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Talking vs Dating (Which One Is Your Relationship?)

We have all been in this position at least once in our lives: it forms a part of every woman's dating experience. We have fallen head over heels in love with someone and, for the longest time, have no idea whether we're still in the talking phase or have already entered the relationship phase. 

With the growth of dating sites, it becomes easy for the lines between talking and dating to be blurred, often leading to unrealistic expectations and, sometimes, unnecessary hurt. 

If you’ve ever wondered about the differences between talking vs dating, you have come to the right place. In the following paragraphs, I break down both concepts, namely talking and dating, exploring what they both entail and their major differences. 

I’ll take you through what is seen as the pre-dating stage, mutual interest between two people and an official relationship. Keep reading to find out more. 

What Does Talking to Someone Mean?

According to the 2019 study Disintermediating your friends: How online dating in the United States displaces other ways of meeting by Michael J. Rosenfeld, online dating is the most common way couples meet. This leaves users with unlimited options as they’re exposed to many different people from all over the world.

But what does it mean to be talking to someone instead of dating them? Well, talking means nothing more than the word: you are having discussions with someone. 

Before you start dating, you go through a talking stage where you get to know a romantic interest. While you might share a mutual interest, you talk because you want to see if both of you are in a relationship. 

However, it is important to note that in some instances, talking is done even without both parties having expectations about the future. 

This is said to be the only difference between these two concepts: the existence or lack of expectations. With dating, there are expectations that the relationship will lead to something more than a first date. Something more serious and long-term. On the other hand, talking can be done with no expectations for the future.

With this in mind, it is no surprise that many view the talking stage as a pre-dating stage. There's no real and final commitment and no responsibilities that come with the title of dating. 

If you're lucky, you might move from talking and start dating. For others, they might hang across the bridge between both worlds, enduring what has come to be called the situationship: a long, unending and terrible purgatory. 

Talking, relationship experts claim, is not limited to a single person, nor is it limited to physical; encounters. Talking means liaising with another person or multiple people over different media, including text and messaging. 

You might become intimate with people at this stage, though it's not advised. The sexual act, however, does not guarantee any form of progress from this stage of the relationship. This leads us to date and what exactly dating entails. 

What Does Dating Someone Mean?

what does dating someone mean

From the talking stage, we take a look at what dating means. There's a stark difference between dating and talking and another huge difference between dating and being in a relationship

According to the dictionary, dating refers to engaging with someone, typically in a romantic manner. From this definition, it is easy to infer that dating means some form of courtship, which usually consists of a series of social activities performed by the individuals involved. 

Usually, the end goal of any dating spree is to get married or end up in a serious, monogamous relationship. 

Dating, practically speaking, is when people spend lots of time together, getting to know one another with a potential end goal. Much like talking, dating can be done with a single person or multiple people, as it comes with no firm commitment. 

Dating is key to building a great foundation for any relationship, and this is because with dating, you're able to create moments and special memories that usually tip the edge over from being friends with someone to having a potential relationship with them. 

Experts have split dating into two parts or stages: pre-agreement and post-agreement. The former is consistent with everything that ensues before you talk about where your dating is headed. 

The pre-agreement stage is also known as casual dating territory, and it can easily be mistaken for an actual relationship when it isn't. You might be going out on dates, talking about yourselves and even having sex, but without an official agreement, you're both casually dating and have no claims on each other.

When the talk regarding a relationship has been had, and you find you're both on the same page, you stop dating multiple people and decide to be faithful to one another in what is known as the post-agreement phase. 

The talking stage differs from the dating stage because there's no talk about potential relationships in the former, while dating is usually geared towards entering into a relationship. 

Also, talking is extremely casual, and you can be talking to a thousand and one people simultaneously. With dating, you've streamlined these numbers of people and selected a few that might align with your relationship values and what you're looking for in a romantic interest. 

After looking at these definitions, where do you fit in the most? Are you in the talking stage and looking to move to the dating phase? Are you wondering about the best way to get there without being too pushy? 

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Are you completely lost as to where you are? This article is meant for you. In the following paragraphs, we highlight 17 unique ways any woman can move out of the talking stage and into the dating stage without breaking a sweat. 

