Help! I'm 29-years-mature and was fortunate enough to receive an excellent education and I still don't know what "dating" means! Is it an Instagram-official relationship? A bunch of dates in a row? Hanging out for two years and sharing secrets and making out but never committing? (Um, not that last one, right?) For the purposes of this topic, let's define newly "dating" someone as going on three to six dates with no discussion of exclusivity. Which begs the question — is it too soon to celebrate Valentine's day if you just started dating?
My mind is tell me yes, and my heart is telling me... yes. If you've only been on three to six dates with someone, it's a little early for Valentine's Day celebrations. Then again, I am a sheepish child when it comes to showing people that I like them and want to spend time with them. I usually wait for them to text me three times in a row and plan a lavish date, and on said date fail to accept compliments like a rude, insecure baby. I probably have it all wrong.
I thought long and hard about what circumstances might make a third or sixth date Valentine's celebration appropriate, and I realized that it's not exactly the circumstances, but the people. If you and your new person are both a bit gun-shy when it comes to commitment, then maybe skip over the holiday in a casual, "What? Valentine's Day? Never heard of it" fashion. Or perhaps you and your Tinder match that seems to be working out are more laissez-faire when it comes to V-Day. If you both want to go to dinner and it just happens to be the second Wednesday in February, why the eff not got for it? Here are a few more considerations to make when deciding if it's too soon to celebrate Valentine's Day:
Do You Feel Like One Of You Is More Into Things Than The Other?
I know, I know. This is the eternal question. But usually by date three — and almost definitely by date six — if you're honest with yourself, you'll be able to identify a gut feeling you have about where things are headed. Some important questions to ask yourself: "Am I more into this than my partner — scratch that, non-partner — seems to be?" and "Am I not that into this, and just looking for someone to go out to dinner and concerts with?" and "Do I really feel like this relationship is heading in a serious enough way that I want to suffer the pains of the most awkward holiday on the calendar?"
If there are any doubts lingering in the back of your mind, why not skip the pressure of V-Day and just hang out the next night instead? It might not be too soon to celebrate in general, but it might be too soon for you to add the pressure of having celebrated Feb. 14 together so early in the game.
Would You Hang Out Together If It Was Any Other Night?
If your answer is yes, you would hang out because it's been a minute since your last date and you've been trying to find an open date to meet up this week, why not go for it? If none of the aforementioned questions raised any red flags or gave you major pause, then I dare you to assume that it's not too soon to celebrate Valentine's Day, and make a casual plan to go to the movies or a bar that won't be crowded with lovey-dovey couples.
Think about it: the best first dates are already sort of romantic. Second dates with someone you're really interested in get even more romantic, and so what's a fourth or seventh date that outright acknowledges that romance exists? (Because that's pretty much all V-Day does.)
Plus, if you are looking for someone who's willing to get serious eventually, Valentine's Day is a good litmus test to see how aggressively they cower at the thought of a relationship beyond casual dates... As always, be an adult, and do whatever you want! Just make sure you protect that heart of yours.
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