Conventions of dating.
February 6, 2018 9:59 PM   Subscribe

Teach them to me.

Specifically: after how many dates is it normal to start hanging out more at each other’s houses rather than out in the world on things that look and feel like dates?

We are both homebodies with meagre knowledge of dating conventions, fresh out of long relationships. The temptation is to lounge in bed and gaze into each other’s eyes, but we both recognize the value of doing stuff together in the world and starting to meet each other’s people. We both live alone. We’ve been on six dates.
posted by unstrungharp to Human Relations (12 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Convention schmunvention, do what works for you.
posted by headnsouth at 10:25 PM on February 6, 2018 [26 favorites]

Ask your Person!

"hey, checking in -- do you wanna meet some of my friends? I'd like to introduce you if that sounds ok."

"Can't wait to see you. Wanna go out, or wanna stay in?"

"I like this, us hanging out in bed and stuff. What about you?"

posted by Hermione Granger at 10:55 PM on February 6, 2018 [9 favorites]

I don't see the point in looking to convention to gauge the relationship between two people who I suspect are rather unconventional, to say the least. At this point you two are entering poorly charted territory and you'll have better luck relying on each other to find your way, and figuring out whether ultimately you both have a similar destination in mind.

I wish you all the best as you march on ahead. Please do tell the rest of us how you do and also how you met because goddamn it sounds like you've got something really nice going.
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 11:53 PM on February 6, 2018 [7 favorites]

If the "... temptation is to lounge in bed and gaze into each other’s eyes ..." then get back to bed PRONTO and stop reading MetaFilter!

Romp, wallow and enjoy - it's you two making up the rules!
posted by parki at 3:51 AM on February 7, 2018 [16 favorites]

If I & the people I've dated had done the "conventional" thing I'd have been married approximately three times by now and have a few kids, no dog, and probably crippling depression.

You've gotta do what's right for the two of you. Hermione is giving excellent advice above to check in regularly with each other using words. What Other People generally to do as an average group is not going to be the right answer for every individual couple.
posted by phunniemee at 4:38 AM on February 7, 2018 [5 favorites]

The temptation is to lounge in bed and gaze into each other’s eyes

Sounds great to me - lounge away, convention be damned.
posted by Toddles at 5:04 AM on February 7, 2018

If all dating had to be conventional, no nonconventional people would date.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 5:57 AM on February 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

I’ll give you one vaunted “conventional” take on it in terms of general principles of American courtship etiquette and rituals (See e.g. the work of Dr. Winnifred B. Cutler). As always— Do you care? and Are these your personal values? are the real questions here.

Basically, there’s the “conventional” sense that in the first few dates (n + 3 or so) it’s valuable to still be going out in public on dates. There’s a delicious first kiss at some point, then, after a few weeks or months of dating, an invitation to one of your homes, maybe you make out slowly here and there, eventually increasing physical intimacy, and maybe you have sex when you are comfortable anytime after date 3 or so, maybe longer is valued if you are a person who has been deceived or abused before, maybe after you both get tested and have the exclusivity talk. Undergirding all of this, by the way, is the social value of being intentional about slowing down the relationship pace to avoid feel like anyone is being used for sex. Sounds terribly old fashioned, and loads of us here are happy to do the opposite of this when we just wanna fuck, but you asked about what is “conventional.”

You “recognize the value of doing stuff together in the world and starting to meet each other’s people” and you contrast this with lounging at home. What I think you might be getting at by framing it this way, is that to feel valued in a relationship there maybe, for you, needs to be some public sphere-centered sort of acknowledgement or public status declaration, like meeting the friends. Like going out to dinner and on public dates. Like being courted.

Loads of Asks here reinforce this particular social value, privileging public dates over private intimate connections in a private home. There’s the sense that once a relationship falls into that “We’re always at home in bed early” pattern, it’s a lot harder to switch back to the original “Going out together frequently in public” interaction pattern.

Conventionally speaking, Date 7 or whatever number you are on, is still the courtship phase. Old school people who value courtship would say don’t get into the habit of hanging out at his house all the time. You haven’t met his friends and family. Harder to assess his character without those data points. There’s value in public interactions where secrets are revealed. Know what I mean?

My take on this is you are both out of long relationships and those Old Married Couple-ish habits are really familiar to you both. You could be missing out on something like the happy horny limerant courting couple who goes out in public and gets social validation kind of interaction pattern. What do you truly want? Is hanging out at home in bed at his place more often than not really how you want to be spending your limited time? It would bug the shit out of me fresh out of an LTR, and I wanna try some new restaurants, and see some new movies in the theater, but I am not you, and you get to decide your own values.
posted by edithkeeler at 6:59 AM on February 7, 2018 [8 favorites]

You hang out each other's places once you feel safe doing so. That varies person to person, but since you said that's what you guys prefer, then sounds like yous feel safe.

The reason to start dating out in the world is because it would feel to me as a woman 1. weird to have a stranger in my personal space 2. creepy to have a stranger invite me to their personal space.
posted by WeekendJen at 7:10 AM on February 7, 2018

With my boyfriend who is now my person and we live together we stopped going 'out' on dates fairly quickly, our second date I made dinner at my place.

If you're seeing each other more than once or twice a week it's too much to plan and do and pay for meals out of the house while holding down jobs and other commitments (if you both work full-time, have pets/kids, etc.).

That said it's important to meet each other's friends and families and make sure you're compatible when you're taking time for yourself and other commitments that are important to you, so resist the urge to completely hole away. You can go out for a couple of hours then stare at each other at home, or invite some friends over, or go for a happy hour, or a walk. One thing I appreciate about my boyfriend is that he has friends (who think he's great and invite him to things) and hobbies and interests, because I have those things too and want to be encouraged to take that time for myself.
posted by lafemma at 7:15 AM on February 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

Having read through your prior Asks, you were in an emotionally abusive marriage in April 2017, and less than a week ago, in another Ask about how to please this person through writing, you suggested you were not good enough for the person you are dating. Slow down, and really heal yourself from the end of your abusive marriage less than a year ago.

Make sure your picker is fixed before your give up any type of social life for this new person. Make sure there is reciprocity, and they, too, are kvetching about how to please and be good enough for you. I’ll add that Isolation is a common tactic abusers use, and something about this in the context of your prior Asks suddenly has me a bit worried for you losing your sense of self in relationships. Sometimes wondering what’s conventional is another way of asking if you are at risk in your relationship.
posted by edithkeeler at 8:08 AM on February 7, 2018 [22 favorites]

Echoing all the other comments about not worrying so much about conventions.

The temptation is to lounge in bed and gaze into each other’s eyes, but we both recognize the value of doing stuff together in the world and starting to meet each other’s people.

Bf and I have been together for about a year and this is still our primary activity. (We're much more nauseating schmoopy than we were six dates in.) My parents have been together for over 30 years and are also this way. If it's what you enjoy, why worry about it?

You'll have so much time in the future for getting out of the house and meeting each other's people... there is no need to rush those things now. If lying in bed all day and staring into each other's eyes is what you like to do, do it!
posted by schroedingersgirl at 8:46 AM on February 7, 2018

« Older Hepatitis B Surface Antibody (HBsAb) Test?   |   Insomnia and work pressure and getting through the... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.