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Talking Stage: I like you, but not yet MU

by Athena Yap

Dating? MU or mutual understanding? How about a stage before that? Alas, another relationship status emerged, and GenZ’s labeled it “the talking stage.”

Maybe you and the one you’re talking to are in a “talking stage” phase right now, and you have no idea. 

What in the world is that? It is a relationship label coined by GenZs to describe an awkward early dating stage.

The talking stage is confusing and scary for people involved in such a state of affairs. Some are just testing the waters, some only last for a few weeks, and others lead to a real relationship.

In the talking stage, you can talk to each other about anything under the sun and share experiences without feeling pressured to put a label on the relationship.

Why is it unexplainable?

It seems like two young people are infatuated with each other.

They talk for hours, it may be texting, snapping, video calling, or any form of communication, but they do not label themselves as “special” to one another. Hence, there is zero commitment. Conversations usually hover about what’s going on about your day, your school or a possible common area of interest. It’s simply trying to keep the conversation going, to vet one another if you would like to hang out on actual dates.

The awkward transition starts when you go out together to “hang and out.” Sometimes, talking just stays “talking” but sometimes one party feels you are already on a “real date.”

So are they/we exclusively dating?

It depends on the terms you agreed with the person you are dealing with. The two of you may still go along with each other even if the other is talking with someone else and vice versa. It is allowable in this term because, as mentioned, you are just talking with each other. But the catch is, maybe one of you has developed feelings already. The sad part is you are not allowed to feel jealous because he or she is not yours exclusively. 

However, you may have a deal to be exclusively TALKING to each other. Still confused? Let’s proceed to ask.

Do they/we exchange “I love you?”

The answer to that is still subject to the feelings of the person involved in the said situation. There are some “talking stage” relationships where they exchange those three powerful words, while some are not yet comfortable with it.

Is there intimacy in the “Talking Stage”

Generally, this phase is not far compared to dating because, surprisingly, two people on this talking stage could do overnights and proceed to do whatever they want, including making out and having sex. But still, there is no emotional connection. 

What’s the difference between the dating and talking stage?

Confusing as it may seem, there is a thin line between them.

When you are dating, emotions are already attached to it, probably mutual admiration or likeness.

Meanwhile, if you are just at the “talking stage,” there is still a lingering question of whether you like the person or he/she likes you back. 

The thrilling part is that if you already like the person, you can’t show it. Yet. So both of you will have to guess, wait and feel where it will lead.

Does it last?

There are very few (or almost none) stories heard from the people who underwent this stage that lasted for a long time. Perhaps, it is yet unknown if it could lead to “forever.” Probably GenZs would laugh about it for now.

Being in a talking stage is an unsure situation where you don’t know if you like the person you are texting, and likewise with that person, you have no idea if he/she likes you or just really enjoys talking to you. 

You would only know if:

  • The conversation goes on and gets more profound than usual; then it could be a good sign.
  • The conversation gets a little dry, then probably expect a ghost move.

What is the sense of the “Talking Stage?”

GenZs are known to be vulnerable. So to avoid or lessen the pain of a breakup, they came up with this phase to test the waters before fully committing to a relationship. Perhaps, GenZ’s labeled this stage to protect their feelings from the possible trauma they could experience, as they have heard from the relationship stories of the generations before them.



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