1. Dazed and Confused
Like a child learning how to walk, you're not quite sure what your next step will be. Gone are the days when you meet a guy in school or in your neighborhood. The quest for your next date goes beyond where your eyes can reach. Think Tinder! What does "Swipe Left" mean again?
2. Clueless and Awkward
Congratulations on finally taking that overdue dip into the dating pool! Don’t worry about being awkward though. It's perfectly normal, especially if you're just starting to date again. There will be hits and misses, winning moments and embarrassing small talk, but keep your head up high, The best is yet to come.
3. Getting to Know You
So, you’ve narrowed down your options to a single individual, and you’re starting to get to know him via the best sleuthing method created by modern man: social media stalking. This is the time when you send screencaps of your convos or his FB pics to your friends’ chat groups. However, this is also when people start playing mind games. Because both parties are hesitant to show their feelings, they propagate the myth of unavailability. For example, they're always busy or there's always lead time before one or the other responds to messages.
4. The Development
You've gone past the first two dates—a crucial stage that determines if a person is really dateable. You now go out on breakfast, lunch, or dinner dates sans the awkwardness. You feel more comfortable with each other and you’re probably not seeing anyone else.
5. Limbo (Part 1)
Here’s the phase where you don’t know if you guys should jump into exclusivity and make things official. Most likely, at least one of you carries emotional baggage (or trauma) from a former flame that keeps your connection from rising to a higher degree—a relationship. You either determine the relationship (DTR) or keep on going with the hulaan portion.
6. Officially Official
After surviving DTR, you both decide that you’re both set for couplehood. You update close friends via technology, and of course, you update your Facebook relationship status. This is where L-O-V-E really happens. What follows is a series of phases, namely: the honeymoon phase (drunk in love), the power struggle (who wears the pants), and the plateau phase.
7. The Rocky Road
Relationships aren’t always smooth-sailing. You and your Significant Other will encounter issues that will either make or break you guys up. This is also the time to assess if the both of you are still on the same page—are you still in love with each other?
8. Limbo (Part 2)
Besides the relationship problems you will have encountered during the seventh stage, limbo may strike again. This is when one of you will wonder when you’ll both sign the permanent contract: As one considers the idea of marriage, the other avoids it and leaves it floating in the ocean of untouchable topics. After waiting in vain, one bursts with bottled-up emotions and does DTR part 2. The question is, will there be a ring?
9. Separate Lives
Yikes! Looks like you didn't come out alive from the seventh and eighth stage. Don't fret, though. Sure, you’ll go through the depressing and funny stages of breakup, and finally go back to stage one—but you know how the game goes. You’re wiser now.
10. Totally Committed
You and your beau know that love is not just a feeling but a choice—and you’ve both chosen to love each other. You’ve accepted everything—both the good and the bad. There is a proper balance of the three elements you’ve struggled with in the past: power, excitement, and love. You think marriage means happily ever after, but you guys are just getting started—adventure awaits! Just always remember that more than lovers, you and your husband are best friends and partners.
SCREENCAP: Sleeping With Other People/IFC Films (2015); GIFS: Giphy