A Guide to the Stages of Dating

10 06 2013
Photo Credit: brixhuntsville.com

Photo Credit: brixhuntsville.com

Despite the fact that many of us claim to not know how to date, taking all emotions out of it (I know, hard task!), the process of dating can actually be quite easy.

And while there’s always exceptions to every rule, I’ve found that the following stages tend to apply to most. You may decide to skip one or two of these, just like some folks skip bases when going from 1st to 4th on the baseball analogy of sexual contact, but that doesn’t mean those stages don’t exist.

So let’s jump right in:

The Meet-Cute

It may not have actually been cute; it’s just however you and the other person 1st met and decided that you wanted to see if this could be a more than friends kinda thing. This is the same stage whether you met online, through a friend, at the grocery store, club, whatever.

The First Date

YAY! You two have decided to go on a date. That’s awesome, but one date does not equal dating just yet. You may decide that this person is the last guy or girl you want to see again, and then should they still be counted as someone you dated so early in the game? I say no.

Getting to know you…

This is that all important, grey stage somewhere in between date one and say, date 4 or 5. You both know there’s some sort of interest level there but you’re still kind of feeling each other out, processing the things you like and don’t like. If you ran into someone while with the person, you wouldn’t necessarily introduce them as “such and such, who I’m dating,” but you wouldn’t call him/her a friend either.


Okay, you’ve both decided this is something you may want to pursue. But you’re not exclusive yet… thus you are now, officially, dating. There’s no pretense of who’s turn it is to call or a question of does he/ she like me. You’re still going on dates outside, but there may be some inside your home instances as well.

Seeing each other.

You’re exclusively dating.

Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Significant Other

You’re seeing each other and have started making plans together. Little or big, they can be vacation plans or deciding on where the next city you two live in – either way, your decisions no longer just effect you. Of course, the amount of how much they effect the other person depends strictly on your relationship.

Marriage/Living together (optional)

Not everyone gets or want to get to this point, and I hesitate to speak on it since I’ve never been married, but it’s an option for where a simple meet cute can lead to. Some consider this the ultimate commitment. Home plate, if you will.

So those are what I consider to be the stages of dating. Do you agree? Disagree? And do you think I’ve missed anything?




2 responses

10 06 2013

I’ve been stuck on one… for a very long time. Sheesh.

10 06 2013


I’ve been stuck somewhere between one and three for the past year. And prior to that, I was doing a weird, awkward repeat of stage four for 2 years. I seem to be going backwards lol.

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