In dating relationships, there are certain universal stages that all people go through, whether they’re aware of it or not.
These stages aren’t always in the same order, and not everyone will go through every stage in their relationship, but it’s important to understand that they exist in one way or another because they help us deal with the uncertainty of relationships and figuring out if we’re actually interested in moving things forward, or should move on and find someone else.
Here are the 9 Stages of Dating and how you can use them to make smarter decisions about your dating life.
Stage #1: Attraction
This stage is all about looks. The most important thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter how attracted you are to someone else. If they don’t feel the same, there’s no point in forcing it. When you start noticing someone new and they catch your eye, check out their profile and see if they’re interested in anything similar to you.
If they seem like a good match, then be sure to message them! You can talk about what you have in common or just say, hey, I noticed you from across the room and wanted to say hello. You will know by their response whether or not this person has any interest whatsoever in getting to know more about you.
Stage #2: Learning more about them
1. Exploring Their Potential
2. Getting to Know Them Better
3. Exerting Romantic Intentions
4. Having Feelings with Different Levels of Depth
5. The More We Spend Time Together, the Closer I Get to Him or Her
6. Deepening Our Connection to Each Other
7. When Can I Make an Advance?
Stage #3: Developing a Relationship
Having a lot in common with your partner is important, but it’s not the only thing to look for. Take the time to get to know them as a person and see if you can envision yourself spending your life with them.
Know that there will be ups and downs during this process. What matters most is how you deal with those challenges together.
One of the best ways to start dealing with challenges in relationships is by talking about what is going on and asking for feedback from trusted friends or family members who have been through similar experiences.
There are also many resources online including books, blogs, videos, or podcasts that can help both partners work through challenging times together.
Stage #4: Building Trust
When a person first starts dating someone, they usually want to establish trust with them. This step is crucial in determining whether the relationship will work out or not. They may be asking themselves questions like:
Do I feel comfortable around this person?
Do I feel safe with this person?
These are important factors that help determine how two people connect with one another and what their expectations are for the future. In order to build trust, it’s important to create an environment where both parties can feel comfortable and open up to each other.
It takes time and effort on both ends, but you will eventually get there if you continue trying. There’s no set timeline for when you will be able to tell if the relationship has potential. You have to wait until enough time has passed so that you can observe all aspects of your partner without being biased.
That way, you will have a clearer picture and will be better equipped at understanding what really makes them tick.
If building trust becomes too hard because your partner is lying or manipulating your emotions, then it might not work out even after taking all these steps into account. But, with patience and dedication, any relationship has potential!
Stage #5: Going on dates
Going on a date is a lot like trying to pick out the right pair of shoes. You have to find one that fits your personality and sense of style.
Except that you can’t always try them on before you buy them. Sure, there are ways to test drive cars or try on clothes, but when it comes to dating, there’s no easy way to find the perfect match without taking a risk. A date can be a success in two different ways:
1) It was enjoyable and fun (a real possibility), or
2) It confirmed that you should never go out with this person again (a definite possibility).
However, it’s difficult to tell which category the date falls into after only an hour together.
That’s why going on more than one date before deciding if someone is worth pursuing is crucial. Most people don’t know what they are looking for until they meet the person. If you had a great first date with someone, take some time off from each other before meeting up for round two.
But also remember that sometimes our first impression of someone is misleading because we don’t really know anything about them yet and we need more time to get to know them better.
Be patient with yourself when looking for love because it takes time to figure out what works best for you. And even then, there will still be surprises along the way!
Stage #6: Seduction
Seduction is one of the most difficult stages in all relationships, requiring a lot from both parties involved.
Women need to spend more time connecting with their partner than men do before they can reach this stage, according to research done at Oxford University.
After reaching this point in a relationship, we no longer see ourselves as two separate people but rather come together and share everything that comes along with it—whether good or bad.
Stage #7: The Honeymoon Phase
This is the stage where you are constantly in love with each other and never want to spend a day apart. You feel like anything is possible and life couldn’t get any better.
This might sound cliché, but this feeling will be real and everlasting. In this stage, it can be hard to be anything but completely happy all the time; after all, you are dating your soulmate! But as every good thing must come to an end, so does the honeymoon phase.
The average length of this phase is six months. After six months, couples enter what I call The Reality Stage. They realize that they have differences that need to be worked out and feelings about certain things that don’t line up with their partner’s feelings.
For example, one partner may believe in marriage while the other feels marriage is outdated or doesn’t believe in it at all. No matter how hard these two people try to please each other on this issue (especially if they share children), they just cannot seem to find common ground.
Stage #8: The doubting phase
Dating is a lot like being on an amusement park ride. You never know where it’s going to take you.
One minute you are in the car, strapped into your seat, and the next minute you are totally spinning out of control with no idea what’s going to happen next. It’s exciting and scary at the same time.
And that sense of uncertainty, that thrill of not knowing what will happen next, is one of the reasons why dating can be so much fun!
But not everyone understands this feeling; it takes some people a while before they feel comfortable enough to start dating in earnest.
A date is just a date after all. A first date might seem pretty harmless until things start getting more serious or if you have the wrong expectations about what dating entails (e.g., meeting parents).
The doubting phase can sometimes last for weeks or months and that’s okay because it gives us time to get used to the idea of being single again or becoming involved in another relationship (or both!).
If we spend too much time doubting ourselves, then we will miss out on all those great adventures waiting for us ahead.
Stage #9: Commitment and Stability
Once you have made the decision that you would like to begin dating someone, it is important that you are clear on what your intentions are. If they are just looking for a fling, then they should know that this is not what you want to hear.
You might be looking for someone who wants the same things in life as you do: marriage, children, and stability. Those should all be discussed before moving any further into the relationship.
The more you discuss these expectations with them, the less likely you will find yourself disappointed when you realize that one person’s idea of love doesn’t align with yours.
It can take anywhere from 6-9 months before most people decide whether or not they want to continue their relationships with others.
Be sure to listen carefully during those conversations about where each other see themselves 5 years down the line so that there is no confusion about how committed each party is.
At the end of the day, dating is a series of interactions between two people who are trying to decide if they want to be in a relationship with one another. When dating starts out, it is usually just about having fun, getting to know someone and seeing if there’s any chemistry.
However, as time goes on, you may start looking for more serious relationships that might lead to marriage or having children. It’s important to keep an open mind when dating so you don’t limit yourself from finding your perfect match!
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