You've just started talking to this amazing person, and you two are really hitting it off. You have great conversations, and the vibes are just immaculate. You text from sunrise till sunset about everything and anything, receive good morning and good night texts, and let's not forget the midnight phone calls.
However, after a month of talking turns into a year, you realize you're stuck in the talking stage. So what now? How can you move the relationship forward when it appears to be stuck? Most importantly, how can you do this without practically bribing someone into asking you out?
RECOGNIZING A TALKING STAGE
Before I get into how to get out of a talking stage, let's define a talking stage.
Talking stages have existed since courting began, but now we have a name for it. A talking stage is a phrase that Gen Z came up with that describes the "get-to-know-you" stage before two people get into a relationship. A talking stage is a point in a relationship when both parties have expressed mutual romantic interest and are eager to learn more about each other.
AM I IN A TALKING STAGE?
There are many different responses to this. But the most vital common theme, in my opinion, is that both parties would have acknowledged their interest in each other. They would have deliberately spent more time talking and getting to know each other. If you're not sure whether you're in a talking stage or not, ask yourself this question:
Have they explicitly stated that they are romantically interested in you?
If not, you're probably not talking.
A few signs of a talking stage:
You ask each other questions about your likes and dislikes
You make a few flirty comments here and there
You genuinely enjoy talking to the person
Both parties make an effort to learn about each other
HOW TO GET OUT OF A TALKING STAGE?
1. Invite Them Out For a Group Hang-Out
Inviting them out is an excellent way to learn more about who they are around their friends. As the saying goes, show me your friends and I'll show you your future. In this case, show me your friends and I'll consider a relationship with you.
This group date will provide the opportunity to:
Sus out the company they keep
Determine whether they switch up in the presence of their friends or not
Find their red flags
Hear some embarrassing stories
You can also drop hints for them to ask you out at a later date. For example: "The trailer for the new Dr. Strange movie looks interesting? I can't wait to go watch it!" or "Have you seen that new Thai restaurant up the road? The line is ridiculously long, so it must be good."
Desperation is the key that unlocks the door to comfortability (and not the good kind). Don't seem too desperate, because this makes you look like an option and not a priority. So don't be the clingy, over-affectionate girl who is just a contact on their phone. Show some interest when talking/ to or texting them, but don't fawn over them. My motto is don't double text as this leads to double stress.
Also, leave their Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook alone! Stop constantly checking whether they are online or not and when they last posted.
Remember that you are the prize.
3. Show Them Potential
Show them your value as a person, and give them a reason to keep you around. Also, make an effort to participate in things they show an interest in and then work to make it a regular activity for you two. When you express interest in their hobbies, you are expressing your willingness to try new things even if they are not generally your interests. This also shows that you are genuinely interested in getting to know them and their interests.
But—if the activity makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, let them know. Or you will mislead your potential beau into thinking you have common interests when you have none!
4. Be Your Amazing Self
As cliche as this might sound, just be you! If the person you are talking to criticizes or encourages you to change yourself to suit their ideals, block and delete their number immediately. If they genuinely liked you and wanted to pursue a relationship, they would not have an issue with you or your habits, as unflattering and annoying as they might sometimes be.
5. Let Them Breathe
Respect that they want to spend time with their loved ones and doing the things they enjoy, so give them some space to be alone. Let them continue being themselves—after all, you liked them because of who they are as a person. Recognize that you both need space in order to be interesting, enjoyable, independent individuals.
Lack of space may lead to feelings of resentment and hatred towards one another. They might also feel that you are, in a way, restricting or holding them back from being their best self.
So spend some time doing things you enjoy. Take yourself on a coffee date, read a book, do some light shopping, meditate or do some yoga.
6. Don't Rush!
The best relationships develop naturally at their own pace. Don't rush into anything before you get to know this person. Take some time to get to know each other. Once you feel you have gained enough knowledge about them, you can decide whether you would like to take things further or simply mark them as a failed talking stage.
7. Let Them Know How You Feel
In recent years, there has been a trend that insists that the first move should be made by the woman. This is substantiated by the assumption that it is more empowering for a woman to be the one to initiate contact or define the relationship. This, of course, stems from a desire to empower young women in their relationships, and it's not wrong for a woman to ask someone out. However, this leaves a lot of single people feeling uneducated, if not scared, when it comes to wooing a woman and dating.
Sometimes we have to be direct to get what we want. Especially if we have strong feelings for someone and don't want to call it quits just yet because they haven't made the moves we expected. A simple, "Hey, just so we're on the same page, I'm in a place where I'm looking for a relationship," is an honest but gentle way of letting them know that they can make a move if they want to.
8. Cut Your Losses
Sometimes the dreaded talking phase lasts a little longer than we'd like, or someone needs us to leave subtle hints that we're interested in in order to give them the confidence to proceed. If they are the right person for you, they'll notice these hints and take action. If not, you should be grateful you didn't waste any more time with someone who isn't looking for the same kind of relationship you are.
To all those in the talking stage, I hope this article gave you some clarity. Realize your self-worth and the fact that you're an amazing individual who deserves the best the world has to offer.