Confused about the stage of your relationship you are at right now? There are no level-up celebrations that will help you understand the level you are at with the other person. So how can you guess whether you are still on a talking stage or in a relationship?
Talking is generally the first step of the relationship. The length of the talking period varies on the time two people take to get comfortable with each other. It can either happen in a click or can take months.
The difference between dating and a relationship is that dating is like having someone to go out with, and a relationship is like having someone to come home to!” There are basically three stages of falling in love or committing to someone, which include talking, dating, and being in a relationship.
So what is the difference between the three, and how can you tell each one of them apart? Let us find out!
Table of Contents
The Talking Stage
We talk to a lot of people every day. These might include our neighbors, colleagues, classmates, or people we see regularly. However, often we come across a special person, talking to whom feels delightful. We want to talk to them every day, to great lengths. However, they may or may not have the same feelings. This determines the talking stage.
If the person you are interested in talking to shows the same interest and enthusiasm, you are probably at the talking stage of the relationship. It generally starts with Hi-Hello and then goes up to the stage where you start commenting on each others’ images.
The talking stage for most people starts with social media sites, and then gradually, they exchange numbers. Also, people generally prefer to chat initially and then shift to talking on phone calls after their talking stage advances to the next level.
In the beginning, you often talk about each others’ basic interests and likings and try to gather information about each other. Slowly and gradually, the topics of the talk become sharing everyday events with each other and expressing feelings. So if you feel that the other person has started doing serious talks with you, openly expressing their feelings and sharing their deepest secrets with you, you surely are advancing on the talking stage.
Identifying if the Talking Stage is Romantic or Not
Some people often find it difficult to understand whether they are talking as friends or more than friends. Let us now understand the difference between talking as friends and advancing your relationship.
Chatting is flirty– If a person is interested in you, their chat will be full of compliments and flirty messages. As and when the talking stage advances, the flirting intensifies. This is usually the most exciting stage of the relationship.
Extra effort in chatting– Normal chatting is different, and chatting with feelings is different. A person who is developing feelings will use a lot of emojis and will dedicate songs, poems or romantic quotes, etc., to you. Also, they will take time out of their busy schedule to talk to you. Your chats will be filled with cute good morning and good night texts, and the chats will be interesting, with romantic or flirty images.
Regular calls– Advancement of the talking stage can be identified by regular calls. If they call you almost every day before going to sleep and inform you about your day and all its events, they are probably into you.
Note: However, all people are not the same. Some talk to many others at the same time, and some have a nature of flirting. If you want to be clear about the stage where your friendship or relationship is, you can be clear about your feelings from time to time and ask them upfront about theirs.
The Dating Stage
When two people get to know a lot about each other and decide to take their relationship to the next level, then comes the dating stage. This usually starts with one date, which is often more than two friends just hanging out. If the date feels romantic and they put in extra effort for you, like getting dressed up, bringing gifts, or taking you to a fancy place, they are probably expecting the relationship to advance by adding spark to it.
At this stage, the other person often finds out excuses to meet you. They may show up in front of your college or office and ask you to meet them every now and then. You can go together on movie dates, long drives, or even short vacations.
At this point, things might even take a physical turn. If both of you show interest and consent, you can step up from holding hands to hugging and then kissing. If the other person feels as elated as you do, your relationship is definitely advancing to the next level.
Differentiating Talking and Dating
With the help of the following facts, you can identify if you are still stuck in the talking phase or are advancing to the dating stage. This is what a dating stage looks like-
Chat become offline than online– While the chats in the talking stage are online or on-call, the chats in the dating stage become offline. You like to talk to each other in person, and the conversations become more intense. At this phase, you generally know what is going on in the other person’s life on a daily basis (if they are honest and loyal to you.)
You explore places together– Dating is exciting, as you get to explore new places with each other. You do special things such as checking out a new restaurant or going to the saloon together. Your schedule is filled with coffee dates, movie dates, bar dates, etc., all with the same person.
Dates become frequent– As things become more intense, you two go out on a date almost every day or so. It is not mandatory that you go to special places every day and spend a lot of money. You can just meet in a park or outside your college and talk your heart out.
