So, you’ve made it to date number five. Congratulations! You’ve survived the dreaded small talk, the awkward reach for the check, and perhaps even the first kiss (or more). By now, you can both stop stressing so much about whether they’re into as into it as you are. You’ve made it this far — so most likely, the feeling is mutual. And now comes the fun part: Seeing where it goes. Before you determine whether you want to pursue something here, though, there are certain things you should know about someone by the fifth date.
It takes a lot of time to truly get to know someone, but hopefully, you’ll have a basic sense of who they are by this point — what makes them tick and where they see themselves headed. Having certain deets on your date can give you a clearer idea of whether or not you can see a future together. Who wants to find themselves stuck in a dead-end relationship after ten or so dates? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Fortunately, asking the right questions can help you to determine whether your date is boo material. Alas, here are some things you shouldn’t definitely have a handle on by the oh-so-crucial date number five.
What They’re Looking For
One of my best friends makes it a point to ask what her date is looking for the first time they meet. This may feel a little too soon for some, but it’s safe to say that by date five, you should definitely have some clarity on this front.
“Your dating goals could change year-to-year, so if you know you’re looking for a serious committed relationship that may or may not lead to marriage, it’s important to ask your date what they are looking for as well,” online dating expert Julie Spira tells Elite Daily. “If your date wants to play the field, and you’re ready to settle down, it’s not a fit, and you’ll find yourself frustrated while waiting for them to catch up to you.”
Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, adds that actions might speak louder than words on this one, so pay attention to how they behave. In other words, take notice of whether their behavior seems to lines up with what they say they want.
Their Opinion On Issues That Matter To You
Between gender equality, climate control, health care, and immigration, there are a lot of hot-button issues in today’s climate that can come up in conversation. That’s not to say you need to discuss all of them with your date, but you should probably get a feel for where they stand on the ones that have significance for you.
“Being with someone who can talk about what’s happening in the world is important for most singles,” says Spira. “If your values aren’t aligned, it’s best to walk away to find someone who believes the same way you do.”
According to Trombetti, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re still learning about each other, and it may take time for your date to open up on certain topics. Still, you’ll ideally want to have a general sense of their outlook on things, even if you don’t necessarily agree on everything.
“They just need to respect you on the things that matter most to you,” she explains.
In other words, if you can disagree on something without putting each other down, that’s a great sign.
Their Plan For The (Near) Future
Is your date sticking around in the same city for a while? Do they plan to move back in with their parents after this semester ends? Are they thinking about going back to school for a major career switch? These are some of the things you should probably know by the fifth date. That way, you can start to get a sense of where you fit into that picture.
“If they have a history of moving all across the country for their career, there’s nothing wrong with asking them if they plan on staying in the area they’re currently living in,” adds Spira. “Falling in love with someone only to find out they had a plan in mind to relocate puts you in a position of being in a long-distance relationship, which can be doable, but only if there’s a plan for an end-game. If your date is excited to move up the ladder and to a different geographic area, you might not have the flexibility to join them.”
For example, Trombetti notes that their short-term plan might be to find someone and then try moving in together, while you may be looking for something a little more casual.
“Realize their short-term plan can change now that they met you though, so don’t fret if it doesn’t match with yours,” explains Trombetti.
A short-term plan is not set in stone, of course. But it does give you a sense of whether or not your lives are moving in similar directions.
Their Basic Schedule
You may not know your date’s exact daily schedule, but you should have a general sense of when they get up, when they work, and when they tend to go to bed. How else are you going to figure out what time to make dinner plans or when to shoot them that cute “good morning” Snap?
“At this point, you should know whether they are an early riser or a night owl,” says Trombetti.
Knowing this info can also help you to be realistic about how much time your date has to spend with you on a weekly basis.
“If they tell you they are training for a marathon, or ride their bicycle 60 miles every weekend, you’ll know their availability and how you might fit in with their life, or vice-versa,” adds Spira.
This can also prove helpful in terms of setting expectations for how frequently they may be able to communicate by texting or calling.
Their Passions And Goals
Ideally, you and your date will have talked about your hopes and dreams by now. You know — the stuff that makes their eyes light up. The stuff they nerd out on. The stuff you know nothing about but would happily sit and listen to them excitedly chatter on about. Whether it’s home-brewing, horseback riding, or indoor herb gardening, having a sense of what your date is passionate about can be beneficial in a number of ways. For one, it allows you to figure out if you have anything in common. But it also just gives you an insightful window into their personality, their interests, and even their values.
“Maybe someone is trying to rise up the corporate ladder, or has a backpacking trip planned for Australia,” explains Spira. “You’ll find out if they’re an intellectual who goes to book signings and symphonies, or is athletic and has a demanding workout schedule.”
Remember: Passions are a separate topic from one’s career. So even if you’ve talked about what you both do for a living, have you dug into what really makes each other tick? Your date may not be super psyched about their day job, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have outside hobbies or skills they’re honing. Luckily, people love talking about their passions, so you shouldn’t have a problem getting them to open up about them.
Getting to the fifth date is a pretty exciting feat these days — when it’s easier than ever to start swiping away and move on to the next best thing.
"In this day and age, some people lack the focus to go this far," says Trombetti.
If you’ve made it to date five, you’ve probably discovered a connection with someone that has bae potential. Best of all, they most likely feel the same way. Sure, it may take some time to figure out whether you’re a solid match (and getting to know someone is the fun part, so don’t rush it!), but having the answers to these basic questions can guide you as you figure out the next step. No one can predict the future, but at the very least, having a handle on these key topics will help you decide whether it’s worth getting that sixth date in the books.
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