One day, you meet someone you have an undeniable attraction with. The next thing you know is that you’ve exchanged contacts and have been chatting it up since. But you still haven’t gotten out of the talking stage, and now you’re wondering how long it will last.
So, how long should a talking stage last? Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. There’s no one-answer-fits-all! It depends on the quality of conversations, compatibility, amount of red flags, attachment style, level of comfort, and the context of the relationship you have with the person you’re talking to.
In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about the talking stage, how long it should last, and how you can navigate through it with your heart intact. Read further for more!
For those who aren’t well-versed in the world of modern dating, the talking stage is when you have established a mutual romantic interest with a person and will now get to know each other on a deeper level than what friendship usually requires. Simply put, it’s dating without the expectations and pressure.
The term “talking stage” is actually coined by Gen Zs as a means to avoid full-blown commitment, especially for those who are only looking for no-label, non-exclusive relationships. Basically, it’s a relationship without the relationship title. It’s a different form of dating torture, really!
However, it’s also an important and greatly helpful phase to determine whether or not the person you want to potentially date is the right one for you. It’s best to grab every opportunity you have to know more about them before committing to a relationship with them.
How Do You Know When You’re in the Talking Stage?
Since the phrase “talking stage” is sometimes used very loosely to refer to any point between introductions with someone and the official dating phase, here’s how you can tell that you’re in the talking stage:
- Having consistent conversations with the person
- Sharing personal experiences and stories
- Getting to know each other on a much deeper level
- Expressing romantic interest every now and then
- Expressing interest in each other’s lives and overall well-being
- Sense of mutual excitement and enjoyment
What are The Unwritten Rules of the Talking Stage?
If you want to safely navigate the talking stage with your heart intact, consider abiding by these unspoken rules:
- Setting clear boundaries.From the very beginning, you and your potential partner should establish boundaries, such as the topics you’re comfortable talking about and the level of emotional attachment you desire.
- Make your intentions clear. Talk it out whether you want a committed relationship later on or you just want to have fun and keep things casual. It’s best if you have a clear direction of where your potential relationship is heading.
- Keeping things light but meaningful.Strike a balance between the conversations and the getting-to-know process. You shouldn’t dig too deep into the past and current problems, but you shouldn’t discuss only surface-level topics either.
- Understanding it might take time. The talking stage is a period of exploration and getting to know each other more. Have substantial conversations and spend time with each other, if possible. Learn everything you can before getting into any relationship.
- Respecting each other.It helps move things forward and makes you bond deeper if you view each other in high regard and respect each other’s personal space and time. Even if things don’t work out in the end, it’s best to still have respect for each other.
How long Should a Talking Stage Last?
Yes, I know, the struggle is real! It’s difficult to tell the most appropriate length of the talking stage should be. For some, it can be as fast as a few weeks and as long as a few months—there’s no one answer that fits all!
However, you can get a vague idea of how long it should be depending on a few factors. Luckily for you, I’m here to discuss every one of them:
1. Quality of the Conversations
The quality of the conversations you have with your potential partner is the essence of the talking stage. What exactly do you guys talk about? Is it deep or just surface-level information? Are you open and honest with each other? Are they interested in the things you say and vice versa?
If you have consistent, meaningful conversations with them and the two of you click on so many levels, the chances of moving forward from the talking stage to dating are highly likely!
This is because you both are fostering a profound and authentic connection with each other. You talk about simple things, such as how your day went, but you also talk about your passions, hobbies, goals, and even about the past. And you do all these things with each other without any hint of fear of being judged.
If you’re wondering how long a talking stage should last, it also depends on your compatibility with each other. This factor is crucial because it determines how likely you’re going to become in a relationship with your potential partner.
After having meaningful conversations with them, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you share the same interests and/or goals in life?
- Do your beliefs, values, and morals align?
- Do you talk out any conflicts you have with each other?
- Do you both value each other’s individuality?
- Are you comfortable with each other?
- Are you physically attracted to each other?
- Do you harbor no doubts about your feelings?
If your answer to all these questions is yes, both of you are quite compatible and would likely move on to having a relationship really fast. In this case, the talking stage won’t last longer than about three months, as long as one of you initiates to take it to the next level!
3. Amount of Red Flags
The talking stage is the best time to identify red flags or inconsistencies before you suffer through them in an actual relationship. Make sure you establish open, honest communication with the person you’re talking to so that they’re comfortable enough to reveal more of themselves to you.
With that said, if you decide that your potential partner is a walking, talking red flag, then it’s probably best to end the entire thing with them right away. Alternatively, if they think you’re a walking, talking red flag, then expect that the entire talking stage will last just as short.
4. Attachment Style
Attachment styles can also influence how long a talking stage should last, as it determines how deeply you connect with the person you’re talking to and how fast you can get comfortable with them. Understanding your own and, if you’re fortunate enough, your potential partner’s attachment styles can greatly help you.
- Secure and anxious attachment styles.If you or your partner is leaning more towards these styles, the talking stage should last quickly because it’s not difficult for one of you to become trusting and comfortable with the other, thus increasing the chances of entering into relationship territory.
- Disorganized and avoidant attachment styles.People with these unhealthy attachment styles find it difficult to meaningfully connect with others, so expect that the length of the talking stage varies on the consistency of their push-and-pull behaviors.
5. Level of Comfort
How fast did you guys become comfortable with each other? If it took (or is taking) a while, then the talking stage might last for a little longer. Alternatively, if the both of you just see a future together, then you might move on to the next level relatively quicker.
This is why transparency is important, even in the talking stage. Be real about what you feel, discuss your expectations, and encourage the other person to do the same. This will greatly help you understand where you both want the relationship to go.
