What Are the Five Stages of Dating?
Dating is an exciting and often terrifying opportunity to get to know another person really well, really fast. But it’s also a time of change, self-reflection, and transition. In fact, dating often reveals things about ourselves that we hadn’t realized or had been ignoring. If you’re feeling confused, hurt, scared, excited, happy or any combination of the above, you’re not alone.
Let’s get this out of the way: dating is hard. And dating in today’s world, when everything is so fast-paced and technological, is even harder.
If you’ve ever dated someone who comes with a warning label, you know that it’s not always easy to tell if someone is good relationship material. And even if you do know that a person isn’t right for you, you might still find yourself on a date with him or her anyway. That’s why it’s so important to know the red flags of dating.
What are the Stages of Dating?
Dating is a journey. Like any journey, it has its own set of stages, and each stage brings its own lessons. Think of them as lessons in love, lessons you’ll use later in life. In fact, if you’re not careful, you may even find yourself dating yourself at some point. The good news is if you keep your eyes open and pay attention, each stage of dating will teach you something valuable about yourself and others.
- Attraction – This is where you experience feelings for another person. You get to know each other and enjoy spending time together. You may even find that you can’t help falling in love with each other. This is when two people first meet and begin to like each other. They may not know each other very well yet, but they are attracted to each other. This is a big step. You want him to be attracted to you, and you want to be attracted to him. You just have to learn how to attract them naturally.
- Uncertainty – There’s no denying that the dating game can be a complicated and confusing experience. While we’re all different, there are some universal experiences that many of us share. The process of going from strangers to friends to something more can be one rife with uncertainty, and that can be scary for everyone involved. Uncertainty is the worst part of dating. You text her all week, and she doesn’t respond. She says she wants to see you, but she’s not calling you back. You’re not sure what you did wrong, and you have no idea what to do to fix it.
- Exclusivity – Nowadays, the notion of exclusivity is a very important part of the dating game. In fact, if you don’t have it, it’s considered a problem. It’s called commitment phobia when a person struggles to make a relationship last. Remember that in the end, dating is about getting to know another person. It’s about getting to know if they are the right person for you and whether it is worth it to be exclusive. The general idea is to give yourself time to know whether you’re a couple and whether you are ready for exclusivity.
- Intimacy – Intimacy is something that is sought in relationships. It is the glue that holds the relationship together. The relationship process works through different phases. Some people experience these phases as they move from dating to long-term relationships. These stages of dating deal with the progression of the relationship and how it progresses from a simple dating relationship to a more serious committed one.
- Engagement – Engagement is a momentous occasion for any couple. It signifies the couple has decided to take their relationship to the next level. Couples often feel a huge boost of energy and excitement toward the future when they plan their engagement and start to see their future life together in a new light.
What Can We Learn from These Stages?
As you go through the many stages of dating, you learn many things about yourself and your partner and what you want in a relationship. However, it can be hard to determine what you’re looking for! There are so many factors to consider, such as your future, your current relationship, your personal goals, and of course, your happiness.
Whether you are already in a relationship or are single and looking for a relationship, understanding the stages of dating can help you have healthier and happier relationships. Dating involves a number of emotional highs and lows, as even the most casual of relationships require the participants to have some level of emotional involvement.