Your pickup lines have worked, and you managed to curb your first date anxiety enough to go on a bunch more. You’re starting to get to know this person more, and you’ve already dreamt up vacations with them to Venice. But before you row through the streets of Venice staring into this person’s eyes, you must navigate the make-it-or-break-it phase: the talking stage.
Should you continue with the accent you decided to use on the first date? When should you tell this person that the pet on your dating app isn’t really yours? What even is the talking stage and how can you make sure your imaginary tickets to Venice come to light one day?
Fret not, we’ve got you covered. In this article, dating coach Geetarsh Kaur, founder of The Skill School, which specializes in building stronger relationships, answers all your burning questions about the rules of the talking stage and exactly what you need to do in it.
What Is The Talking Stage?
So, what is the talking stage? Just so you don’t think we’re talking about the stage that comes right after matching with this person on a dating app, let’s take a look at exactly when it happens and what it looks like.
Picture this: You’ve been on a couple of dates with someone, and the other people you’ve been on dates with now seem insignificant, and your dating app addiction appears to be subsiding. All of this, because you can’t stop daydreaming about this person you just shared a hotdog with on your fifth date to the nearby park.
Now you’re both talking regularly, maybe even every day. You haven’t discussed anything like exclusivity, the nature of your relationship, or even where it’s going. All you know is that when their name lights up on your phone, your face lights up too.
Congratulations, you’ve found yourself in the talking stage. Suddenly, this person is the only one you want to talk to after Jenna from HR gave you a bunch of gossip, and you’re constantly thinking about how much you can text them without driving them away.
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You’re learning about their life, they’re learning about yours. In a way, it’s just the getting-to-know-each-other stage. You’re on the cusp of something bigger, you just don’t know what yet.
If you’re wondering about the differences between the talking stage vs dating, the major one is that the talking stage is a bit more meaningful than the first date, where your biggest concern is how you’re going to hide your pit stains.
Now that we’ve answered what is the talking stage, tackled the talking stage vs dating differences, and figured out that you’re head over heels, let’s take a look at what you need to do when the texting continues unabated.
Dos And Don’ts Of The Talking Stage
The talking stage of a relationship is highly subjective. No two equations are really similar, and what flies in one might not in the other. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach here but there are still a bunch of faux pas that you need to avoid.
Just so yours doesn’t end up being a failed talking stage because you couldn’t stop talking about your ex, I’ve listed out a few dos and don’ts for you to keep in mind:
1. Do: Try to be charming, courteous, and impressive (a.k.a.: be yourself)
Wondering how to be charming and impressive? Two words: be authentic. In the process of impressing someone, a lot of people do or say things in a way that is not original to them.
Over a period of time, that’s going to fade away. You don’t want to keep that weird accent just because you picked it up on the first date for some reason, do you? The idea is to be yourself, be kind, do the things that you always do, and don’t lie about who you are. That basically means you need to keep that “backpacking across Eastern Europe” story far, far away.
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2. Don’t: Expect too much
Since nothing is set in stone yet, don’t keep your expectations too high. Remember, you are trying to impress someone, charm your way around them, and that’s what the other person is doing too.
If you expect someone to behave in a certain way, it’s only going to cause problems for you. Maybe their idea of the talking stage of dating doesn’t align with yours, and the “Good morning, sunshine!” texts that you love are obnoxious for them.
3. Do: Subtly hint at something more than just dating (a.k.a.: flirting)
To understand this talking stage tip, you have to understand how the communication is between you two. If you feel the person is able to understand or is ready to take the hint, you should subtly (SUBTLY) hint at somewhat of a bigger commitment.
But, at the same time, do consider the possibility that perhaps you are falling for the other person and they may not be falling for you. Maybe this person is not as emotionally invested as you are.
Overall, hinting at a bigger commitment is a good idea. If you’re looking for something serious, the other person should know that you are. And if you are not, they should know that all you want is a cuffing season partner.
4. Don’t: Push the boundaries with an Instagram selfie
Wanting to go public with it on social media is definitely a personal choice. If both of you are equally comfortable with using social media and uploading selfies together, knock yourself out.
But if the other person isn’t too active on social media and doesn’t reshare or comment on the picture you have uploaded, maybe try not to push it too much. Instead of trying to speed things up, take a look at the first talking stage tip I listed out. Stick to being charming!
5. Do: If it gets serious, discuss things like exclusivity, expectations, and wants
Communication is the only key if things do start to get serious. You should set your priorities and expectations straight. The sooner you talk about what you like, what you dislike, what hurts you, and what doesn’t, the sooner you’ll establish a harmonious relationship.
Nobody wants to get hurt, and the sooner you say things like, “So… what are we?”, the sooner you’ll know where you will be. You don’t want to be labelless like the fresh produce in the supermarket. That usually goes stale after a week.
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6. Don’t: Let it last too long, it may get stagnant
How long the talking stage of a relationship lasts entirely depends on the equation you two have. For some, the light-heartedness and the “fun” aspect of it might never end, but it’s still important to remember that putting in effort is what’s going to take things somewhere.
Effort is going to help you in the long run. It’ll stop this whole thing from dying down, and a few kind gestures might just do the trick. The next time you’re on your way back from work, pick up this person’s favorite dessert and surprise them with it. Who knows, they may just upload a story about it on Instagram.
The “talking stage” can essentially make or break your entire relationship. A few creepy comments and a few mentions of the ex, and you’re out. But if you’re kind, flirting appropriately, being yourself, and putting in effort, you may just have yourself your very own rom-com.