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When you decide to make it official will have a lot of impact on how the relationship pans out from then on in. It sets a precedent of what kind of person you are: are you quick to form attachments, or do your high standards make it nigh-on impossible to find someone to stick with?


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Despite dating for months, you're still not sure where you and bae stand. Their girlfriend? Ready to be brought home to mom and dad? Here, expert-approved tips to finally!

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It's so easy to get swept up in the rush of lovey-dovey feelings you get from dating someone new.

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But according to experts, it's pretty important to stay grounded during the first three months of dating. Because as amazing as those new love feels are, those first 90 days can determine whether or not your new relationship is the real thing or has an expiration date.

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Although every relationship differs, three months is considered to be the average length of the first stage of a relationship. According to psychotherapist and relationship coach, Toni Coleman, LCSWyou should be ideally making that transition from "casually dating" to "exclusive" around that time.

But again, this varies depending on how much time you actually spend together and how much distance is between you two. According to Coleman, many believe that " losing interest " is the reason behind why some couples can't seem to make it past three months.

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But that's not entirely the case. So will your new relationship make it past those crucial first 90 days?

According to experts, if your partner hasn't done these things in that timeframe, it may not. At the beginning of a relationship, texting, calling, and messaging typically happen very often.

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There's a lot of back and forth flirtation, and you pretty much expect it. But if your partner is no longer predictable or consistent with their communication, Emily Pfannenstield professional counselor who specializes in therapy for women, tells Bustle, that's not a great.

Playing coy is one thing, but if you feel like they go MIA on you every couple days, that's not good. For instance, one partner might not like texting all day, while the other does. But in the early stages, it's especially important to check in and show some investment in the new relationship. If you're unsure of your partner's level of interest, Pfannenstiel suggests matching the level of communication they give you.

Your partner can't be consistent with their communication

If they're barely communicating, you may need to have a discussion about it. By the three-month mark, both you and your partner should feel totally comfortable being yourselves around each other.

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So you may have to be a little patient, depending on how your partner is. But it shouldn't take any longer than six months for them to be themselves around you.

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If your partner starts making more plans with friends and isn't making the effort to include you, Morgenstern says, that's an early your relationship may not last. When this happens, the tendency is to cling onto the relationship for fear of losing it.

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You may text them more or request to spend more time together. But as she says, "that is the absolutely worst thing to do.

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Instead, let them be. Maybe they need space to figure out their feelings in order to move forward. Coming from a place of self love and inner confidence will save your relationship," Morgenstern says. In order to create a well-balanced and healthy dynamic early on, you shouldn't be initiating everything as your relationship goes on.

If your partner's interest in the relationship isn't strong enough to take it to the next level, they may take less of an initiative, be less affectionate, and show less physical closeness.

Relax into it

In short, there's going to be distance and you're going to feel it. You can even offer up a plan where you come up with something to do one weekend, and they come up with something to do the next. But if nothing changes and you're still the only one moving the relationship forward, they may not be as invested as you are. If your partner can't listen to you and be your shoulder to lean on in those first three months, Daniels says your relationship may not make it long-term.

You shouldn't necessarily dump all your deepest and darkest fears on them right away. But if you're going through something at work or with your family, they should be there to talk and listen to you. The same goes for them choosing to lean on you during tough times.

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If you're not the first person they go to when they need to vent, or they need someone to lean on, they may not see the relationship as something really serious. A partner who sees a future with you will hint at it through the words they use. Even if they aren't thinking marriage at this point, they may talk about a future trip that they want to take with you or plans for your birthday in a few months.

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It's equally important to pay attention to the follow-through. It's one thing to say that you should go away together for the weekend, and it's another to actually book everything and hash out the logistics. If your relationship is one that is destined to get stronger, Coleman says you will make solid plans for the future together.

For instance, you may not meet their family within those first three months, but you can make plans for it. But if your partner can't even commit to making dinner plans for next week, that's not the best.

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The "busy" excuse won't cut it. If someone wants to be with you, they'll make time.

You will be a priority. It's tough to realize that the person you're dating isn't putting in enough effort to be in a committed relationship with you. But as Coleman says, "You can't keep someone interested if they're not. On the other hand, it's so easy to get hung up on timelines, especially when you first start dating.

There's no shame in wanting commitment and exclusivity once you're realized your feelings. But just remember, every relationship is different.

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For some, life circumstances will only allow them to have two or three dates over the course of three months. For others, getting engaged after three months just feels right. If your relationship is making you feel anxious because you haven't done this, this, and that, by your third month together, don't panic just yet. If you and your partner can openly communicate about where things are at and where it's going, you're on the right track.

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Anna Morgensterndating coach. Emily Pfannenstield professional counselor. Susan McCorddating coach for millennials. By Kristine Fellizar. Updated: Oct. Originally Published: June 18,