Is Never Going On Actual Dates With Your Partner A Red Flag? A Relationship Expert Weighs In

When you're in your single girl era, going on dates can be a way to have some fun, flirty encounters that can broaden your horizons with new experiences, activities, and people. It definitely doesn't hurt that going on a really great date can leave you feeling giddy from mood-boosting love hormones. The hormones are what can make you feel the desire to be with another person, increase your trust and tranquility around them, and simply make you feel happier. Once you've coupled up, continuing to enjoy dates with your partner can have positive benefits, but sometimes dates may seem more like romantic relics than realistic occurrences, prompting you to wonder if there's a waving red flag looming above your relationship. 

In short, the answer is that not continuing to go on full dates with your partner isn't a definitive red flag. Sameera Sullivan, a professional matchmaker and the relationship expert behind Sameera Sullivan Matchmakers, exclusively tells Glam that "the frequency of going on actual dates with your partner can be an important factor to consider, but it's not necessarily a definitive red flag on its own." In fact, there are numerous factors to consider when assessing the health and future outlook of a relationship. 

Routines and responsibilities restrict romance

No two couples are alike. "Different couples have varying preferences and circumstances that may impact their ability to go on traditional dates," Sameera Sullivan exclusively tells Glam. After the honeymoon phase has faded, the reality of adulting can overtake daily life with an array of responsibilities, bills to pay, and household priorities to manage. Some couples may have schedules that are difficult enough to sync for a five-minute conversation, let alone to go on a date.

If you and your partner don't have full-on dates, don't fret or jump to any rash conclusions, especially since adulthood already serves up sufficient stress without unnecessary worrying tossed in. Before presuming an expiration date is the only type of date in your relationship's future, Sullivan says, "it's important to assess the overall quality of your relationship and the level of connection and effort put into spending meaningful time together. If the lack of actual dates is accompanied by a general lack of effort, interest, or investment in the relationship, it could be a red flag."

Even if shared time is limited, consider if you feel a sincere connection with your partner when you do spend time together. Conversely, note if your partner appears apathetic or uninterested. "If you feel like the relationship lacks excitement, emotional intimacy, or intentional time spent together, it's worth having an open and honest conversation with your partner," she adds.

Quality is more important than quantity

Eschewing the monotony of daily life requires conscious effort, and going on dates with your partner is a beneficial way to retain romantic novelty in your relationship. "Dates are a way to nurture the bond and create shared experiences," Sameera Sullivan exclusively tells Glam. Continuing to commit not only to one another but also to growing the depth and strength of your connection through mutually enjoyable activities is a positive process that encourages the romantic spark to stay aflame in your relationship. It can even prompt it to brighten over time.

"Express your desire for more quality time and explore alternative ways to connect and create meaningful experiences, such as planning activities, sharing hobbies, or setting aside dedicated quality time," Sullivan adds. You don't have to plan elaborate dates to deepen your connection with your partner. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that, among couples who are in long-term relationships, doing a simple, shared activity at home for a few minutes mutually results in love hormones being released and creates feelings of closeness in the couples. 

"The key is to communicate your needs and expectations to your partner and assess how willing they are to invest in the relationship," Sullivan tells us. Dates themselves aren't indicative of overall happiness; instead, you must look for patterns in your relationship to know if it's flourishing or not.