6. The 3-Month Rule
Surely, you’ve heard of the unspoken 3-month rule observed after breakups, but it can actually also be applied to dating. It’s not exactly a “rule” that everyone should follow, but it’s a great basis to know how long a talking stage should last once you get to know someone.
Basically, the 3-month rule is a period where you and your potential partner test to see if a relationship together is possible in the future. You gauge your compatibility, get to know each other more, and determine whether it’s a good idea to move forward.
These three months will give you ample time to get over the “honeymoon phase” or initial excitement you have of being romantically interested in someone new and start seeing them in a more serious light. Take note that if this time is not enough for you, you can go beyond the 3-month rule!
7. Context of The Relationship
Consider the contextual factors that shape your relationship with the person you’re talking to. For example, if you are long-distance with this potential partner, the talking stage should be a little longer, especially if you don’t see each other in person that often and you mainly talk through texting or chatting.
Other factors to consider are previous relationship experiences of this person to know more about their character. Were they a cheater? How did their last relationship end? Are they on good terms with their ex-partner(s)? If not, why? Have they fully moved on? Try your best to get to the bottom of these!
These are crucial because they determine the time it requires for you to establish connection, compatibility, and trust with your potential partner. Additionally, past experiences that did not end well would mean that your talking stage will be longer due to factors such as readiness and healing.
If you feel like your relationship isn’t improving, you feel like they lack interest in you, or they explicitly told you that they don’t want to be in a relationship with you in the near future, then all signs would point that the talking stage should last short—if they were brave enough to end things with you.
On the other hand, if they kept the jig on quite too long or if they kept giving mixed signals about their feelings for you, there’s a possibility that the talking stage would last a while. Keep in mind that this is also a big red flag!
It can be quite difficult to let go, especially if you invested a lot of time in getting to know the other person more, but don’t worry because you deserve better. This is the universe’s way of telling you that there’s someone out there that’s made just for you.
What to Consider Before Moving Past the Talking Stage?
If you feel like you and your partner can move past the talking stage and take your relationship to the next level, you have to consider asking yourself these questions first:
- Am I ready for a committed relationship with someone?
- Do I find spending time with this person enjoyable?
- Do we share the same morals, beliefs, and personal ethics?
- Would my closest friends and family members like this person?
- Are we on the same page in current and future life goals?
- What’s my gut feeling when it comes to this person?
Evaluate your feelings and take into account what you really think about this person. Don’t make hasty decisions, and make sure to think carefully and critically!
How to Move Past the Talking Stage?
Getting out of the talking stage and getting into a relationship is a whole new different conversation—one that I will be having with you by telling you how you can do so using the following tips:
- Be honest about your feelings.Remind the person you’re talking to that you’re romantically interested in them, and let them know about your desire to move the relationship forward.
- Take the initiative. You know that they say you’ll never know unless you try—and this adage can also be applied to dating. I know it’s nerve-wracking, but save yourself from being potentially ghosted or from getting your heart broken.
- It’s okay to be rejected. It’s absolutely nerve-wracking to go ask your potential partner whether or not they want to be exclusive with you, and it’s even heartbreaking if they don’t feel the same way you do. But that’s alright! It’s all part of the dating scene.
- Timing is important.Moving forward too fast and initiating that you guys enter a relationship may scare your potential partner, but moving too slow can also be misinterpreted as a lack of interest, which is why you should find the right timing.
- Define the relationship.This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for—the turning point. Be clear about your expectations and intentions with your potential partner. Then, define the relationship by asking if they’re ready for commitment or if they want to part ways instead.
What Happens After the Talking Stage?
It depends on how you and your potential partner define your relationship. Ideally, the dating stage happens after the talking stage. With this, you can either date exclusively or non-exclusively, which is another aspect that you have to communicate openly and honestly with your partner.
As you two integrate into each other’s lives by spending more time, expectations in the relationship increase, making the possibility of a full-blown committed relationship even greater. Again, this is what ideally should happen after totally clicking with the person you’re talking to.
It is also possible that after the talking stage, you two would become just friends, friends with benefits, or strangers all over again. It solely depends on the direction you both want to take.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should you talk every day in the talking stage?
Yes, but it isn’t necessary. For me, it’s quality over quantity on any day! The quality of your conversations trumps the amount you have of it. However, it’s still a bonus factor if the conversations are not just substantial but also consistent because that’s when you know the other person is truly interested in you.
2. How do you politely end a talking stage?
By communicating your thoughts and feelings honestly and openly with the person you’re talking to. Let them know that you’re no longer interested in progressing any further into a relationship. If you want to and if the other person also agrees, you can say that you want to maintain a friendship.
3. How do you know if the talking stage is going well?
A sense of strong connection, talking about serious or deep topics, making future plans together, and giving each other positive compliments; both of you are putting in a similar amount of effort into the relationship, there is open and honest communication, and you just generally feel that everything is flowing naturally.
When it comes to how long a talking stage should last, there’s no one-answer-fits-all. Everyone moves at a different pace when it comes to the different stages of forming relationships. Again, it all depends on the person, the context of your relationship, and the circumstances.
However, I hope you got a general idea of the length of these talking stages based on a wide variety of factors so that you know what to do in your next potential relationship!
Josephine Fuller is a contributing writer for dailytimesblog.com.
She is a Licensed Relationship Therapist, and She has been researching love and relationships for over 20 years. She specializes in relationship therapy, intimacy building, and existential exploration. She’s also an astrologer who uses the stars to explore and explain her unique perspective on life. With a special blend of wit, wisdom, and insight, Josephine brings the heavens down to Earth in her writing about astrology.