Dating. It is complicated, yet magical. Almost every adult wants to pursue it, so much so that 30% of US adults use online dating sites.
In 2021, the modern way of dating has certainly changed from when your parents may have pursued a romantic interest.
But, how so? Have relationship stages and dating phases changed that much compared to the old way of doing things?
Read on to learn the stages of dating today.
This is when things are still a little more casual between you and a partner.
You have at least been on a formal date with each other, which can be any time that the two of you have spent alone in a romantic setting.
In this stage, you are still getting to know your partner.
One or both of you may be hesitant to have sex too quickly, but this is generally the stage in which the two of you will do it.
Sometimes, desirable partners or “players” may even go out with someone else on the side because the two of you are not technically exclusive at this stage, but this varies.
Exclusively in a Relationship
After a few weeks, and in most cases, a couple of months, one or both partners will want to put a label on things. This is when you start calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend.
Here, you should recognize that you do not want to see anybody else and that dating your partner is more than just physical assuming you two have had sex multiple times before this.
This is when people want to make things “official” and usually comes a couple of months into when you start dating.
Either right before or right after this begins, you may even start to say “I love you.”
The second dating stage can last for several months, or even a few years depending on when you are ready to advance to the next stage.
After being exclusive for most likely years, there will eventually come a time when one or more partners will want to legally bind with each other for what is supposed to be forever.
This is when you pick out that expensive ring that can be a few months' salary to give to a partner.
This is when you vocally express to a partner that you intend to truly make a life with them.
You may start talking about buying a home and raising kids together in this stage.
The honeymoon period of being infatuated with each other should wear off by now, so you should truly connect with a person to do this.
Also, this may be the stage where you start living together. However, some do this late in Stage Two.
This is when you officially tie the knot. If you reach this stage, you ideally should be in a state of limerence.
This is when you are madly in love with your partner.
Because of this, you should not be able to picture a life without them.
Marriage has you legally and financially tied to somebody else.
But ideally, you should be making a life together by buying a house, having children, and combining your two families to become one family.
Go Through the Stages of Dating
Now that you know the stages of dating today for yourself, it is time to take action and find your partner. Want to find out how?
Read our Marriage/Relationships articles.