Things may get physical– When we like a person and meet them regularly, it gets difficult for us to keep our hands to ourselves. Thus, you can start showing affection to each other through hugs, kisses, and even sex. This takes you to the next stage- relationship.
Note: Dating can also be casual, depending upon the nature or preferences of the other person. So you must clarify your feelings and expectations before getting too serious or committed.
The Relationship Stage
The final stage is the relationship stage, where things become official. You are officially in love, and you start telling this to your friends and even your family if they are open about it. The relationship can begin with a proposal done by you or them, or you two can smoothly drive into the relationship stage without any official announcement.
However, this is the stage where you know that now you two are committed to each other and that there is no scope of flirting or dating with anyone else, as it will be considered disloyalty or even infidelity (depending on what expectations you two have of each other.)
As the relationship stage advances, you two start talking about more important things, like your career goals and your future with each other. Some people also believe in telling the world, so you or your partner might start posting pictures together on social media and change their relationship status to “In a relationship” on Facebook or other social media platforms.
If you are living individually, you might even move in with your partner in the same house. This is the next level in a relationship which means that you are ready to try living together and you are thinking of a strong future together.
However, the line of difference between dating and a relationship can be very thin, especially in the initial months of the relationship. In such a case, you need to talk openly about your relationship status with your partner.
You must talk about your expectations, future plans, and your status at present. You also need to ensure that your partner feels the same way as you do and that they are ready to invest in the relationship completely.
Parameters of Differentiation between dating and relationship
If you want to analyze whether you are still in the dating stage or have advanced to the relationship stage, there are a few parameters that can help you do so. If you are confused and are getting mixed signals from your partner, the following traits will help you understand their level of seriousness in the relationship.
Relationships are based on mutual agreement and trust. However, dating is not the same, and it can be a casual affair, fling, or even infatuation. When in a relationship, you cannot see other people or be romantically involved with them. However, if you are in the dating stage of a relationship, you are allowed to go on dates with other people as well.
While some people think of dating to be a serious affair, it is a casual fling for some. Thus, to identify whether you are dating or are in a relationship, you must understand what the other person’s ideas are. If they are talking and meeting up with other people as well, then you are still at the dating stage and lack exclusivity.
The type and intensity of communication differ when you are in a relationship or are dating. While dating, you take about the regular things and events happening around you. You make plans for the next date, and you may or may not talk to each other every day. The frequency and intensity of communication highlight whether you are in a relationship or are just dating.
However, in a relationship, you communicate every little thing to your partner. This includes your preferences and the things you dislike about them. Also, it becomes a heartfelt duty to inform the other person of your whereabouts, which party you are going to, and what friends you are hanging out with. It is not the same in dating.
Commitment is one of the major facets of a relationship. It is the key that makes an affair a relationship. When two people commit to each other and decide to stay together and build a future together, it is called commitment. However, it cannot be found in dating when people are not 100% sure they want to stay together for the rest of their lives or not. So to be in a relationship, commitment is vital.
When in a relationship, the expectations from your partner surely take precedence. You expect them to take care of you and your emotions, keep you informed, make you a part of their endeavors, etc. Also, there are future expectations, which can include moving in, marrying, or developing a career together.
However, expectations in dating are limited. You cannot expect a person to not talk to others or marry you when you are in the dating stage. Also, they can go anywhere without informing you, and you cannot complain. Thus, their expectations from you can help you identify whether they are serious or not.
Your priorities change when you are in a relationship. While dating, you prioritize other things such as friends, activities, work, solo time, etc. However, when in a relationship, you give primal importance to your partner.
So if your partner is making you a priority and taking out time for you even from a packed schedule, you are in a relationship.
There are no hard and fast rules to talking, dating, and relationships that are universally applicable. Every person is different, and so is every relationship. For some people, there is no talking stage, and the relationship starts directly from the dating stage. On the contrary, some have to stay put on the talking stage for months or even years before finally coming into a relationship!
However, based on the tips and facts given above, we hope that you can get a lot of clarity on your relationship status and your love life.