The talking stage is a relatively new concept coined by all-time innovative Generation Z. We can describe it as the earliest stage of a romantic relationship. This period starts when you get to know a person's name and ends when you start dating.
Are you tired of going through the talking stage again and again? Do you want to get to the next stage to finally enjoy a real relationship? Keep reading to find out how you can make it happen.
The talking stage provides you with an opportunity to know each other better without labelling each other as "girlfriend", "boyfriend", or "partner". You can talk to each other, exploring each other's likes and dislikes without experiencing any pressure, which is associated with real dating.
To put it simply, the talking stage includes talking and zero commitment. You can chat with someone for a few weeks and then just say goodbye without providing any explanation. Since your relationship hasn't officially started, you don't have to worry about ending them.
In a broad sense, the talking stage doesn't differ from dating that much. In both cases, you can do the things that couples usually do: text for hours, meet for a coffee, have dinner, go clubbing, watch a movie together, or have sex. So you may be wondering what's the point of using two different terms to describe almost the same concept.
The main difference here is that when you are dating somebody, you already have an emotional connection. You like your partner, and you know that they like you back. Everything is pretty obvious.
When you are just talking to someone, you can only guess whether they like you or not. You can't show your feelings (if you already have ones). The only thing you can do is wait until your lovely conversations turn into something bigger.
Photo by Sarah Chai from Pexels
Do you still don't have a clear idea of what the talking stages are and how they differ from dating? Here are a few distinctive features of the talking stage as the first phase of the relationship. This information will possibly give you a better understanding of the topic.
Gen Z'ers are sensitive and emotionally vulnerable people. And that's one of the main reasons why they "invented" the talking stage. They wanted to eliminate the pain of breakups or at least minimize the pain of breakups that happen at the very beginning of the relationship.
When you have talks with someone, you don't set too high expectations. Basically, you're not even in a relationship. You have plenty of time to decide whether you want to be with this guy or not.
By having long talks, you "test run" your prospective lover. And if the test results turn out to be negative, it will not hurt you to admit that you should get back to the search again.
Of course, it is supposed to be that simple. But in real life, the talking stages can end painfully. If you feel your partner on a deeper level and are interested in dating, the end of communication may break your heart.
One user wrote on Twitter that breakups always hurt, no matter whether it's a new or long-term relationship.
lol talking stage breakups be just as painful as relationship breakups.— gangsta (@mbalixnew) April 21, 2022
The talking stage allows you to communicate with a few guys at the same time. No one will judge you for that. Since you don't commit to one person, you can feel free to lead conversations with multiple potential dates simultaneously.
Basically, it allows you to consider "all the options" before you decide to officially date someone. And that's actually a good thing. If you have a goal to find a special someone in the nearest future, you can boost your search this way.
Tip: You don't have to choose only one person to focus your attention on. You can pick a few people you have a mutual romantic interest in, start talking, and see where those conversations will lead you.
The trickiest part of the talking stage is that you never know how long it will last. All people are different. While many of us need just a few days to understand that we have found the right person, others need more than three months to draw such a conclusion.
Here is a tweet from a guy who believes that this stage can last up to six months.
I strongly believe in a talking stage lasting 3-6 months and I stand by it shame. Let’s relax please— 노아 (@noahxche) April 25, 2022
What should you do if you already realize that you like the person and want to proceed to the next stage? You have two options. You can wait till your potential date shows interest in dating you (it may take you from a week to a few months).
Or, you can make things less complicated by being open about your intention. All you need to do is to be honest and say, "Hey, I like you, and I'm ready to proceed to the next stage."
If the person you talk to feels the same way, you will get a chance to start building your relationships right away. If they have different expectations than you, you will understand that there is no sense to keep communicating. In any case, you will not waste your time on empty talks.
Claire Stott, a relationship psychologist and data analyst, recommends considering the following:
"It's difficult...[but] I would say it's socially acceptable to have a conversation over exclusivity after a couple of months. You might do it before, maybe because the other person is totally on the same page, but I think give it a couple of months."
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
So you are currently going through the talking stage. You hope that these talks will help you learn more about the person, get the right insights, and make the right decisions. Here are a few things that will help you to succeed.
Most people don't like to go through the question&answer stage because they have to answer the same questions again and again. The first few conversations usually look like job interviews – you get asked the same questions and provide typical answers. Here is a typical scenario:
What do you do for a living? – I'm an accountant.
What are your hobbies and interests? – My hobbies include biking, camping, and cooking.
Where did you spend your childhood? – I grew up in Arizona.
Most people have negative attitudes toward such Q&A sessions. Here is a tweet from a user who is tired of those questions.
my soulmate is just gonna have to be someone I’ve already met bc I can’t do another talking stage. If I have to answer “what do you like to do for fun” one more time I’m sticking pins in my eyes— irene (@writtenbyirene) April 23, 2022
Here are a few rules you should follow to make a good impression when starting a conversation:
Stop asking non-important questions like "What is your favorite season?" and "What is your favorite taste of ice cream"? If you find out that she is a summer person and vanilla ice cream lover, it will not tell you much about her personality and your compatibility.
Focus on the questions that can provide you with valuable insight. Let's say you are a volunteer at a pet shelter. You are looking for someone who shares your values. You should ask your prospective partners about their attitudes toward pets and volunteering projects.
Don't ask the same question twice. It may irritate your companion.
Don't be the one who talks 90% of the time. Make sure to ask appropriate questions to build a meaningful conversation.
What expectations do you have from the people you are talking to? Do you want them to respect you and say only the truth? You should treat people in the way you want them to treat you.
Define what "perfect relationship" means to you.
Don't try to create an illusion that you are a better person than you are.
Respond to all questions in a polite way.
If you have already realized that you don't want to develop the relationship any further, stop communicating.
Make sure that all your thoughts are expressed as clearly as possible - do not leave the person you are talking to confused.
Don't agree to start an "exclusive relationship", if you are not ready for that.
Talking stage does not always lead to a loving relationship. You may meet people who are on the same page with you but are not interested in going on dates with you. These people can become your best friends who support your crazy ideas and are always ready to hang up with you.
Tip: The importance of having a healthy relationship with friends sometimes outweighs a romantic relationship. So if you can't find a lover, find a friend to share happy moments with.
Photo by ELEVATE from Pexels
While many people find talking stages daunting, others see it as a "comfort zone" because they experience no pressure while spending time with a few potential dates simultaneously.
What about you? Do you feel comfortable staying at the talking stages? Make sure that this period of your new relationship will not last for too long!
If the person you are talking to has already expressed an intention to move further, don't miss your chance. Accept the rules of an exclusive relationship, and don't be afraid to experience some extra pressure. If two people are meant to be together, the transition from the talking stage to dating will go smoothly.
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