If you've been "seeing each other" for a month, you're probably still in that casual phase. But when you've been dating for 3 months, that's when you start that transition from casual to serious relationship territory. Three months is that milestone where you know enough about each other to decide if you want to keep things going. Flings usually don't last that long, so it's safe to assume that there are bound to be some changes in the way you go about your relationship.
Guys who have never been in a relationship that has gone longer than three months might be in for a surprise. Whether you're a guy who's new to dating in general or someone who has gotten tired of hookups and is looking for something serious, this is the article for you. If you’ve never been in a 3-month relationship, these changes can come as a surprise and shock you. It’s better to be prepared for them so you know not to panic when it happens.
This guide lists the major changes you can anticipate in your relationship once you’ve been dating for three months.
What To Expect When You’ve Been Dating For 3 Months
This isn’t an exact science or a magic spell, but you can expect these relationship milestones to occur after roughly 3 months of dating.
A deeper emotional connection
After dating for three months, you can expect to enjoy a deeper emotional connection by virtue of having experienced a variety of activities and situations together.
Having spent three months dating, you probably feel comfortable enough to discuss more vulnerable topics and your feelings toward them. Most likely, you’ve learned more about what makes each other joyful, angry, upset, sensitive, and relaxed. You might have met their family and best friends, and that might have taught you a lot about why they act the way they do.
These experiences allow your relationship to extend beyond physical attraction into something deeper and more beautiful. It’s at this stage you begin to develop stronger feelings and may even begin to feel the urge to say “I love you”.
Hopefully, you’ll begin to sense that your partner likes you for “the real you”, rather than the flawless version we’re all determined to show during the early stages of dating. This should help you to feel more comfortable being “yourself” around your partner, instead of constantly worrying about doing something wrong.
Of course, it doesn’t always work this way. Those with an anxious-avoidant attachment style may remain determined to close themselves off. In that case, they can still expect their partner to begin pushing them to open up after 3 months of dating.
You begin to discover each other’s flaws
It’s not all roses and butterflies when a couple begins to get to know each other on a deeper level. You’re likely to discover your partner’s flaws during this phase as well. The imperfections that we’re so desperate to hide during the initial stages of dating can’t be kept secret forever. They tend to rear their head around 3 months into a relationship.
This is a given. Nobody’s perfect. Your weaknesses will become apparent to your partner too. Hopefully, the strengths you bring to the relationship far outweigh them.
There are right and wrong ways to address the annoying habits of a partner, and not everyone is skilled at communicating kindly about their annoyances. So, try not to get too upset if your partner brings up something that annoys them in a less-than-kind way. This feedback helps us to learn about ourselves and grow as a person. Perhaps how you can teach them how to communicate in a more sensitive manner.
Your first fight
Disagreements are inevitable in relationships. The chances of you agreeing on every single aspect of your lives together are slim to none.
Couples might keep their frustrations to themselves in the early stages of a relationship because they’re so blinded by their infatuation and afraid of causing conflict. But these emotions fade over time, while the chances of discovering a major disagreement increase.
The best way to disagree with your partner is to stay calm, focus on how you feel, and refrain from personal attacks. But we’re not always perfect and we can forget these guidelines when upset.
If arguments are inevitable, couples must learn how to move past them without lasting resentment. Being able to see an issue from both sides, apologize and find a compromise is key.
Writing for Psychology Today, Jack Schafer Ph.D. suggests that couples should prepare for their first fight by discussing how they tend to react in moments of conflict. Indeed, when you both know what to expect, it can be easier to reach a peaceful resolution.
You don’t need to panic when you get into your first fight with a partner. Studies suggest couples who argue effectively stay together longer, especially those who focus on solvable problems.
The end of the ‘Honeymoon Phase’
The honeymoon phase of a relationship is real. Scientists have noted several areas of the brain associated with arousal and romantic love which experience increased activity at the start of a relationship.
This activity dies down over time. Experts suggest the honeymoon phase can typically last anywhere between two months and two years, depending on how a couple treats each other.
