Why the Talking Stage Sucks

The talking stage ─ we’ve all been there. Love it or hate it, it’s become an inevitable part of modern-day dating culture. Before we can fully commit to someone and call them our significant other, we have to get to know them first through several months of dates, phone calls, text message exchanges, and more. While this period of time exploring the possibility of a brand-new relationship is often thrilling and fun, it’s also extremely complicated and troublesome. Personally, I think that the talking stage sucks for several reasons.

1. You act like a couple, but you aren't officially a couple.

You hold hands, cuddle, even kiss here and there. You go on dates and fall asleep on the phone. You act like you’re in a relationship ─ but the catch is, you aren’t. This is extremely hard to deal with, especially when you begin to develop real, strong feelings for the other person. They aren’t officially yours yet, and they have every right to be talking to other people.

2. There are no definite boundaries or standards.

Because the other person isn’t officially your boyfriend/girlfriend yet, you never know whether or not you’re doing a bit too much. Will I scare them away buying them this gift? Am I being too clingy by telling them that I miss them? Also, you don’t know what their intentions with you are. Are they looking for something serious, or are you just a temporary fling? Again, this is extremely difficult to deal with if you have strong feelings for this person, because it’ll leave you overthinking and feeling extremely anxious all the time.

3. Everyone is confused (including you).

“Aw, you and your boyfriend are so cute!”

“Well, he’s not really my boyfriend.”     

“Oh, so you guys are just friends?”         

“Not really…”

When people ask you about your new boo, you don’t really know what to say. You’re obviously more than friends, but you definitely aren’t a couple. It leaves you in a tricky spot and you’re left scrambling for the right words to describe your complicated situation.

4. It might not work out.

Some people can talk for months, almost up to a year before they decide to officially start dating. But sometimes, it doesn’t always end up so happily. Things might not work out between the two of you, and you’re left wondering why you wasted so much on one person. It’s a lot of effort getting to know someone and investing a lot of time in them, and it is really upsetting when you feel like all of that energy has been wasted.

5. If and when it ends, there's no real closure.

Again, because this person is not really your significant other, “ending things” with them is just that ─ it’s not officially a break-up, so you feel horrible if you’re super sad over it. When things end, you’re just expected to move on and act like nothing happened ─ after all, the person wasn’t really your boyfriend/girlfriend, so why should you feel sad? The thing is, labeled or not, feelings develop and those feelings are real. It’s normal to feel sad, but it sucks because there’s really no closure since it wasn’t a “real” relationship.