Dating 101: The Four Major Stages of a Relationship

If there’s one thing that goes to show that there’s no guide for life in our twenties is how messed up our dating histories are. Pretty much everyone has been heartbroken and or has an ex they probaly go ” MXM” evertime they hear their name. It is wild out here and dating is definitely not for the faint hearted. The funny thing is that the most heartbreak is caused outside of actual relationships, in the blurry lines of undefined relationship statuses and today i want to break down the various stages of getting into a relationship with someone. Sounds intereting? Let’s get it!

Back when we were younger, relationships were simple. If there was someone you liked, you’d simply walk up to them and be like, ” Hey Jamie i really like you, would you go out with me sometime?”, and voilà, you got a date. Obviusly they’d probably wait day or two before they’d tell you they like you back, so they don’t seem too eager, and after that there’d be days full of walking each other home and small pecks on the cheeks. That was the little leagues for sure, i actually dare say that relationships before the age of twenty aren’t actually relationships, we were just besties y’all, that don’t count lol. Now jump in to our twenties, where we are now dating for real real, intentionally and actually trying to find a partner, you’d actually think this is when things get easier as we are more mature and people now know what they want, but here’s where all the foolery is. Before you find your prince charming or sleeping beauty, there’s hoards of fuckboys and hoes you’re gonna meet and you’ll probably go for a couple of months or years when you don’t feel like dating after they have done a good nmber on you. In the course of trying to find the love of your life, or at least a worthwhile relationship, these are some of the hoops you have to jump through to get there:

1) The Talking Stage
After the Friendzone, this is probably the most populated place on earth. There are millions, even billions who are actually there right now. The Talking stage encompasses all the interactions that take place from the moment you slide into her dm’s, to when you actually start dating. Just like Neverland, there’s no time limit here and you can spend an entire lifetime here if you aren’t careful. This is the period when you are starting to get to know each other, discovering each other’s likes, dislikes, and all of that corny stuff. Normally, the longer you take in this talking stage, the higher your odds of ending up in the friendzone. Remember, this is not exclusive and they are probably talking to ten other potentials just like you, so tact is required and it’s best to skip to the dating stage as soon as possible. It is imperative that you don’t catch feelings in this stage and to keep your options too. If you ask me, a week and half is enough time to get to know each other and you should probably move on to number 2:

2) The Dating Stage
For the longest time, i thought that once you were in the dating stage , it was as good as you’ve hit the jackpot already, wrong! Just like the Talking stage, the Dating Stage is not exclusive and the other person is entirely free to date multiple people at the same time. In this stage, this is when you are now meeting up more frequently, just the two of you, for a movie or just grabbing a meal together. At this point, they probably like you as a person, but now they’d want to see how compatible you guys are together. The worst mistake we all make is to fake our personas and try and agree with everything they are about so that we seem likeable. This is actually the time to fully be ourselves , and at the end of it see if we would be capable of handling each others bull if we were to get into a relationship. Again, there is need to tread with caution and catching feelings here is probably a bad idea. Posting them on your socials after a date is a faux pas too.

Photo by vjapratama on

3) The Exclusive Dating Stage
You can probably ask Siri to play The Weeknd’s ” I feel it coming”, becasue you are almost there. The difference between this stage and the previous one is that now you are only exclusively dating each other and trying to see if this can work. This is a crucial stage and there’s need for open communcation, if one of you gets exclusive while the other still hasn’t, we might be headed for a situationship. Here, you now know each other quite well, and it’s a bit safer to maybe invest emotionally, just a little though. There is need to establish an emotional connection and some emotional vulnerability is required. It’s a high stakes game of Texas Hold’em and there’s now only two players in the game. To conclude this stage, there must be a conversation when you DTR (Define The Relationship). Once it’s clear that you’re both on the same page, you’ve gotten the golden buzzer to go all the way to number four:

4) The Actual Relationship
Welcome to the land of sunshine and rainbows, the land of cute pet names and exchanging hoodies! If you’ve made it this far, you can breathe a sigh of relief and you can now start to really invest emotionally into the relationship. The compatibility test has been passsed, emotional vulnerability unlocked, commitment assured and now you can actually release the “L ” bomb, and actually mean it. While there are no guarantees that this will last forever, if you’ve deligently passed through all of the previous stages ( in the right order and without skipping), it might actually turn into something quite serious. Now you can post them on your socials and tell your homegirls/ homeboys about them. It is entirely up to you two whether you want to go public or keep it under wraps. There seems to be a whole stigma about having a public relationship or posting your person on your socials, but i say, if that fool is making you happy then have at it man. We post our friends all the time and the person you’re dating should be no different. It might end in tears,but it might also end up in tears of joy at the altar on your wedding day.

Photo by cottonbro on

There you have it folks! a breakdown of the four important stages of dating in our twenties. i would have talked about the dark side of dating, that is situationships and friends with benefits, but those deserve an entire post of their own. I hope that you got educated or at the very least got entertained reading through this post. As usual, like, comment and subscribe to the blog. Lastly, i know how difficult and painful this whole dating can bring, but don’t ever let anyone stop you from believing that love is a beautiful thing. It might take some time but eventually you’ll get to experience true love too one day. Stay safe and stay blessed, Salam.

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