Monday, June 17, 2013

Goin' steady

A few weeks ago, I laid out the three phases of dating for Theradate. I felt like he needed some ground rules to help him understand my expectations for how he should behave, as well as how I was interpreting his behavior. Specifically, I told him that I thought he wanted some of the emotional benefits of Phase 2 without taking on the responsibilities that go along with those benefits. Or, as Slinky has succinctly put it more than once, "I'm just amazed by how clueless he is sometimes." Indeed.

Phase 1: The "casual dating" phase. You are probably both going out with other people, and you're not sleeping together (at least, that's MY rule -- obviously, different people have very different rules about this). You're figuring out whether you like each other, and probably seeing each other once or twice a week. This phase usually lasts a month or two.

Phase 2: Once you've decided that you like each other and are ready to move to the next level, you progress to phase 2, the "trying the relationship on for size and seeing how well it fits" phase. You have a conversation about being exclusive. You meet each others' friends. Your dates start to occasionally last more than 24 hours and involve weekends away together. A lot of relationships meet their demise a month or two into Phase 2 when it become apparent that it's just not a match.  If all goes well, after four or five months you slide naturally into Phase 3, no conversation necessary.

Phase 3: Phase 3 is exactly like Phase 2 but more permanent. Eventually, it leads to marriage, babies, a mortgage, and of course eternal happiness.

My sister has always said that she loves Phase 1. She thinks it's fun to kiss without it leading to anything more, and go on fun dates, and get to know the person. I, personally, find Phase 1 to be torturous. There's just so much uncertainty involved. You have no idea if the person you're seeing is dating other people they like; you really don't have any clue whatsoever where you stand with them. During Phase 1 with Theradate there were stretches when we had to schedule a new Diff Con every single week. It was exhausting. (In fairness, before it sounds like I was horribly miserable during this entire time I should add that while I did feel a lot of anxiety during Phase 1, I also had many, many moments of feeling happy and excited.)

Granted, there's still plenty of uncertainty involved in Phase 2. And granted, Theradate and I have only been in Phase 2 for about 24 hours, so it's a little bit hard to know yet what it'll be like, or how many Diff Cons it will involve. But I have high hopes :)


  1. I have to say, I enjoy phase two infinitely more than phase one - it has all the excitement and a bit less ambiguity as to how you feel about one another. Glad to see Theradate step it up!

  2. So far, the 72 hours or so of Phase 2 have been AWESOME :)