The "Timeline" (Updated: Your thoughts to these questions)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 03, 2013 6:52 AM GMT
    Update: So the focus of the thread has changed dramatically. New questions:
    Do you think love follows a timeline?
    If so answer some question below, if not still fee free to answer the questions below, but also what has your longest relationship been? Did you ever consider proposing? And anything else you want to add?

    Most relationships go like this:
    Meet > Dating > Official Relationship > Living Together > Engaged > Married.

    Any other major phases you ever go through?

    Do you think gay lovers in general move faster or slower than heterosexual lovers? Why?

    So what are your personal opinions on a common timeline for a gay lovers relationship for each of the following:

    How many dates do you have before you know if a relationship will work or before you call it off? (Ex. you meet a guy and you know it won't work)

    How many dates before you make your relationship official?

    How long before you first have sex/are intimate?

    How long before you introduce each other to your parents or friends?

    How long before you spend nights with each other?

    How long before you start living together?

    How long before you propose/get engaged?

    How long of an engagement before you get married?

    If you want children, how long before you have them? (Assuming you can cover all the costs)

    Try to keep it general, Months and years. If you want to get specific, go ahead. If you have experience from previous relationships feel free to share that too.

    If there is another post that can answer all these questions, feel free to redirect me, if not, please answer them. And obviously I know it varies case by case, but I'm just curious to hear what everyone says.
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    Jan 03, 2013 7:14 AM GMT
    Every person is different and every couple is different. You can't really group homosexual and heterosexual couples into two different groups when it comes to a timeline.. some peoples time line ends at being official....
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    Jan 04, 2013 2:57 AM GMT
    RadRTT saidEvery person is different and every couple is different. You can't really group homosexual and heterosexual couples into two different groups when it comes to a timeline.. some peoples time line ends at being official....


    Thanks for posting Rad. Yeah, I've noticed they are too different to group them.

    But what do you think is a representative timeline for a gay relationship? If you found someone who you loved, and loved you back, how fast would you move?

    I've had family that goes from dating to engaged in less than a year. Do you think can happen to a gay couple?
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    Jan 04, 2013 2:59 AM GMT
    Einsteins said time and space are intertwined as one. Therefore, if relationships have a timeline, space must be adjusted accordingly.
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    Jan 04, 2013 3:24 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidEinsteins said time and space are intertwined as one. Therefore, if relationships have a timeline, space must be adjusted accordingly.


    Thanks for the science lesson I guess. icon_neutral.gif
    Relationships have a timeline in the space time continuum. I'm not saying they exist as a third entity. icon_confused.gif
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    Jan 04, 2013 5:09 AM GMT
    I think that your timeline is somewhere between "heteronormative" and "fairy tale."

    In reality, the "normal" timeline is something like

    Meet>dating>drunken sex>pregnancy>shotgun wedding>brats>television & beer

    Stepping outside the norm means that you can shape your relationships in any way that you want.
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    Jan 04, 2013 4:36 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidI think that your timeline is somewhere between "heteronormative" and "fairy tale."

    In reality, the "normal" timeline is something like

    Meet>dating>drunken sex>pregnancy>shotgun wedding>brats>television & beer

    Stepping outside the norm means that you can shape your relationships in any way that you want.


    Wait, wait, wait .... Gays can get pregnant?! icon_eek.gif

    I'm glad I found out now before it happened to me. icon_wink.gif

    Again, I want to know about a gay lovers timeline not a heterosexual lovers timeline.

    Yes, this has happened to several people I know, but it's definitely not "normal"
  • LJay

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    Jan 04, 2013 5:25 PM GMT
    Way to Dawn, Your example time line has some interesting assumptions, among them, an accelerated notion of physical intimacy that is perhaps more recent in practice, though couples have been coupling as they pleased forever. It is soaked with straight patterns and while these things do happen in relationships of all varieties, I am not sure that there is really enough gay history to start setting norms.

    As far as straight marriage goes, the notion that the couple is the determinant is fairly recent sociologically and arranged, or parentally controlled marriages are still not unheard of.

    From the present back to a time when a gay marriage was unthinkable is really not so far. Our electronic age attention span tends to bring all thinking into the immediate, but we really should be honest enough to see that you can't shortcut societal adaptation just by using headlines as though they were considered events.

