According To Him + Her: How Long Do You Date Someone Before Meeting The ‘Real’ Them?

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 04/23/2014 | 04:30 PM EDT

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They say first impressions are everything, which is true to a certain extent, but when it comes to dating you never truly know a person until you've dated them long enough.

As the general rule goes, you should never declare to know the "real" person you're dating until at least the six-month mark. Or as dating expert Demetria Lucas recently told, you should date a person throughout seasons. Just as the weather changes, so do people. Therefore, it wouldn’t be the most wise decision to put all your trust into a person simply because your “love” survived the blistering weather, for it can all crash and burn by the summer.

Far too often in today's instantaneous dating climate, people move way too fast - which is a main ingredient for a failed relationship. Rushing the process doesn't get you to lover's land any faster, and you surely don’t want to start planning a future with someone only to discover that they’re not who you originally thought them to be.

The rule of thumb is to treat your prospective suitor like a job interview. Understand that what’s on their dating resume are only indicators of their potential performance, but even when you offer them the position, it’s imperative that you keep them on a trial run...sort of like a probation period. It’s not until that test run has expired that you can officially say you truly know the person you’re dating.

Most people who end up shocked that their partner turned out to be someone completely different from who they appeared to be have unrealistic expectations. If you think seeing someone everyday for two months somehow gives you a leg up on couples who’ve been dating for a few months or years longer, you’re sadly mistaken.

Most people don’t show all their cards so to speak until several months into the dating process. As cerebral beings we either consciously or subconsciously show our best qualities when first meeting someone. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re not being genuine, just that we’re choosing to put our best foot forward. Unfortunately, what comes with that is a level of misrepresentation, as other parts of our personalities are likely to rear their head, some of which may possibly scare the person we’re dating away.

Love is not a race. It takes a lot of time and effort, so just slow down, relax and enjoy the process. The “real” person you’re dating will reveal him or herself in due time.

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