This is an inevitable part of a long-term relationship, so there’s no reason to panic when this super-loved up and horny phase of your relationship ends, provided it’s replaced with a deeper sense of love and respect.
To help the honeymoon phase last beyond 3 months of dating, make sure to keep flirting, hugging, and making your partner feel special with romantic gestures. This might not feel as natural 3 months into a relationship, but the key is to make the effort to do it anyway.
Sex might become less of a priority
Sex might be the number one priority for both of you during the honeymoon phase. After you’ve slept together for the first time, there’s every chance that you’ve been hooking up every time you see each other. Still, once the hormones die down, you might find that daily sex is no longer on the menu.
This is especially common when one or both halves of a couple has a naturally low sex drive. However, it’s also a symptom of one partner taking the other for granted. Women need to be in the right mood to have sex, so if you stop treating your girlfriend like a queen, it can affect her libido.
Sex can start to feel a bit monotonous for some people after three months, so it’s important to introduce new ideas to the bedroom to keep things fresh. Look up some new moves. Experiment with toys. Ask about each other’s fetishes. Fulfill each other’s fantasies.
When you treat each other well and make an effort to spice up your sex life, there’s a much better chance of you maintaining the sex life you were enjoying in the first three months of your relationship.
A lot of couples break up after around 3 months of dating
A lot of couples split around 3 months into a relationship because of the milestones mentioned above. It’s possible that one-half of a couple discovers the other’s flaws and it’s enough to make them want out. The end of the honeymoon stage could make one of you realize you have nothing in common. When this happens, it means you weren’t meant to be together. Better to find out after three months than three years, right?
Couples who are well suited should have few problems jumping the hurdle that can appear after 3 months of dating. In most cases, they’ll be so excited about the deeper love growing that they’ll be prepared to work past any problems.
3-Month Relationship Rules to Follow
Here are some recommended rules to help ensure your 3-month relationship blossoms into something longer-lasting.
Couples who argue more stay together longer because they tend to address their issues before they get out of hand.
If you ignore something that annoys you about your partner, the problem doesn’t go away. It stays and annoys you more until you can’t take it anymore. Meanwhile, there’s every chance that other annoyances will appear to build on your frustration. It’s going to be tougher to discuss them kindly when you’ve already let them drive you to breaking point.
The earlier you can set boundaries, the easier it is to build a relationship that’s suitable for both of you (or to escape one that isn’t going to work).
This deep dive into setting relationship boundaries will prove helpful to anyone in a new relationship.
Discuss your hopes for the future
Many couples begin to experience deep feelings that extend beyond surface-level attraction after dating for 3 months. This would be a good time to make sure you both have similar hopes for the long-term future, then.
It’s no good dating for years before discovering that only one of you wants to get married or have children. These are typically regarded as huge deal-breakers in romantic relationships. Another deal-breaker could be that one of you wants to travel the world, while the other wouldn’t dare to quit their luxury office job.
The sooner you can discuss your hopes for the future, the less time you risk wasting with someone who doesn’t fit into it.
Make a conscious effort to love each other
It’s easy to treat your partner well and make them feel treasured during the honeymoon phase. During this time, your brain is being flooded with chemicals that make you feel super-horny and enamored with this person.
However, it’s possible that these endorphins will begin to fade after three months. At this stage, it will require more conscious effort to keep making your partner feel special. Your lazy human brain will often encourage you to take your partner for granted and to focus and more low-effort instantly-rewarding activities.
Fall into this trap and your relationship will slowly deteriorate into an unexciting rut, where neither of you puts in any effort to make the other person happy.
This is a lose-lose situation, so be the one who takes the lead to keep your relationship spicy. Keep planning original dates. Buy small gifts for no reason. Flirt with your partner. Compliment them. Send cute text messages. Give them a playful spank when nobody is looking. Tell them how grateful you are for their love. Introduce some new moves to the bedroom. When you do this, you’ll often find your partner remains motivated to do the same.