17 Tips to Get Out of the Talking Stage and into the Dating Stage

17 tips to get out of the talking stage and into the dating stage

1. Invite them for a group hangout

You might have realized that your talking stage is getting a tad bit complicated, and you need to know whether or not to keep your options open. One of the best ways to move from having chatted to being committed to each other is to hang out with him and others. 

This way, you can enjoy his friends' company and learn more about who they are around the people they care about. 

Inviting your crush for a group hangout is great because it lets you know what they think about you. You get to see whether or not they switch up in their friends' presence or treat you with respect and emotions. 

Also, you get to hear embarrassing stories you can bond over afterwards. Doing this also sends him a sign that you want to be more than just his talking buddy, and he begins to treat you as such: it is a win-win. 

2. Take your time

Yes, he might be the finest human you've ever come across, and yes, the sex, even during the talking stage, might be the bomb but relax, honey! If there's one thing a guy can smell, it is desperation; it can be a huge turn-off for many. 

You might be totally into him, but you must ensure you do not act desperate. Desperation destroys your chances of a relationship, making you look more like an option than a priority. 

To avoid being just a contact on his phone, be sure not to fawn over him. This doesn't mean you avoid showing interest but rather act like the prize that you are. Take some time before replying to his texts, and most importantly, stop checking his social media to see whether he is online or not, as well as the last time he posted. 

This is how to know you're talking to someone who wants something more. He frequently reaches out first and treats you like a priority. 

3. Be honest about your feelings

There have been many instances where guys couldn't take a hint. In these moments, your best bet will be to let him know you're interested in being more than a talking partner. An important aspect of this point is being as honest as possible and being ready for what comes next. 

Sometimes, being direct is the only way to get whatever you want. Don't be afraid to make the first move as a woman. Be honest but gentle with your approach, and always let them know that if they want to move on, they can. 

Being honest about your feelings might be the difference between staying in the talking phase and moving on to the dating or even an exclusive relationship phase. It forces the both of you to have a candid conversation about your feelings or the lack of them, enabling you to know whether or not there's a future after the talking stage. 

4. Slow down

The key to having one of the best relationships is not to intentionally rush the pace. Sometimes we take matters into our hands, rush and end up destroying something that could've been beautiful. Allow your relationship to develop naturally, at its own pace. Enjoy the moments when you both get to talk or go on dates and explore other options because you're not committed yet. 

Take all the time you need to get to know the person you're interested in, and once you feel you know everything there is to know, start putting in the effort to decide to take things further or let things go. There's no right conclusion, so don't rush. 

5. Show them potentially

show them potentially

Every human has value, whether we see it personally or not. Our value determines whether our friends, lovers and family will love to keep us around. You might be talking with multiple people but have set your eyes on one out of the lot you don't mind going further with. Now is the time for you to show him your value as a person and woman. 

Being in a relationship means you've found someone you value, which is why this is a major tip. If he loves a particular activity, it doesn't hurt to show excitement in it and strive to make it a regular activity for you. This says you're open to new things, especially those he loves. It can also be interpreted as you're interested in him and would love to know more about his interests. 

6. Be yourself

You're the prize; never forget that. This might sound like a cliche point, but being yourself is worth far more than any other thing you can try to start dating someone. 

With that being said, it might be time to say goodbye to anyone who pushes you to act or become someone you're genuinely not in the name of love. No love lives here, so be sure to block his number immediately. 

There's only one of you, and you must love yourself no matter what. Show him who you are, and if he's genuinely into you, he'll still want to pursue a relationship regardless of all your quirks and kinks, no matter how annoying they might be. 

Talking vs dating comes with many differences, but one thing remains true: when you’re yourself, it's much easier to move from one stage to the other. 

7. Give them space

In other words, let him breathe, girl. Being in the talking stage means there are no fixed commitments. This also means he is at liberty to spend time with anyone he pleases at any point in time without you taking offense. Give him the space to be alone and allow him to be himself.

It is best to note that you're both independent individuals with separate interest sets and lives, and as such, you both need that space to enjoy your own company. 

