10 Phases of Dating

10 Phases of Dating

In March 2012, a friend of mine suggested that I write about the confusion that many of us in the ‘modern’ world (whatever that means) will invariably face when it comes to dating. So at her request, I decided to create this post, called the ’10 Phases of Dating.’

Since then, I’ve been intrigued by the response I’ve gotten. It’s been overwhelming.

Everyone, it seems – single or taken – loves to talk about dating. They love to analyze it, share their stories and experiences, and read about it. As a result, I am now in the process of creating my first-ever eBook, which will be aptly named ’10 Phases of Dating.’

Until then, you can read this blog for a teaser. It asks and answers the questions that we’ve all asked at one point or another:

What’s the difference between talking and dating? What is talking anyway? Aren’t we all talking sometimes? And what about when you’re ‘talking’ but you’re not official, but you’re closer to official than you are to talking? What if you were just ‘hooking up’ but started to like the person?

Each of these questions is addressed – maybe not answered – in this post. The rest of it? Well, you’ll have to wait for the eBook!

1. Single – You’re not seeing anyone, she’s not seeing anyone. Simple, right? No. Single also means that neither of you are emotionally complicated – talking to an ex, hung-up on an ex, or pretty much anything involving an ex. You’re 100% available – on Facebook and in your bitter little heart.

2. Messing Around – When the going gets really rough, people with equally low expectations and significant dry spells tend to team up and mash genitals for a while. If your self worth is low enough, this person may also eventually become your significant other. Hey, what else are you gonna do? In due time, you’ll divorce that person or just allow the complacency to carry over into a hate-filled marriage. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

3. Scheming – This is a step-ahead of messing around because scheming usually means that you might actually like the person – they just might not know it yet. So you step up your Facebook stalking (don’t lie to yourself, you know you do), ask about them a bit more and maybe throw an extra text or two their way. It’s non-committal, but it allows you to ‘scheme’ and see if it’s something you want to take further.

4. Talking – Our parents still look at us cross-eyed when we tell them that we’re ‘talking’ to someone. Because what the hell does that even mean? It means that you finally had the balls to ask the person out – maybe even more than once – and have moved past full time scheming. ‘Talking’ is more like ‘part time’ scheming.

5. Limbo – Talking, depending on the frequency of your meetings, could go on for a couple of weeks to beyond a month. And if it does, then you’re not exactly talking anymore. Now you’re kind of in limbo. Are you dating? No. Are you going to date? Who knows. Do you even want to date? Uhhh…yeah, you’re in limbo.

6. Dating-Not-Dating – While limbo has more questions than answers, ‘dating-not-dating’ implies a certain level of optimism that the situation may escalate to a full-fledged relationship at some point. It’s just like dating – but it’s not.

7. Exclusive – Okay, now we’re making progress! Exclusive is a phase that, at any given time, only one of the parties knows is officially happening. When your friends are tired of hearing about what you are or aren’t, telling them that you’re exclusive is your way of saying ‘I’m not dating anyone else, I actually like this guy, and if he’d just sack up, I’d let him be my boyfriend.’

8. Relationship! – Whether you were invited to it on Facebook, were introduced as his girlfriend, or were asked the ‘good old fashioned way,’ this is the mountain top experience for many of you. You’re official, and you’re now entitled to be annoying by calling each other ‘babe,’ ‘baby’ or ‘poopie,’ making the rest of us wish we’d never supported your dreams of love in the first place.

9. Make or Break – It’s serious, but is it the one? If you stay in a relationship long enough, you’ll cross this bridge. And make sure you choose wisely – because good enough just isn’t good enough. Forget forever – even 10 years is a long freaking time to be with someone, especially if they have an annoying laugh, can’t cook, or fart a lot.

10. Successful Marriage/Divorce – Why would I pair these two together? Well, the odds of either one happening are about 50/50 as it is. And they belong together because if you don’t work hard enough at the first one, then you’ll invariably be left with the second one. So remember. Choose wisely. If you can, avoid phase 2, and eat your vegetables.


David Berry is a Miami-based copywriter who has delivered writing solutions for a wide set of clients with a diverse range of needs. From books (fiction and non-fiction) to blogs, feature stories and everything else in between, he’s written for restaurants and retail clients, hotel chains, cosmetics companies, universities and more, as well as magazines, Fortune 500 companies and numerous entrepreneurs.

Berry has an MBA from Florida International University and draws passion for his craft from a wide base of interests, as he’s also a NASM certified personal trainer, former stand-up comedian, and volunteer, having won Miami Children’s Hospital’s 2011 Volunteer of the Year award while raising more than $100,000 for the hospital’s Radio Lollipop program.

Get in touch with him on Facebook and Twitter, or email him at iamdavidberry@yahoo.com.

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