Dating Stage Meaning (Each Stage And What They Mean)

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dating stage meaning

Whenever you start seeing someone, the early stages of your dating can be a confusing experience that is prone to over-analysis and quite often…uncertainty. 

You might find yourself wondering: “we’ve been dating, but where exactly do I stand in the dating stage?“

When it comes to dating, it isn’t a one size fits all kind of scenario; there are quite a few different stages of dating. Keep reading to find out what they are and what each dating stage means.

What is the dating stage?

This is often the first stage in your relationship. It is the stage whereby you meet your potential love interest, go on a few dates, send and get love texts, buy or get flowers, call it quits, maybe reconcile again, or even get bored and call it quits altogether. 

One thing you need to know? There are several stages in dating. Let’s jot them down.

What are the 5 stages of dating?

There are several stages of your dating relationship. You might want to know, when is it that we should get serious? Is there really a honeymoon phase in our dating? Is this the right time for me to ask whether we should take our relationship to the next level? And so on and so on. 

Here we are going to elaborate on the 5 stages of every dating relationship.

5 stages of dating

1. Getting Attracted

This is the first stage of dating. It plays a crucial role in determining whether the connection between you two can develop into something more meaningful. This is often known as the honeymoon phase.

This is the stage where you are swept off your feet and you often find yourself being triggered by a dopamine rush whenever you see them. 

You often find yourself in a bewildering stage of infatuation, and you might even -gasp- find yourself falling in love with them. What do you need to know in this stage of dating?

Obviously, there is nothing really serious here, so experiment! Don’t shy away from trying new things, even those outside your comfort zone. And most importantly, have fun!

2. Getting Comfortable About the Relationship

This is the next stage in your dating relationship. This is the stage at which you have both attained a certain level of ease with each other. Here you think it is the time to give the relationship a chance to grow. You may even have developed a certain emotional relationship with each other.

The initial elation of dating someone could now be fizzling out. You now start seeing the flaws of the other person, and you might have thoughts about whether you are both a good match for each other long term.

Here is often where most relationships fail. However, the positive news here is that if you make it past this stage, it is a good indicator that your relationship is headed on a positive trajectory.

3. Let’s Get Exclusive

This stage of dating is marked by when both of you feel that you have a desire to date each other exclusively. You both want to take your relationship to the next level and give and receive love without competition. You want to spend more time with one another and grow your relationship.

This stage begins with a chat between both of you to stop seeing other people and be committed to one another. Don’t make the assumption that this comes about naturally without both of you talking about it and coming to an agreement about it.

4. Intimacy and Bonding

Once you are past the exclusivity stage, you find yourselves sharing a deeper sense of closeness and intimacy. This is the point where you both decide to be vulnerable to one another. This is where true love begins.

At this stage, you share both emotional and physical connections and look forward to regular physical intimacy. Getting intimate and bonding with your significant other is always a lifelong journey. Here both of you should continue to grow closer to each other and feel the joy of increased physical contact and a deeper emotional connection.

5. Finally Engaged!

A couple getting engaged in the beach
A couple getting engaged in the beach.

This is the final stage of your dating relationship. This is the stage of engagement and blissful love. This is where both of you decide to take your relationship to the final stage and pledge a lifelong commitment to each other.

This stage always proceeds before marriage. There is a higher level of commitment here. This is the time for a couple to practice before they are married.

Every relationship has its ups and downs. As the love between both of you grows, so do problems and pressures. The important thing is to have a solid foundation for your relationship.

How long is the dating stage?

Every relationship is different. However, on average, the dating stage in a relationship is three months. Some take much longer, while for others it’s shorter, even a one-month period.

Dating stages for men

A man smiles at the woman he is dating.
A man smiles at the woman he is dating.

Men and women experience love and approach dating differently. While women usually experience a strong affection for their love interest as soon as she meets a guy that she likes, for men, they experience it differently. Men typically go through the following stages.

  1. Attraction: It’s common knowledge that men are drawn to a woman’s physical appearance, and this is often the first stage.
  2. Crush: Here the man develops a crush on a certain woman. Though men are attracted to many women every day, they do not develop crushes on all of them.
  3. Making an Impression: This is the stage where he wants to pursue the woman and make an impression by taking the girl on romantic dates and buying her gifts.
  4. Reaffirmation: Once the woman has fallen in love with him, this is the stage where the man reevaluates their relationship and decides whether this is the right woman that he wants to spend his time with.
  5. Time for love: This is where the man decides that they are both a great match, so he decides to take the relationship to the final level. He decides to commit.

Dating stages for Women

Couple dining in a restaurant and toasting with cocktails
Couple dining in a restaurant and toasting with cocktails.

Women go through the following stages of dating:

  1. Attraction – She is initially attracted to the man
  2. Hesitation – This comes right after attraction when she starts to feel uncertain as to whether the man could make a good partner.
  3. Determination – The woman feels that she has made a good choice and is ready to create a romantic relationship.
  4. Intimacy – She opens up and shares her innermost feelings, and the man does the same. She is ready for love.
  5. Commitment – She is sure that she has made the right choice and is ready for marriage or a long term partnership

Stages of a relationship by months

I’ve spent the better part of my ink jotting down all the stages that you go through in your dating life. At this point, I know you might want to get to know about the monthly timeline of your relationship. 

Point to note? Every relationship evolves in its own unique way. This just gives a general timeline for most relationships.

So let me do a quick recap of the stages. The first one is the “getting attracted” stage. This is generally 0 to 6 months. For men it is instant. You get immediately attracted visually to the woman and you decide to pursue her. For women it can take some time as they get to know the person.

The second stage – “getting comfortable about the relationship” can vary. It’s generally 3 to 8 months in the relationship. You’ll start to notice flaws once the honeymoon phase wanes out.

The next stage, “let’s get exclusive,” generally falls around 5 months to 12 months. Some couples are slower, while others decide that they are a good match for each other quite fast.

The next is the ”intimacy and bonding” stage. It is generally around 6 months to 24 months. This is a period of closeness.

Finally, for those “married or engaged” lovebirds out there, this stage is for you. Finally Engaged! Many relationships don’t reach this stage. Some fizzle out, some match perfectly and go on. Time period?… 12 months to multiple years or till death do us part! 


Navigating through your dating journey can be a puzzling experience. However you need to know that it’s a process all along – from the first time that you checked them out to the time you pitched that marriage proposal.

As I conclude, it is important to note that the most crucial thing while dating is to take things one at a time. Let your dating relationship develop naturally and be open to see where it leads to.

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Over the years, Stephanie has had her fair share of dating experiences. While some turned out great, others weren't so great. She believes that relationships are meant to be fun, exciting, and full of laughter. She wants to help men and women become confident, attractive, and successful in their romantic relationships.