If you're always demanding his attention and time during the talking phase, there will likely be no future between you. He might feel hatred or resentment towards you, and feel like you're holding him back from being his best self, which can affect how you interact. 

8. Get busy and self-motivated

Enjoy your company. Go all out and chase your dreams, try out new hobbies or relish the old, and whenever you talk, be sure to tell him about it! Don't let go of everything you are whenever he sends you a message to reply. 

Remember that you're your own person and you have a life. Finish up what you're doing and then send him a reply: chances are, he's doing the same for you. 

Getting busy and motivated about your life is a great way to pique the desire of your crush or anyone you're talking to. This keeps him on his toes as he realizes you're not at his beck and call. It makes you more of a priority than an option in his books, and he'll most likely go the extra mile with you. 

9. Let him bring up the next stage

For most guys, bringing up the term relationship, especially when they're not ready, throws them off guard and makes them nervous. Study the person you're relating with to tell the kind of guy he is. If he falls into this category, it might be best not to discuss your feelings for him. 

Wait it out until he's ready to make the next move. Sometimes when we push forward with such topics, it causes the opposite response, where they might have been thinking about getting into a relationship but will abort the mission simply because you brought it up. 

In their mind, you're telling them what to do, which comes off as annoying. If you are in the talking stage with such a person, it is best to allow him to be the first to mention getting into a potential relationship.

10. Suggest fun dates

suggest fun dates

Do you want to migrate from simple talks and text messages into actual conscious dating? Invite him for exciting and engaging dates. And no, we don't mean inviting him to a movie where you are so engrossed in the characters and story that you hardly say a word to each other. 

Invite him for fun dates that get you both talking, such as a trip to the museum, ice skating rink, the zoo, or even a trip to the beach.

Unleash your fun side and let him have a glimpse of it by doing something that goes out of your comfort zone. If you're looking to move from merely talking to having a shot at something more, it is time to step out of your comfort zone and ask him on a date. 

11. Read the room

In this instance, read his body language and act accordingly. If he's pulling you in, do the same. If he's pulling away from this stage, pull away too. The key reason for this is you're making yourself something he can have and, in turn, making him want you even more. 

Talking vs working towards a relationship can look different since you're vying for the attention of someone who's probably talking to other girls. 

Don't humor his behavior, especially when he's breadcrumbing you with texts without making plans to meet up or spend time with you. These are red flags, so see them for what they are and pull away, no matter how much it hurts. 

12. Test the waters

We all know the differences between talking and dating, and many of us love the permanency that comes with dating compared to talking. But sometimes, we're not ready for outright rejection, or our fear is so crippling we can't be direct with our desires. Communication experts suggest testing the waters first if your words are stifled. 

To do this, they suggest bringing up a pretend third person in the form of family or friends, who keep asking about your relationship status with this guy. This might open the door for a date that allows you to have that conversation. 

While the potential of heartbreak is high, doing this might make the process of putting yourself out there much easier as you build the resilience needed to weather any situational outcome. 

Also, in testing the waters, you're able to develop a high level of kindness and respect for yourself, which is highly beneficial for any future date you find yourself on. 

13. Build trust

If verbalizing your desire to be exclusive proves to be arduous, you might decide to show him just how much of a positive influence you are in his life. The key is to develop and build trust together, even if it's only a little bit. 

On every date or talking session, be as supportive as you can, making sure to show that you genuinely care and have the potential to be an amazing force in his life. 

To build trust, you must be aware that it takes time and being intentional. It involves sharing something about yourself, whether talking about your history, family or even your goals and dreams. If you make it to the first date, show that you can be dependable by being on time and always coming through with every promise you make. 

14. Avoid talking about past experiences 

Yes, we get it. You've had exes, have been confused about past relationships, and experienced lots of emotional hurts. While it's great to bring these into the limelight occasionally, making such topics the main focus of conversation can be a huge turn-off for a guy. 

What you don't want to do to your date is constantly complain about your exes or reminisce on how perfect you both were. This is a sure way to get a guy thinking you're confused about whether you want to move on. It also shows you might not be ready to move on to the next stage, which might not be the case. 

