Drama-Free Relationships: What on earth is the “talking” stage?

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Without realizing it, this new millennial generation seems to have created a whole new step to dating: The Talking Stage. I’m sure most people in this generation are thinking “well duh…I know what that is”, but I’m finding that this part of the dating game isn’t quite that easy to understand.

Perhaps we’ve become more careful in our dating decisions, so we’ve added this step as a way to to get to know someone before making it official, but is has some confusing aspects that can cause drama where it is unnecessary (as drama always is).

A dear friend of mine recently had a situation in which she found out that the guy she was “talking” to for 6 months went to lunch with another woman. Her immediate feelings at this were of hurt; she felt deceived and even questioned whether or not she could trust this person because she found out from another source. It could very well have been an honest mistake: a simple lunch with a friend. We don’t really need the details here and I’m sure some readers are already forming a rebuttal. What I’m pointing out is WHY she felt hurt. In order to feel hurt, someone must think that the other has done wrong. But who says the act was wrong in the first place? How can you break a rule without knowing it existed? This is the problem with the “talking” stage…lack of communication. We don’t always know how committed someone is or if it’s OK to seek other interests at this stage. After all, the definition of this stages states:

When two people are not exclusive with each other nor have established what they are as a couple, but have some sort of relationship. When two people like each other and are getting to know each other better,but are still single.
The Urban Dictionary
That exclusivity really depends on the two people involved, it has to be discussed. If it hasn’t been discussed and a similar situation arises, how can you be sure you have a right to be angry? So for this situation, who knows if the guy was being a scumbag or if it’s just a matter of misunderstanding? Women generally tend to assume exclusivity right from the beginning, but men usually don’t. Some gems do…but it all varies.  The best way to avoid all the drama is to simply stop assuming and to start communicating. Men and women have drastically different thought processes, but we still make assumptions based on how we think ourselves. We just have to keep in mind that we all think differently. If you reach a point where you’re ready to be exclusive, you should just express that. Sure it can be scary to just bring it up out of the blue (trust me…I know), but nothing worth having is ever really achieved without risk. And starting the relationship off with good and honest communication, surely, is the best start to a strong foundation as well as a means to escape worrying over nothing (especially you ladies!). So if you are in this stage of a relationship, do the title some justice and start talking.
The “Gem” I’m dating currently had some very wise words from the man’s perspective:
Men are stupid; we don’t understand hints very well. If you want a ring; just say so. Hinting around with “I want something shiny” will probably get you a toaster.
with Love,
Sav
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