Friends of mine from recent years who know of my dating ways are often very surprised to learn that I was extremely late bloomer when it came to dating. In high school I had very, very few dates… and no relationships. My first of college I went completely dateless, and began to think I would never get out of the rut. My biggest problem… I didn’t understand the importance of the Window of Opportunity.
This date-ism is something I discovered after many years of missing out on dating girls I was interested in. My problem is once I met a girl I was attracted to I would talk and hang out with her for a long time before finally deciding I wanted to pursue a relationship. By the time I made that decision, however, we were friends… and that creates a major challenge in starting physical/intimate relationship. Now, many of my friends (especially my female friends) will tell you it’s a good thing to be friends with the person you’re dating. That is only partially correct. Ideally, the friendship connection increases at about the same rate as the physical connection. Once a relationship between two people has been established as “friends” and a physical connection of at least a kiss hasn’t happened, it is very unlikely the relationship will ever evolve.
Window of Opportunity is basically the fact that from the time two people meet (in person, online, or other), the potential for a physical relationship begins. It is important to note that the window is first open with a small crack because the two barely know each other. In most circumstances, if a person tried to move in for a kiss right after meeting it is likely to get turned down even if there was some initial attraction. However, as the two get to know each other better better the window continues to open and the chances of physical relationship improve. That is until the window is fully open, where the chances of a physical relationship are at their best. However, this isn’t a permanent position! If neither person makes a move, eventually the window begins to gradually close until the potential for a physical relationship ends and only a possibility to continue a platonic friendship remains.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. The obvious one is that being under the influence speeds up the opening of the window. Most of the time, two people meeting under normal circumstances would never start kissing, even if they were attracted to each other. However, this happens at all the time at bars, parties, concerts, and so on… so it’s a factor that needs consideration. On the flip side, if one or both people are in a relationship with someone else, the window opens and closes much more slowly. I’ve seen situations where two people become friends while one or both are in a relationship, but years later when they are both available they start dating. A person that cheats doesn’t even need to wait to become single again… their window may not open all the way when they are in a relationship, but typically opens much wider than the average person. This is usually result of their personality or just their attitude towards (or more likely against) monogamous relationships. The final exception is that once two people have had a physical relationship, the window never completely closes again. Under the right (or more often wrong) situation, a physical relationship can be reemerge.
Knowing about the Window of Opportunity hopefully gives you the insight to be open your possibilities of getting into a great relationship and close your chances of missing out on something great!