    The only 'timeline' that I see presently is really loose and runs more or less in a sequence of meeting to physical relationship being mixed with acquaintance to (semi-)exclusivity to settling to commitment. In fact, I don't see this as a timeline at all but a very loose sequence that may occur over weeks or years.

    The excitement of legal gay marriage has pushed us into thinking that parallels with our straight friends are inevitable, but I don't think so. Straight folks are doing their own evolving. I have a good friend who has no intention of marriage. As I see it, the independence suits him even better than he thinks, but he still lives with one woman and is essentially monogamous, though the mind wanders at the prompting of certain glands.

    Then again, I wonder why we seek the comfort of a timeline/pattern/sequence. Is it insecurity, or hope of acceptance, or simply assuming the past as a matter of avoiding the terrifying challenge of evolving new behavior?

    Were I to exhibit the behavior of an old cynic, [No, Aristoshark, you don't come close to cornering the market.] I would simply say that it is all the eternal tension between the glories of bourbon and scotch that will resolve our ruminations on the topic, and not soon at all.

    Hope this satisfies your longing for a serious answer.



  • kuroshiro

    Posts: 786

    Jan 04, 2013 5:31 PM GMT
    Haha, straight couple move faster than gay couples? What world are you living in? icon_lol.gif

    Usually it's:

    Meet > Bunny Sex > Date for 2 Weeks > Relationship > Fight > Breakup > Makeup Sex > Relationship > Cheat on Partner > Makeup Sex II > End
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    Jan 04, 2013 6:49 PM GMT
    Relationships are between two people (usually) whether they are hetero or homo. The timeline will be dictated by the people involved, not their orientation.

    Is there some reason you need to "nail this down"? Do you have to prove your current relationship is normative or something?

    Since you asked nicely, here are some answers:

    How many dates do you have before you know if a relationship will work or before you call it off? 2-4

    How many dates before you make your relationship official? as a serial monogamous dater, 1, but if you mean "boyfriend" then I'd say 10 dates, three weeks which ever comes first

    How long before you first have sex/are intimate? Intimate (physically close, cuddling, kissing) can happen on date 1. Sex date 2 or later.

    How long before you introduce each other to your parents or friends? Friends after 5 dates. Parents after 4 months.

    How long before you spend nights with each other? As in sleepover after sex? Date 2 - I'm not going to kick a guy I'm dating out of my place like he's a trick or something. I'm not sure what this question is asking.

    How long before you start living together? 9 months

    How long before you propose/get engaged? 5 years

    How long of an engagement before you get married? 1 year

    If you want children, how long before you have them? (Assuming you can cover all the costs) Don't do children before year 3. Then if you still want them, go for it.
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    Jan 04, 2013 7:06 PM GMT
    Here's my first love timeline:

    1. Meet
    2. Four months of "what's going on?" (keep in mind, this was a first time)
    3. "Relationship" label
    4. One year of bliss, or "honeymoon phase
    5. Break
    6. That was stupid, let's keep dating
    7. Summer apart creates confusing feeling and fear rises to the surface...so breakup
    8.See him after summer - have a year of back and forth/hot mess
    9.Decide you want to try again
    10.Year of "this is comfortable, but nowhere near perfect"
    11.Finally realize he wants "x" and you want "y."
    12. Cry about it and go separate ways.

    That was fun. Bahaha. 4 years of learning experience.
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    Jan 04, 2013 9:29 PM GMT
    You realize of course that each couple is going to be unique....
    Anyway, here's our story:

    How many dates do you have before you know if a relationship will work or before you call it off? (Ex. you meet a guy and you know it won't work)

    A: 3 - then we both knew.

    How many dates before you make your relationship official?

    A: 3 - because we both knew.


    How long before you first have sex/are intimate?

    A : Define sex. Sex for us can be anything that results in climaxing. So, 3 dates.

    How long before you introduce each other to your parents or friends?

    A: after those 3 dates.

    How long before you spend nights with each other?

    A: 1st date. No action but cuddling.

    How long before you start living together?

    A: 6 weeks officially

    How long before you propose/get engaged?

    A: 3 weeks

    How long of an engagement before you get married?

    A: lol, 20 years.

    If you want children, how long before you have them? (Assuming you can cover all the costs)

    A: no answer, we never did this.
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    Jan 06, 2013 9:45 AM GMT
    LJay saidWay to Dawn, Your example time line has some interesting assumptions, among them, an accelerated notion of physical intimacy that is perhaps more recent in practice, though couples have been coupling as they pleased forever. It is soaked with straight patterns and while these things do happen in relationships of all varieties, I am not sure that there is really enough gay history to start setting norms.

