Have you ever fallen head over heels for a new partner who seems equally smitten with you? There aren’t many things more euphoric than realizing that your dinner date essentially turned into an entire weekend staycation together. (Anyone else ever had an impromptu 48-hour date?). Daytime rendezvous turn into sleepovers; sleepovers turn into breakfast; and suddenly, things with the new apple of your eye feel serious.
Is it too much too soon? Can you spend way too much time with someone when you’re first dating? The answer, of course, is a little more complicated than just a mere “yes” or “no.”
“I wish there were a magical rubric that told you how much time is ‘good’ in a relationship, especially a new one,” says sexologist and relationship expert Megan Stubbs, EdD. “But alas, there is not.” So as many times as friends might tell you to remain a little mysterious, or to keep some distance to make the heart grow fonder, as they say, the only person you should really be listening to is yourself.
According to Dr. Stubbs, you’re your own best barometer for the right amount of time to spend with someone. And basically, if you’re having fun and sense the other person is also having fun, you’re probably solid. And if that ends up being a lot of time, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad for your burgeoning relationship. One study that examined couples in the early-on throes of a new fling found that high levels of the love hormone oxytocin (correlated with affection and hanging out a lot) connected to the likelihood of staying together with more success than couples with lower oxytocin levels. So that feeling of wanting to spend all of your time with just one person might point to you and your fling being destined to stay together for the long haul.
“The only time I would be concerned that too much time is being spent together is if you or your partner are ignoring existing relationships with your family or friends.” —Megan Stubbs, EdD, sexologist and relationship expert
Now, before you start getting ideas for save-the-dates, know that sometimes the desire to spend so much time together can be a red flag. “The only time I would be concerned that too much time is being spent together is if you or your partner are ignoring existing relationships with your family or friends,” Dr. Stubbs says. While it may feel like you and your new partner are the only two people in the world, there are, in fact, others—like all the ones you likely spent time with before you met this magical new boo.
Furthermore, it’s crucial that you two are on the same page about the desire to spend so much time together. Because if your S.O., say, gets jealous that you want to spend time with other people, or tries to alienate you from your family or friends, it’s “a super red flag,” Dr. Stubbs says. “If anything makes you feel [concerned], take a step back and check in with a trusted friend to talk about the situation.” It’s important not to brush off your first instincts of such behavior being alarming or chalk it up to old-fashioned enthusiasm. It’s easier to remove yourself from a bad situation early instead of waiting for it to get worse.
But otherwise, enjoy your time together! “New relationships are often high on energy, so it’s not a surprise that you want to spend every waking moment talking, connecting, or otherwise,” Dr. Stubbs says. So long as you make sure you’re balancing your new beloved with all the other VIPs in your life, you’re setting yourself up for happiness.
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