Things You Should Leave in 2022 Pt. 2

Things You Should Leave in 2022 Pt. 2
Photo by Janne Simoes / Unsplash
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I'm taking a small break. Next week's newsletter will be a roundup of the top newsletters from 2022. I'll be back with new content on the 10th of January.

The problem with the "talking phase" is people take it too literally, which is why it should be left in 2022. During my dating break, I decided I wouldn’t go through another talking phase again. My new philosophy is that we’re either dating or not. There is no in-between, and there is no talking phase.

Dating doesn’t mean that we’re committing to each other. And it doesn’t mean that we’re not seeing other people, but it does mean that we both want the same thing. In my case, that was a long-term relationship, and we’re in a place where we want to learn more about each other to determine if we’re a good fit.

I’ve gone through plenty of talking phases, and none has ever led to a relationship or got me close to a relationship. How many of your talking phases have led to anything substantial? I often get comments on TikTok from people saying they can’t get past the talking phase. I’d argue that if you’re in a talking phase, that's as good as it was ever going to get.

Talking phases are really good at helping you build an emotional connection with someone. More often than not, that emotional connection makes it difficult to determine whether you’re friends or building something more. And it’s so often that you’re just good company, and they’re making a real effort with someone else.

The people who are willing and able to give you a relationship want to take you on dates. They want to learn what it’s like to be in your presence. They want to be able to look you in your eyes while having deep conversations about your childhood and past relationship experiences. They want you to know that they’re serious about you. They don’t just want late-night texts, and FaceTime calls on their lunch breaks.

Don’t kid yourself into thinking that maybe they want to take you out, but they can’t for some reason, whether financial or otherwise. Dates don’t have to be expensive, and if something prevented them from asking you out, they’d communicate that to you because they wouldn’t want you to be confused.

This isn’t one of those “if they wanted to, they would” spiels. You and I know sometimes people want to do things, but they just can’t. You might want to run a marathon, but you can’t if your leg is broken, can you? That’s why at the start of the 5th paragraph, I was careful with my wording and said, “people willing and able to give you a relationship”. Those are the ones you want to date, assuming you want a relationship.

Talking Phases are for people who only want companionship, people who don’t know what they’re looking for or want the benefits of a relationship without actually committing to one. They’re comforting, and sometimes we feel like they’re better than nothing, so we cling to that little connection, even if we know deep down that it’s not going anywhere. Been there, done that, it's not worth it.

Dating apps have helped normalise the talking phase. This is ironic, given that dating apps were created to help you connect with people to date. The problem is that there are plenty of options on dating apps. Because there's so many options, too many people try to talk to as many people as they can for as long as they can before going on a date.

A better approach would be to get a few good conversations going and move those conversations to a date (or video call if you’re more comfortable with that) as soon as possible. Date goes well? Great. If it doesn't, it's back to swiping. The end goal should always be to meet for a date as soon as it’s practical and safe to do so.

On Valentine’s day, I'll do one big newsletter with every personal dating app tip, lesson, and mistake since I started using dating apps 3 (or maybe 4) years ago. For now, my advice is to limit how much time you’re willing to talk to people before going on a date. There’s no rule on how long that should be. It’s whatever you feel comfortable with.

For me, that limit is a week, two weeks if you live in a different city. I think it was after our third date my boyfriend said he was glad that we met quickly and didn’t spend much time talking online. I replied, “yeah, you only had two weeks to ask me out”. I told you I refused to do another talking phase.

Limiting the amount of time you’re willing to spend talking to or even dating someone doesn’t just apply to people you meet on dating apps. It applies to people you meet in real life too. And it's the only way that you can keep yourself from the ridiculously confusing dating limbo that we know as the talking phase.

As we go into 2023, don’t allow yourself to be unsure about where you stand with people. The next time you find yourself on the cusp of a talking phase, be upfront about what it is you want.

That sounds like, “Before this goes any further, I want to be sure that we’re on the same page. I’m looking for a relationship. Is that something that you want?”There's no guarantee they'll want to be with you, nor you them, but at least you won't be getting your hopes up for something that will never happen.

See you in 2023.