    As far as straight marriage goes, the notion that the couple is the determinant is fairly recent sociologically and arranged, or parentally controlled marriages are still not unheard of.

    From the present back to a time when a gay marriage was unthinkable is really not so far. Our electronic age attention span tends to bring all thinking into the immediate, but we really should be honest enough to see that you can't shortcut societal adaptation just by using headlines as though they were considered events.

    The only 'timeline' that I see presently is really loose and runs more or less in a sequence of meeting to physical relationship being mixed with acquaintance to (semi-)exclusivity to settling to commitment. In fact, I don't see this as a timeline at all but a very loose sequence that may occur over weeks or years.

    The excitement of legal gay marriage has pushed us into thinking that parallels with our straight friends are inevitable, but I don't think so. Straight folks are doing their own evolving. I have a good friend who has no intention of marriage. As I see it, the independence suits him even better than he thinks, but he still lives with one woman and is essentially monogamous, though the mind wanders at the prompting of certain glands.

    Then again, I wonder why we seek the comfort of a timeline/pattern/sequence. Is it insecurity, or hope of acceptance, or simply assuming the past as a matter of avoiding the terrifying challenge of evolving new behavior?

    Were I to exhibit the behavior of an old cynic, [No, Aristoshark, you don't come close to cornering the market.] I would simply say that it is all the eternal tension between the glories of bourbon and scotch that will resolve our ruminations on the topic, and not soon at all.

    Hope this satisfies your longing for a serious answer.


    Thanks for the reply LJay. I'm definitely not trying to set norms. I was just curious about a gay man's thought on this subject. Obviously you believe that relationships are not as simple as I said, and homosexual relationships are even more complicated.

    Unfortunately I don't know much about gay relationships, so most of my thinking comes from seeing straight relationships, though I was trying to keep it as vague as possible.

    I'm not trying to find shortcuts, but I find that I think best in terms of numbers (time). Again, obviously I know there are no set rules, but looking at examples, and people's thoughts can give me a better idea than my current thoughts.

    You may not be able to tell, but I use "timeline" loosely here. I was just trying to refer to the sequence events that start a relationship. (A sequence of events sometimes being refered to as a timeline)

    I honestly didn't understand what you said at the end, but I find that patterns can give me a better idea of the future so when I start dating, I am better prepared for whatever may happen.
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    Jan 06, 2013 9:49 AM GMT
    kuroshiro saidHaha, straight couple move faster than gay couples? What world are you living in? icon_lol.gif

    Usually it's:

    Meet > Bunny Sex > Date for 2 Weeks > Relationship > Fight > Breakup > Makeup Sex > Relationship > Cheat on Partner > Makeup Sex II > End


    Your relationship timeline looks like a period of at least 6 months to 2 years. I have a cousin that started a relationship, got married and is pregnant in less than a year. So I think it varies by case. Some relationships are like that though, thanks for bringing it up.
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    Jan 06, 2013 10:02 AM GMT
    JimmyMTL saidRelationships are between two people (usually) whether they are hetero or homo. The timeline will be dictated by the people involved, not their orientation.

    Is there some reason you need to "nail this down"? Do you have to prove your current relationship is normative or something?

    Since you asked nicely, here are some answers:

    How many dates do you have before you know if a relationship will work or before you call it off? 2-4

    How many dates before you make your relationship official? as a serial monogamous dater, 1, but if you mean "boyfriend" then I'd say 10 dates, three weeks which ever comes first

    How long before you first have sex/are intimate? Intimate (physically close, cuddling, kissing) can happen on date 1. Sex date 2 or later.

    How long before you introduce each other to your parents or friends? Friends after 5 dates. Parents after 4 months.

    How long before you spend nights with each other? As in sleepover after sex? Date 2 - I'm not going to kick a guy I'm dating out of my place like he's a trick or something. I'm not sure what this question is asking.

    How long before you start living together? 9 months

    How long before you propose/get engaged? 5 years

    How long of an engagement before you get married? 1 year

    If you want children, how long before you have them? (Assuming you can cover all the costs) Don't do children before year 3. Then if you still want them, go for it.


