Does this story sound familiar? Boy meets girl and they exchange contacts. They start having conversations and it all gets exciting. Suddenly, however, or sometimes over some time, the energy fizzles out and they are back to being mere acquaintances, or even worse, strangers. Does this sound familiar?
Lately, there have been a lot of conversations about the concept of “talking stages”. We’ve all had some sort of experience around this and as we get older, we’re bound to come across it more, but how exactly is the whole talking stage thing supposed to work?
The talking stage loosely refers to the period between meeting someone who’s a prospective partner and making the decision whether or not what you have is something worthwhile. It’s a period where you get to know the basics about them and have conversations that might help you figure out if you’re compatible for something more.
When we meet someone new, especially someone we like, a rush of emotions fills our bodies. These emotions more or less cause us to be excited by this person and oftentimes, make us begin to imagine the likelihood of a tangible relationship with them.
We have no idea who they really are beneath what we see and our first impression is all that we have to go by, but for us, this is enough to spur us to want to get to know them more.
This is where it gets tricky.
During this talking stage, we begin to find out more about them than we initially realised. This can be fascinating, in the event that they like the same things we do, or absolutely devastating otherwise – imagine they don’t like fried plantain.
Somehow though, it does seem quite disappointing when these talking stages don’t turn out the way we expect. So much so, that we say that they are failed talking stages. I don’t quite agree with this.
On one hand, honestly, I believe it’s impossible for talking stages to fail. This is because their purpose is to decide whether or not this person you’ve met is worth getting to know deeper or even making a commitment to.
Whether it is you or them who decides that it is no longer worth the shot, it’s really nothing to lose sweat over. Talking stages are about testing the waters and if it isn’t right for you, then it is the best time to move on.
I mentioned it in an earlier blog post but many of our friendships or relationships are not going to turn out perfectly and that is okay. If the talking stage is ending, then let it. You both deserve someone
On the other side of this coin though, the reality is that we’re humans and human beings can evolve. This evolution often happens from our interaction with other people. My point? Save for a few obvious non-negotiables, there’s plenty of room for change during the talking stage.
Don’t be so quick to cancel out the possibility of a person eventually being better than you guessed from the initial conversation. If you think they’re worth it, then you should give them some room to thrive. Give some space for a little flexibility and you might end up with a happier outcome than you imagined. Unless they don’t like fried plantain, in which case, there’s really no coming back from that.
No one has a map to how relationships are supposed to work and we’re all just figuring it out as we go. Some talking stages will crash and burn and you should let them. Not everyone deserves your time, and that’s okay. They probably deserve someone else too.
Just remember to be kind. You may not be able to control whether or not it turns out great with a person, but you’re entirely in control of how you treat them.