

  8. theattack says:

    [There’s definitely not a rule, but I always regret it if I’m not friends with someone first. I think the marker for me is to have a bit of a routine with the person for a little while. You can’t judge someone by random dates, and establishing a loose routine allows you to see the person more clearly. But I stay away from the standard “Meet, go on so many dates, follow all these rules” kind of formulas, so that may not be applicable to the traditional dating arena.

  9. Solstice says:

    [If I like someone, I’m not going to put off a relationship just to try being friends first. I wouldn’t rush into anything, but I wouldn’t delay anything just because I didn’t know them previously.

  10. DavidIsGreat says:

    [I had a friend whose strategy was to start in a group of friends doing things together then slowly whittling the group down until it was just him and the girl. At that point it’s like “whoops! Too late! You’re dating!”

    Seriously though, this actually led to a few relationships, not all terrible. the reason this sorta worked is because they became friends and got to know each other thru what I can only describe as a convoluted long con.

  11. Lexington says:

    [I like knowing each other for a brief period, say, a month, and then dating. That way you’ve kind of got a feel for the person without too much awkwqrd friend baggage.

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