Relationships are often marked by milestones: the first time you exchange “I love you”s, meeting the parents, all the way up to the major life events of engagement, marriage, and children. But when should you be hitting these milestones? A new YouGov survey asked 1,057 Singapore residents about the ideal timeline for taking those important steps.

How long should you wait before saying “I love you”?

Majority of Singapore residents would be open to saying these three little words before hitting the one-year mark in new relationship (63%), with the highest proportion of people saying that it is acceptable to express affection in this way as early as one to two weeks (17%).

Men and women also have different timelines for this. While one in five men think it’s acceptable to say “I love you” within the first two weeks of dating (20%), only one in seven women agree (15%).

How long should you wait before meeting your partner’s parents or going on a couple’s vacation?

One in seven are happy to introduce a new partner to their parents and close family (14%) or go on a couple’s vacation (12%) at the one-month mark or earlier. A similar proportion think couples should wait a little longer, till they have dated for three or six months. Most think the earliest appropriate time to cross either of these milestones is after dating for a year (22% for meeting each other’s family, 21% for going on holiday together).

When it comes to vacationing, men (29%) are thirteen percentage points more likely than women (16%) to say going on a trip together can happen sometime within the first three months of a new relationship.

How long should you wait before having sex with a new partner?

The most common answer is that you should wait until marriage, with a fifth of people in Singapore being of this opinion (20%). One in ten say it is acceptable to sleep with a new partner within a fortnight (11%) – with those aged 25-34 most likely to think so (17%) – while another one in ten say it is appropriate to wait a year (12%).

How long should you wait before moving in or buying a house with a partner?

About a fifth of Singapore residents think couples should wait a year before moving in (20%) or buying a house together (17%). The majority however would wait longer to do either of these things, with one in seven thinking this milestone should only be crossed after marriage (17% for moving in together; 15% for buying a house).

How long should you wait before getting engaged or married?

When is the best time to put a ring on it? Majority say the earliest appropriate time is after a couple has been together for a year. A small proportion are more trigger-happy – they think a couple can get engaged (17%) or married (7%) sometime before reaching the one-year milestone of the relationship.

How long should you wait before having a child with your partner?

Popular opinion on this tends to be that couples should wait until they’re married to have a baby (20% of residents think this is the ideal time). About half as many (9%) say a couple should be together for a year before they procreate, while another 14% think people should wait until the two-to-three-year mark before starting a family.

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