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The Talking Stage is probably the most frustrating part of dating, mainly because in a lot of cases, it ends up being a waste of time and effort. If you are actively dating, you’ll probably have one or more stories about Talking Stage.

I recently caught up with a friend who had been speaking to this guy, she believed they great chemistry and compatibility and also built a good friendship. There was no doubt in her mind that she had secured a relationship. After 8 months of talking and getting to know each other, he turned around and said he needed to work on himself and figure out what he wants. As you can imagine, this came as a shock to her, but she went to therapy and is working on getting herself back together

I don’t blame people who are reluctant to do the ‘Talking Stage’ because Investing emotionally and/or physically in someone for months and not getting any return is daunting; especially when it is happening repeatedly.

However, I do believe the ‘Talking Stage’ is necessary because you need to get to know the person you are dating. Figure out if you both want the same thing and whether you are compatible enough to start a relationship. Personally, the issue is not the ‘Talking Stage’ itself, but rather staying too long in it. Here are some ways to avoid and unnecessarily long ‘Talking Stage.

Be Clear About What You Want from The Start

Lack of clarity about what you want or expect from a dating situation will have you going with the flow. While going with the flow can be fun and good vibes, you really need to know where the flow is going because it might not end up where you want or expect.

If you want a relationship, make it clear from the start and move accordingly.  A situation I come across a lot is people will say what they want at the start but will end up just accepting whatever they can get. Don’t say you want a relationship but then agree to just being ‘exclusive’ or accept the response “let’s see how it goes”.

Make your expectations clear and refuse to settle for less. When you do this, you leave nothing to be assumed. Either they go ahead with what you want or the leave. Either way, you will not be stuck in a long ‘Talking Stage’ which not going anywhere.

Have a Timeframe in Mind

I constantly see people who get into the ‘Talking Stage’ and decide to go with the flow, without questioning the other person’s motives. Without a timeframe in mind, you could easily be in the ‘Talking Stage’ for months – Especially when you are interested in the person and enjoying good vibes. You will convince yourself that something will come out of it. This is what happened to my friend, she thought they were best friends, and that a relationship was inevitable; but after 8 months of talking, the only outcome she got was him saying “I need to figure out what I want. You’re a good woman and I don’t want to hurt you”

In my opinion, If you are focusing on the right things when getting to know your person, the ‘Talking Stage’ should not last longer than 3 months – especially If you are texting, calling, and going on dates consistently, that is more than enough time for them to decide if they want to be with you.

If after 3 months you are still catching vibes, but the dating situation has become stagnant, you need to start asking questions about what their intentions are and what they want. If you get responses like , “I don’t want to rush into anything”, reiterate your expectation and start walking away.

Give Based on Commitment, not Feelings

When you give too much during the ‘Talking Stage’, you run the risk of becoming overly invested and potentially finding yourself in a situationship. This is a great example of people who describe their relationship status as ‘complicated’. Relationships aren’t complicated, people are.

When we like someone, it’s easy for our feelings to get the best of us. The slightest bit of affection or attention and we’re off planning what the future will look like. Solely investing based on how you are feeling can be dangerous, emotions are complex and you may find yourself attached and stuck in the ‘Talking Stage’ longer than you should be because things have not gone in the direction you were expecting.

The way to avoid this is to give based on their commitment to you. Avoid giving relationship benefits without a relationship. If they are not showing the consistency and ultimately the commitment to be with you, then be cautious on how much you give to them. Remember, until they tell you it’s official, you are still single. This will help you not get attached and remain in the ‘Talking Stage’ longer than you should.

Hold Them Accountable

One of the most dangerous things to do when dating is making excuses for people’s behavioural patterns.

Doing this will keep you going round and round in the ‘Talking Stage’ for a long time. You’ve both been talking for almost a year, but you only have ‘It’s complicated’ to show for it. They disappear and reappear days or weeks after and you always find a way to justify it. They are not emotionally available yet you convince yourself you can fix it/them. If you do not stop to question their intentions, it just reaffirms to them that you do not value your time, they will continue to do the same and nothing will change

If you are not sure where you stand, ask. Make clear what you will not accept from the start and reiterate this throughout the ‘Talking Stage’ if you have to. I understand in some cases, you might fear coming on too strong or fear losing them. If holding them accountable will cause them to leave, then they never really intended on being with you.

A person that wants to be with you will move accordingly.

Be Ready to Walk Away

Fear of loss is the biggest issue that keeps most people in the ‘Talking Stage’, this comes from a scarcity mindset. You have the fear that if you lose this person who ticks my boxes, where would I find another? Therefore, you settle for a long ‘Talking Stage’ instead of demanding for what you really want and deserve. You are giving more than you should in the hope of convince them.

This fear of loss and negative energy can be felt by the other person, who may continue to push your boundaries as they know you won’t walk away. The longer you stay, the less likely they will give you the relationship you want, instead they are thinking “if I can get all these benefits without commitment, why would I need a relationship?”

When dating, your desire to gain must be bigger than your fear of loss. If they cannot give you the commitment you want, be ready to walk away. It shows you know your worth and value your time. Also, the longer you stay in a situation that is not good for you, the less chance you have of finding the right person for you.

As I mentioned earlier, the ‘Talking Stage’ should not last longer than 3 months. It will not take anyone who wants to be with you that long to decide.


The ‘Talking Stage’ is a steppingstone to the relationship you want. That being said, you still need to intentional with it.

Just because you are both attracted to each other and like each other does not mean you will both want the same thing. Avoid getting carried away and getting caught up in your feelings and make sure you focus on the right things instead; you will find that walking away from unfruitful talking situations will undoubtedly increase your chances of finding the relationship you want.

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