Dear Dating Coach,
This is my second week dating the same girl. She is wonderful and I really like her. We have already discussed an engagement and we seem to be on the same page. When I mentioned this to a close friend, he told me that I was crazy to be thinking about a commitment after so few dates. I’m ready and she seems to feel the same way – and I really don’t see the point of dragging this out. What is the right number of dates before you can get engaged?
I am not a monopoly person. (Hungry Hippo, as unflattering as that sounds, is my game!) My family on the other hand, loves monopoly and spends hours intensely battling for properties, planning mergers and acquisitions, and liquidating their paper currency. Monopoly is no game in this house and the winner always has bragging rights. My favorite part of watching them play is when they try to sweet talk the dice. “Please, please land on Park Place.” “Snake eyes, snake eyes, snake eyes.” “Not an eight, not an eight…” Aside for the fact that I’m pretty sure that dice have comprehension issues, the interesting part is that every player begs the dice for something else. While everyone is happy to pass go and collect $200, each player ultimately hopes and prays for their personal magic number.
I am so happy to hear that you are dating someone that you want to spend the future with. What a bracha it is to meet someone and connect with them so quickly. When they feel the same way at the same time, it is truly the icing on the cake. Perhaps your conversations and your time spent together quickly showcased how aligned your hashkafa was. Perhaps your interactions highlighted your shared vision for the future and your mutual agreement on life’s choices. Clearly, you can envision a life with this special person and while you look forward to learning more about her, you feel like you know enough to commit. This is certainly your prerogative.
Others may scoff at such a short dating cycle. They may question your judgment, calling you reckless or impulsive. Certainly, there will be those who agree with your choice – with a “why wait” mentality, or reassurances of “when it’s right, it’s right. “Without the option to have been a fly on the wall during your dates, it is impossible for anyone to completely determine if it was too fast, too slow, or just enough. Your ability to rationally discuss this with those that you trust, to listen and accept advice and feedback will tell them that you are mature, focused, and present.
To give an exact number however is slightly ridiculous – as if to impose a “dating days calendar.” To say that there is that perfect amount of dates that allows you to close the “check-marked excel file” on your dating history is to allow statistics and fact to disregard emotional connection and feeling. That being said, as a general rule, I would say that two weeks would be considered fast. I would also venture to state that an indefinite number of dates can be counterproductive as well. There is no number that will guarantee a life of bliss, as we all know those who dated quickly and those who dated for years with both negative and positive results.
Instead, rely on your brain in conjunction with your heart. If your brain is telling you that this person is right for you logically, and your heart feels an emotional connection not felt before, then you are probably ready for an engagement. If your brain and your heart are not in agreement however, you may still need more time. The exact number doesn’t matter as long as you can see that junction in the distance, where brain and heart are in accord. Then pass go and collect $200, certain that the dice have rolled in your favor.