Let’s talk Frequency in Dating!

It can be easy to give advice for one-off situations. Want to know what to do on a first date? Easy. Want to know what to say in a first message? Oh, that’s simple. But what about frequency in dating?

What about how often you should be going on dates, or how often you should see your friend with benefits? Frequency adds a bit more complication to things.

I’ve written about these sort of things before, but I figured a basic refresher would be helpful. So let’s do it:

How many dates should I go on in a week if I’m single?

I’ve always been a big believer in not spending all your free time on dates. It makes you view dating in a way that isn’t really conducive to connecting someone, that instead makes you focus on volume over value. My advice, only go on 2 dates a week at most. Doesn’t matter what days you pick, or how long the dates are, only go on 2 dates a week. Anything more, and they’ll all sort of run together.

I would highly, highly recommend not scheduling multiple dates on the same day. Dating should never be about efficiently using time, it should be about creating connections. Scheduling dates back to back doesn’t lend itself toward building connections, it lends itself toward making dating a chore.

How often should I be using dating apps?

I’ll admit it, I’m biased. I think that, overall, dating apps are a positive. Sure, they’ve changed dating in a lot of negative ways, but I think that overall, they’re a good thing, and a useful tool. Like any tool though, improper use can be disadvantageous.

I’d suggest never swiping for more than 30 minutes at a time. Even that seems like too much to be honest. Or, if you’re not swiping on these apps, limit your daily searches and cold-messaging sessions to 30 to 60 minutes a day. Spend as much time as you need to respond to messages. Feel free to not respond to people if you have dozens of messages from people you’re not interested in.

Swiping apps are designed to be game-like, so that you use them often. It’s easy to get hooked on using them, even if they don’t seem to be good at actually getting you dates. You can easily find yourself addicted to using the app, even if the whole enterprise frustrates you.

Conversely, if you want online dating to work for you, you have to occasionally use the app or website of your choice. At minimum, you should check your dating app/website of choice once a week. Anything less often than that, and you’re better off just disabling (but not deleting) your account.

How often should I see someone I’m dating?

How often you should see someone you’re dating comes down to three general factors in my opinion:

  1. What you hope to achieve by dating them
  2. How often can you afford to see them
  3. What message do you want to send

Look at your dating goals, in relation to the person you’re seeing. Think of how often you can afford to see them, considering both money and time, i.e. If you’ve only got 2 days a week to handle all your life stuff, you can probably only afford to see them 1 day a week. Finally, what do you want the frequency of your contact to convey?

A combination of all those things will help you figure out how often you should see each other. If you want things to progress to something serious, you have free time and disposable income to use with them, and you want to show them you’re serious about them…spend as much time as possible with them. If you’re not looking for more than just casual dating, don’t have a lot of free time or money to spare, and want to show them that you’re not looking for something serious, maybe once a week or every other week would work better for you. There is a lot of grey area here, and I can’t speak to every single combination of those three factors, but a good rule of thumb is, if you want things to be more serious, dedicate more time. Less serious, less time.

How often should I see my friend with benefits?

As much as you like, but keep in mind that even if you have a discussion about what you are, and what your situation means, people tend to equate time spent with someone with their intention. We tend to measure friendship and connections in terms of time spent together, or how long you’ve known someone, so it’s not too much of a stretch to assume that most people will assume that the more time you spend with them, the more likely you are to want to build a deeper connection.

If you want to avoid that all together, you can stick to a strict guideline for how often you see each other. Once a week works, or once every other week. But honestly, I don’t think it’s impossible to see your friend with benefits often and maintain a status quo. You just need to be clear about what seeing each other means, and set expectations. If you want to play it safe, once a week or two is fine though.

How often should you text?

Back to my earlier point about frequency, and what it implies. Texting often implies one thing, infrequently another. So how often you should text should come down to what you hope to accomplish. Now, that’s not to say that frequency automatically creates a certain outcome, but keep in mind what the average person is going to perceive your texting frequency to mean. So, text frequently if you’re trying to build something serious, or develop a stronger connection, infrequently if you’re not.

One thing to remember though. Texting should be a dialogue, and not a monologue. You can text frequently if you like, but you have to be getting responses to do so. A lack of response, or timely responses, should dictate how frequently you text.


How often should I see someone when we first start seeing each other?

Once a week if you’re still feeling them out. Twice a week if you like them, and want things to progress. Three or more times a week if you can’t imagine spending most of your week without them.

How often should we be having sex?

As frequently as you both want to. Look, there’s no right answer here, the frequency with which a couple has sex, or doesn’t have sex, depends on the couple, their sex drive, and their desire to have sex. The question to ask, really, is are you satisfied with the frequency? Is your partner satisfied with the frequency? What needs to be changed to make you both happy? Not every couple has sex once a day, week, or month, or ever. What matters is whether they’re both satisfied. If you’re asking about what’s “normal”, stop. The better question to ask is, are we both okay with the frequency?

That’s ultimately the one right answer to any questions about frequency in dating: Are we both okay with the frequency? Anyone can give you advice based on their experience, like I just did above. Their opinions might differ from mine, hell, you might disagree with me, and that’s okay. Ultimately, if you want to know what the best frequency would be to do anything, whether texting, seeing someone, having sex, etc., ask.

Good Luck Out There.

Also published on Medium.