duluthrunner said...why impose limits on yourself or him (so long as you're practicing safer sex)?
It's funny how the biggest prudes here are always the young ones, and it's the older men who keep urging them down the path towards becoming damaged-goods, just to level the playing field?
It's the geezer conspiracy.
LOL! Or maybe the geezer experience & confidence.
We've gone through this drill so many times we know how to maneuver through the minefields that dating can represent, take risks and survive them. We know when to dump 'em quick, and when to let it play out, how to cut our losses and move on, or choose to invest some time & effort in a guy. And we can make those decisions without a lot of doubt, hesitation or angst.
When I began dating my present partner nearly 7 years ago we had only been together a month and people would ask us how long we'd been a couple. They couldn't believe only a month, they guessed decades! Obviously our older ages misled them, but also I think it was because we fell into partnership so easily, so naturally.
We could hit the ground running because we were past the learning stage. We knew what we wanted, knew what to do, we already had the required skill set. We got on this new bike and rode it expertly from day one, without training wheels.
But yeah, our advice & experience may not help newbies solve their first-time problems. We can often only competently advise what to expect down the road, after the training wheels come off.
But as for the OP's question, in my opinion most of the other replies I've read above are all correct in different ways. The time does vary, it's very personal & individual, no strict rule applies (the same is true in straight dating, too, gay is no different).
As for me, by the second or third date if I liked him I not only stopped seeing other guys, I actually lost interest in them. Automatically, like a switch being thrown, no conscious decision on my part, exclusive often before my new guy was with me. Which helped me to know he was worth pursuing, when, to paraphrase the old song lyrics: "I only had eyes for him".