Dating. There's someone for everyone in the world, but let's be real, relationships are messy, weird, and confusing. For those of us who wouldn't know a relationship if it smacked us in the face, here are the stages of a relationship.
"Hi, What's Your Name?"
Whether through a mutual friend, at a party, or in class, this is the first time actually meeting this person. You don't know each other, so formalities are exchanged- names, age, where you're from, all small talk. In your head, you think to yourself, They're cute.
Sending flirtatious smiles and making good first impressions are big here. This is also where you tell your mutual friend how attractive you think this person is and see if they could do some detective work and find out their opinion on you. (Does he think you're cute too? etc.)
Social Media Exchange
You've run into each other a couple of times now. Eventually, someone is going to make the move to ask for some sort of social media- Snapchat, Instagram, maybe even exchange numbers. You'll start talking through text a lot and getting to know each other more. In this stage, you're gonna ask each other a lot of stupid conversation starters. Some of these include:
What's your favorite color/food/hobby/ etc.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Any question is acceptable here- it's just to keep the conversation flowing.
Finally, someone will ask the other person if they want to 'hang out.' This could be going to a movie, chilling at home, or grabbing a bite to eat, but remember this isn't specifically a date. It's like dipping your toe in the water and deciding whether or not you want to dive into the pool. Hanging out is a pre-date.
Do you like this person over text and in person?
Is it awkward?
Is this person potential boyfriend material?
Dating But Not DATING.
If hanging out goes well, you might go on a proper date. This is the test of whether or not chivalry is dead. Does he pay for you? Open doors for you?
You'll go out more and more often and make time just to spend with each other. However, there's a lot of confusion that comes with this stage. In the midst of all this time spent together, you'll start to question where exactly the other person is expecting this 'thing,' to go. After all, you're just seeing each other. There's no actual label on it. This leads to our next stage.
"So, what are we?" The dreaded question.
Labels. This is basically the conversation where you and your significant other determine if you want exclusivity, casualty, etc. It's usually awkward and uncomfortable, but it's important to get some clarity. If all goes well, you could end up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. If this is the case, feel free to continue onto the next stage.
If not, well then looks like it wasn't meant to be?
The Honeymoon Stage
It's official! You're together, and everyone knows you're boyfriend and girlfriend. During this early time of your relationship, you're boyfriend or girlfriend is one of your top priorities. All you do is spend time together and you're constantly talking about your significant other to your friends. However, try not to be too blinded by love that your guy/gal can do no wrong in your eyes.
At this point, the lovey-dovey stage of your relationship is coming to an end. You still care deeply about your significant other, but the world no longer revolves around them, and you can now admit that some things they do can irritate you. At this point, you can address your partners flaws and accept them for who they are.
It's Cool To Be Ugly
This is the stage where, in your relationship, you've been together for a while. You're so comfortable around each other, dressing to impress is like next to your least concern. In fact, no makeup and messy buns start to become a regular thing. But this stage is also the greatest because you can be lazy and ugly in front of your partner and its totally acceptable.
After this point, relationships have things like rings and ceremonies and a whole bunch of things that I'm just not accustomed with. Around this time, your relationship is heading into long-term commitment territory, which again, I know nothing about but y'all can figure it out. Every relationship is different, with its own set of challenges, so good luck and enjoy the ride.