Exploring the Talking Stage: What It Is and How to Navigate It
What is a talking stage? For many, it is an in-between space filled with flirting and uncertainty. However, a Matchmaker & Love Life Coach explained why the talking stage of dating is nothing to be feared and can be good.
In the modern-day dating landscape, many people wonder what they are or where they stand with their romantic interests. Cue the talking stage. From social media influencers to experts, many have tried to define this romantic version of a no man's land.
While it offers the opportunity for some flirting and getting to know someone, there is also the lingering feeling of not knowing where you stand in the relationship. However, Matchmaker & Love Life Coach Sarah Louise Ryan explained why the talking stage is so important and how to navigate it successfully.
A couple talking. | Source: Getty Images
What Is the Talking Stage of a Relationship?
Due to its vague nature, the talking stage can be challenging to define. You may stay up until the early morning hours, eyes glued to your phone screen, as you cannot stop talking to that special someone.
Other times, you might be wracking your brain trying to figure out what to say and dreading when your phone message notification goes off, as it means you'll have to keep pulling teeth to keep the conversation alive.
In other situations, the talking stage isn't just talking. It can include dinner dates, sleepovers, and sometimes sex. Before you know it, you're months in, have a soft spot for his pet, and have met his parents without ever asking, "So what are we?"
A girl laying on her bed and using her phone. | Source: Getty Images
The talking stage can be seen as a preview of the official relationship. During this time, feelings develop, and you can finger-pick through their characteristics, hoping to avoid finding a dealbreaker. Some believe that the talking stage is when one or both parties emphasize the importance of maintaining a positive dating dynamic.
This falls within the first three months of the relationship, during the period known as the pre-relationship talking stage. It is believed that at this stage, the couple understands that going on dates, regular communication, making each other feel special, showing respect, and building trust are crucial.
Others believe the talking stage offers a more relaxed and enjoyable dating experience without the pressure associated with traditional dating. The situation is more common among Gen-Zs as they have learned to navigate ambiguity comfortably, place less emphasis on titles, and embrace fluidity in their connections.
A couple conversing. | Source: Getty Images
Matchmaker & Love Life Coach Revealed It's an Important Stage of Any Relationship, and Here's Why
According to Ryan, instead of seeing the talking stage as something to be dreaded, one can use it to set the tone for the future relationship. During the talking stage, which she said usually lasts a month, you can create excitement as you explore your potential partner.
The talking stage is an essential foundation for a potential romance.
The talking stage also allows you to siff through their red flags, although she recommends focusing on the green ones instead of being on the back foot. However, she expects people to have the essentials of dating at the back of their minds.
A flirting couple playing footsie. | Source: Getty Images
If they aren't asking you any questions but are enjoying yours, taking their sweet time to respond to your texts or calls, or aren't looking for something serious when you are—do not walk, run. Ryan added:
"The talking stage is crucial to building respect, rapport, and trust, which is needed to form the foundations of something that could be more significant. Communication, in all things, is crucial, so start as you mean to go on."
And if you're in the talking stage with more than one person, use it as an opportunity to thin the herd and only leave room for the right person. "Don't hold back on your wants, needs, desires, curiosity, and even your intentions for your romantic future," she said.
A woman whispering in a man's ear. | Source: Getty Images
Pros and Cons of the Talking Stage
On the one hand, the talking stage is a great way to get to know someone. By clarifying your intentions, you avoid wasting anybody's time, including yours.
According to experts, The talking stage is an essential foundation for a potential romance, as communication is crucial in building a healthy and successful relationship.
The talking stage benefits individuals with an avoidant attachment style, who prefer maintaining distance and avoiding commitment. This stage allows them to keep people at arm's length, avoiding intimacy and companionship.
Two people using their phones. | Source: Getty Images
However, the talking stage can prove fruitless if not approached genuinely. Being honest and genuine to oneself during this phase is crucial, as getting to know someone authentically is essential.
For individuals with an anxious attachment style, characterized by hypersensitivity to rejection and betrayal due to past abandonment trauma, the talking stage may not be an ideal approach to dating.
A woman crying. | Source: Getty Images
How to Navigate the Talking Stage in a Relationship
If you want to come out alive and on the other side during the talking stage, you need to be brave and not be shy or beating around the bush when it comes to having tough conversations.
Clear communication is crucial in the talking stage to avoid misunderstandings. Both parties should be honest about their arrangement's terms, conditions, and duration to prevent misinterpretation.
A couple in each other's embrace. | Source: Getty Images
Once you have communicated clearly, you must set and stick to boundaries. However, it would be best to express your true feelings to transition from the talking stage to a more committed relationship.
While it may not guarantee a formal relationship, being upfront about your feelings can save you time and heartache. Remember, there are always plenty of options, so feel free to let go if it's not the right fit.