15. Be sure you're ready to commit

be sure you're ready to commit

There are people we genuinely like and want to date because we are attracted to them emotionally, socially and physically. There are others we want to make out with. There's no need to date someone you want to make out with; thus, you must know whether or not you're ready to commit. 

If you're looking for a friend with benefits, there's no need to commit to the person. Also, if you're looking to date because you think you might not find the right person, given your age, it's best not to delve into anything as you might regret it later. 

When it comes to love and relationships, age doesn't play any role: if someone likes you, they like you for who you are, not how old you are. 

16. Flirt subtly

Flirting is one of the oldest and most effective maneuvers in the book. It's so good, and it'll never age! Spice it up a little bit by flirting subtly with the guy you're interested in, and watch how receptive he is to your actions. 

One way to know how interested a person is in your actions is when they make good eye contact or respond with similar behavior. 

Some of the best flirting acts in the book include subtle brushing of their arm, going in for a long hug, or a simple hand on their shoulder. You can include specific compliments to make them feel good, and lastly, never forget the magic of eye contact. 

17. Accept any answer you're given

Always remember that everyone is entitled to their feelings. If he explicitly tells you he's not interested in a relationship, it is best to leave it alone instead of continually asking him out. 

If you've built a friendship before the rejection, it might be time to take a step back. Try not to hang out with him for some time, and see how the friendship fares when you return. Not having a conversation for a day won't hurt either: if more, even better. 

Be sure to know, however, that in some cases, your friendship might not go back to what it used to be, and you must prepare mentally for that. Consider it a package deal that comes with taking risks. 


How long is the talking stage before dating?

Before we focus on the duration or lifespan of the talking vs dating stage, we need to know what talking means in terms of a relationship. Generally, the talking stage should last between a couple of weeks to 2 months, after which the way forward must be defined.

The talking vs dating stage is the period during which you're getting to know someone and, as such, aren't exclusive with them in any way. Depending on both of you, you might offer relationship benefits without being committed to one another, which might cause issues for one person.

It is advised that the talking stage be brief, after which open conversation is needed to know where you're headed. If you're looking to move from the talking stage, one of the best ways is, to be honest with your crush. Get him to see you personally, and let him know how you feel about him. Hold off on sex or physical intimacy until you both reach a consensus.

Does talking mean hooking up?

Talking vs dating, in the general sense, has nothing to do with hooking up. The definition is in the name: you're both talking to each other, getting to know one another without having been on dates.
What does talking mean in terms of relationships? It means you haven't made any clear intentions of being in a relationship with the person. Still, you're engaging in open communication to ascertain whether or not the other person is someone you'd love to go on a date with. The talking stage can last for two weeks to about two months, and it could fall apart at any minute without any prior warning.

In recent times, the definition of the talking stage has been warped by the younger generation. For many of these young ones, being on a talking stage means you could be going on full-blown dates and even having hookups without any intentions of being committed to the person.

This kind of relationship is a mix of texting, talking and having sex which has little to no benefits for any of the parties involved apart from orgasms.

Should you text every day in the talking stage?

Thanks to the evolution of technology, communication has evolved greatly. Now there's texting, which allows us to keep in touch with people more often than usual, eliminating the waiting time that comes with responding to phone calls, emails and even actual letters. Regarding dating, texting has changed the game forever and for good.

Texting between people can exhibit a person's interests, the presence or lack of romance, and even the existence of desire between two people, making it a great way to communicate in all stages of a relationship.

In the talking stage, you're technically just starting to get to know each other. You're not committed to each other, but there's an interest that can enable you to define what you have as time goes on.
It is important to note that when a guy engages in brief messaging, it doesn't always mean he's not interested in you. Guys are generally briefer in their messages, unlike girls.

Remember, he has a life outside of talking to you and will have his hands full throughout the day.


If you made it this far in our talking vs dating piece, we appreciate you. We know how confusing and complicated the dating stage and talking stage can be, and we hope this article gave you a tip or two you could implement to define your relationship or even get into a relationship in the first place. 

If this article spoke to you personally, and you know it will help others in equally complicated situations, send them a link. You could also start a conversation in the comment section below, letting us know the benefits any of our tips gave you: we'll love to hear from you!

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Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.


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