    I suppose you are right, it does depend on the people. I don't know why, but I have the idea in my head that heterosexual couples are more likely to move quickly toward settling down rather than homosexual couples who take it easier. It's probably just an old stereotype.

    I wasn't trying to "nail" anything down. I was just curious about the topic. Ever since I was young, I thought that after two years of dating someone, I would marry him/her and settle down. But after reading so many stories on here, I obviously know that won't hold true any more.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the other questions. So I'm seeing 6+ years before marriage. A bit longer than I thought, but I think it's a great timeline.
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    Jan 06, 2013 10:06 AM GMT
    art90 saidHere's my first love timeline:

    1. Meet
    2. Four months of "what's going on?" (keep in mind, this was a first time)
    3. "Relationship" label
    4. One year of bliss, or "honeymoon phase
    5. Break
    6. That was stupid, let's keep dating
    7. Summer apart creates confusing feeling and fear rises to the surface...so breakup
    8.See him after summer - have a year of back and forth/hot mess
    9.Decide you want to try again
    10.Year of "this is comfortable, but nowhere near perfect"
    11.Finally realize he wants "x" and you want "y."
    12. Cry about it and go separate ways.

    That was fun. Bahaha. 4 years of learning experience.


    Thanks for sharing art90. A 4 year relationship does sound pretty long for a learning experience, but I'm sure you got some good memories from it.
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    Jan 06, 2013 10:12 AM GMT
    meninlove said You realize of course that each couple is going to be unique....
    Anyway, here's our story:

    How many dates do you have before you know if a relationship will work or before you call it off? (Ex. you meet a guy and you know it won't work)

    A: 3 - then we both knew.

    How many dates before you make your relationship official?

    A: 3 - because we both knew.


    How long before you first have sex/are intimate?

    A : Define sex. Sex for us can be anything that results in climaxing. So, 3 dates.

    How long before you introduce each other to your parents or friends?

    A: after those 3 dates.

    How long before you spend nights with each other?

    A: 1st date. No action but cuddling.

    How long before you start living together?

    A: 6 weeks officially

    How long before you propose/get engaged?

    A: 3 weeks

    How long of an engagement before you get married?

    A: lol, 20 years.

    If you want children, how long before you have them? (Assuming you can cover all the costs)

    A: no answer, we never did this.


    Yeah, I know it varies by case. I was just hoping that maybe hearing some numbers would quench my thirst for a mathematical concept my mind could use. I know I'm gonna have to learn through experience, but having some knowledge, however limited it may be, can be helpful, especially since I have so many misconceptions in my mind. I define sex as climaxing as well, so your answer works.
    I'm honestly shocked by your answer to the engagement question. I know nothing is set in stone, but you really must have known early on. I wouldn't dare propose unless I knew that we both knew.
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    Jan 06, 2013 5:33 PM GMT
    WayToDawn said, "I'm honestly shocked by your answer to the engagement question. I know nothing is set in stone, but you really must have known early on. I wouldn't dare propose unless I knew that we both knew."

    It was only 3 weeks, but yes we both knew, with a sureness and a certainty that made the engagement easy. Really, though, it was a marriage - not legal back then (1989); we exchanged vows on a the beach with Willis our dog as sole witness.
    It was all about what we talked about in those first three weeks and HOW we talked about things.
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    Jan 06, 2013 5:49 PM GMT
    There is no such thing as a timeline. Rather, there is a heartline.

    It either happens, or it doesn't. It happens when it does, or it doesn't.

    That's what these guys are telling you. Listen to them.

    "Every relationship has a timeline" may be true, but it's not predictable, nor is it the same for everyone. Your heart determines it, and who can predict that?

    All I need to know is that I love a guy. Where it goes to, well, why worry? I've always been willing to sign on, see where it goes, for better or worse.

    I think you may be holding back too much. I've known guys like that. Take a chance. So what if you don't get it perfect the first time? Now you're better equipped for the next try.

    Gay love is a process, not seeking a bullseye your first shot. So learn to enjoy the process. Part of the fun is the road, not just the destination. You'll get there, trust me, but also have fun along the way. icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 06, 2013 5:59 PM GMT
    No right or wrong answers. But a few thoughts:

    How many dates do you have before you know if a relationship will work or before you call it off? (Ex. you meet a guy and you know it won't work)
    - After the first date, you'll know whether to go on a second.

