I listen to a few dating podcasts and have had countless conversations with friends about dating. And we have all concluded that yes—there is pee in the dating pool, to which both men and women have contributed. Men are tired of being used as EBT cards. Women are tired of being asked what they bring to a table with no legs. I’m personally tired of the inability to hold a conversation and plan a date.
But these new stages of dating make it far more complex than it needs to be. I don’t know when or who decided this breakdown was necessary, but it’s a little too much for me.
First is the Talking Stage. During this stage, you’ve exchanged numbers, built a friendship, you may have been intimate, and you’ve just kind of tested the waters.
Next is the Dating Stage. This is the point where you start to do more activities together and see each other consistently. You’re still just friends, but you have a mutual interest in each other. And you may have begun to develop deeper feelings for each other.
Now, we move on to the Dating Exclusively Stage. At this point, you’ve decided to cut off anyone else you may have been seeing and focus on each other.
Lastly comes the Relationship Stage, where you’ve made a mutual agreement to become a couple
Complications with the Stages
The Relationship Stage is where things get unnecessarily complicated for me. Talking and dating are the same thing as far as I’m concerned. When I’m dating someone, I expect to talk via phone, Facetime, text, and in person. We can go get coffee, go on a picnic, take a pottery class, or make dinner at home together. That is all still dating. And it’s perfectly fine to date multiple people at once. That’s how it should be done until you decide to start a relationship with someone.
And it’s perfectly fine to date multiple people at once."
The dating exclusively phase is just silly. Isn’t the point to find a partner? So, if you are no longer interested in anyone else, wouldn’t you naturally enter the Relationship Stage with the other person? Why are we sitting in limbo for however long, if you don’t want to talk to anyone else? That means you met the goal and found the person you want to be with. Why do we need a probationary period?
Relax and Enjoy the Journey
Dating should be fun and exciting. It’s about really getting to know someone for who they are and not who you need them to be. You may date someone and find that they aren’t the right fit as a romantic partner, but you’ve built an amazing friendship. Although friendship may not have been the goal, it’s still a beautiful journey.
So, I’ve decided to relax and enjoy the journey. I’ve learned to let my guard down and be open to love, and I’ve also learned when to walk away. My dating life this year may bring new love, new friendships, or both. Either way, I’m going to relax and enjoy the journey.
About the Author
I love warm sunny days at the beach with a cocktail, (or two) … maybe three (no one’s counting…right?). There is nothing better than a good dose of Vitamin D with the sound of the waves crashing into each other to find peace and clarity. The only other thing that brings me more joy than the ocean is make-up and skincare. Sephora is EVERYTHING! Some may call it an addiction; I say mind your business (lol). The best part of make-up is finding your style and having fun with it. I enjoy playing with every color under the rainbow with a little glitter and highlighter sprinkled in as well. As a licensed esthetician and MUA, I am committed to healthy glowing skin.