Up until recently, there were clear steps and procedures when it came to dating. Couples would meet, court each other, and either get married or break up. In the modern world though, the stages of dating are not so clear cut. With modern technology and the internet, the dating pool is bigger than ever before, and you don’t even have to leave your room or change out of your pajamas to meet your soulmate.
Many things about dating have changed, to say the least. Traditional stages of dating and courtship are out, and it’s time to look at what dating in the modern world looks like. If you’re currently looking for someone, or are in a new relationship, we’re here to help you navigate.
Here are 5 modern stages of dating you should know about.
Stage 1: The First Connection
You can meet someone the traditional way- through the circles you’re in, or in a public place. In the modern world though, getting to know someone can start with something as simple as reaching out with a short text message. Sure, you might not be able to get straight into those in-depth discussions just yet, but you can sometimes tell a lot about a person just by looking at their profile and shooting each other messages.
In a post-pandemic world, meeting face-to-face isn’t something we can all do easily anymore. This isn’t all bad though, because the first stage of dating now isn’t the physical meeting, but simply making a connection. First impressions are still important though, so really let your personality show in your online and text persona.
Stage 2: Physical Connection and Intimacy
The next step in the process is meeting in person! However, with long-distance or international relationships becoming more and more common, this isn’t always the second stage. Furthermore, when a couple chooses to engage physically really depends on them. But with our modern society’s more liberal view on physical connections and intimacy, this can happen much sooner than it used to. Some might even skip the first date and go straight to the bedroom- after all, the physical connection can be important in figuring out how compatible you are with each other. On the other hand, some people are perfectly fine with only having physical relations without any romantic connections, so figuring out what you want beforehand can save a lot of confusion and heartbreak.
Stage 3: ‘Dating’
Dating can mean different things to different people. Some may use the word when they mean a serious relationship, and to some, it’s completely casual. You’re allowed to date multiple people at the same time before figuring out who you really want to be with, or maybe you’re not looking for anything serious at all and just want to have fun. How you view and define ‘dating’ is up to you, just talk to your partners to make sure they’re on the same page.
Stage 4: Discussion
The key to any successful relationship is communication, and it’s a good idea to start early. This is necessary whether you’re in a casual or serious relationship, so it’s a step you really shouldn’t skip! Topics to discuss with partners can include things like sexuality, life goals, how much you’re willing to commit, etc.
Be open and honest with your intentions especially when dating multiple people. Modern relationships are a lot of trial and error, and it’s wise to figure out early on what’s right for you.
Stage 5: Defining the Relationship
The final step of dating is entering a relationship, and for many people, this can feel daunting. When you and your partner decide to embark on this journey together, define the relationship to give yourselves the best chance of success! Are you exclusive? Is there a more unconventional kind of relationship that suits you better? How will you refer to each other? Is there anything you’re worried about? Ask these questions and then set rules and boundaries to follow.
Remember, your partner is also your teammate in your life’s journey, so work together, communicate, and most importantly, have fun!
The way dating and relationships work has evolved a lot over the years. Plus, the way people view and behave in relationships can also be very different depending on their backgrounds. Modern dating can be difficult and complicated to navigate at times, but knowing the stages of dating can take the guesswork out so you can focus on building meaningful relationships. Do any of these five stages resonate with you?