    How many dates before you make your relationship official?
    - Varies, but 2-3 months of dating sounds good.

    How long before you first have sex/are intimate?
    - No earlier than 3rd date, no longer than a month. We're adults here.

    How long before you introduce each other to your parents or friends?
    - Friends after 2 months. Family after 6.

    How long before you spend nights with each other?
    - Free game after sex happens.

    How long before you start living together?
    - Minimum 6 months. My last ex asked me to live with him after 9, but I have a nicer place. That's just silly.

    How long before you propose/get engaged?
    - 2 or more yrs would be nice. But there are no rules.

    How long of an engagement before you get married?
    - 1 year about

    If you want children, how long before you have them? (Assuming you can cover all the costs)
    - Depends more on age. I would wait until late 30's or early 40's
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2013 6:14 PM GMT
    OP, the secret answers to all of your questions have always been locked inside the lunchbox. If only you had opened it and not returned it!!!

    J50gU7di
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    Jan 06, 2013 8:54 PM GMT
    Every couple should define their relationship to the unique circumstances of themselves and their significant others needs. Trying to frame a map will only result in failure.
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    Jan 08, 2013 5:35 AM GMT
    meninlove said WayToDawn said, "I'm honestly shocked by your answer to the engagement question. I know nothing is set in stone, but you really must have known early on. I wouldn't dare propose unless I knew that we both knew."

    It was only 3 weeks, but yes we both knew, with a sureness and a certainty that made the engagement easy. Really, though, it was a marriage - not legal back then (1989); we exchanged vows on a the beach with Willis our dog as sole witness.
    It was all about what we talked about in those first three weeks and HOW we talked about things.


    That sounds so romantic icon_biggrin.gif . I guess when you know, you know.
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    Jan 08, 2013 5:41 AM GMT
    ART_DECO saidThere is no such thing as a timeline. Rather, there is a heartline.

    It either happens, or it doesn't. It happens when it does, or it doesn't.

    That's what these guys are telling you. Listen to them.

    "Every relationship has a timeline" may be true, but it's not predictable, nor is it the same for everyone. Your heart determines it, and who can predict that?

    All I need to know is that I love a guy. Where it goes to, well, why worry? I've always been willing to sign on, see where it goes, for better or worse.

    I think you may be holding back too much. I've known guys like that. Take a chance. So what if you don't get it perfect the first time? Now you're better equipped for the next try.

    Gay love is a process, not seeking a bullseye your first shot. So learn to enjoy the process. Part of the fun is the road, not just the destination. You'll get there, trust me, but also have fun along the way. icon_wink.gif


    A heartline is probably more accurate. I was just curious that if you look back on a relationship, where all the milestones would be placed on a timeline.

    I'm definitely a beginner when it comes to this sort of thing, so I appreciate all the advice, and I'll try to take it to heart.

    My fear is just that I will never get to a destination. And I fear that if I waste too much time on a relationship, then I'll have wasted my life. I've heard many stories of guys who have wasted years just to end up saying how toxic or horrible it was. I hope I can be smart enough to deal with this sort of situation, but having an idea of how to deal with a relationship could put my mind at ease a bit.
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    Jan 08, 2013 5:48 AM GMT
    huhwhat saidNo right or wrong answers. But a few thoughts:

    How many dates do you have before you know if a relationship will work or before you call it off? (Ex. you meet a guy and you know it won't work)
    - After the first date, you'll know whether to go on a second.

    How many dates before you make your relationship official?
    - Varies, but 2-3 months of dating sounds good.

    How long before you first have sex/are intimate?
    - No earlier than 3rd date, no longer than a month. We're adults here.

    How long before you introduce each other to your parents or friends?
    - Friends after 2 months. Family after 6.

    How long before you spend nights with each other?
    - Free game after sex happens.

    How long before you start living together?
    - Minimum 6 months. My last ex asked me to live with him after 9, but I have a nicer place. That's just silly.

    How long before you propose/get engaged?
    - 2 or more yrs would be nice. But there are no rules.

    How long of an engagement before you get married?
    - 1 year about

    If you want children, how long before you have them? (Assuming you can cover all the costs)
    - Depends more on age. I would wait until late 30's or early 40's


    Thanks for answering huhwhat, and it sounds like we think alike alot. So I'm getting a period of 2-4 years before popping the question, then another year for engagement. Married in 5 years sounds great as long as you know.