If you have a romantic crush and you have been giving and receiving subtle hints, it may be time to move a step ahead.

The next step will be to shift from the crush stage to a dating period.

A dating period is a phase prior to a relationship. Dating can be divided into two categories:

1) Dating: which means one is dating a lot of people on a regular basis as does not have any particular person yet. Dating a variety of people generally means looking out for that someone whom you would like to date for a second time and go ahead further.

2) Dating someone: means an individual is dating somebody specific, looking for a connection. It’s a time to understand each other and decide whether you are like-minded enough to start a relationship. Throughout this phase, you ought to spend a lot of time together in anticipation to hit upon a committed relationship. During this state of affairs, you are not committed and once you feel you are not on the same wave length, you can have a conversation and there is no breakup and no heart breaks.

How to move from crush to dating:

1) Do not stay in the friend zone for too long. Make a shift and ask out.

2) Build emotional intimacy. Stay close and spend time together

3 ) Be a mystery without playing hard to get. Let them crave for you.

4) Don’t be too quick to announce your step to others. Dating can be a sensitive period where you recognize the vibe of each other. Many things will change as the zone changes.

5) Be patient. Do not rush your feelings. Understand the other person, at a snail's pace.

6) Once you are comfortable in your new zone, you can declare to your friends and family about the transformation in your life.

7) Decide your limits. Dating is not the stage for physical intimacy, and definitely not for sexual intimacy. If forced by partner for the same, reassess your standing.

Stages of dating

1) The first rendezvous: When you ask your crush out, this is the first date, generally at a public place, alone or in a group. It may be doing any activity that you both like, or just visit to a cafe. The key motive is to embark on a new period and to get acquainted with each other.

If this goes well, you may ask for further dates. If this does not go well, it may be talked about and that could be the end of this stage.

2) Kick-off: If the first date goes well and you wish to carry on dating, then begins knowing each other through long phone calls and meetings. At this point both make an effort to impress each other by being the best version. Flaws and difference in nature are, by and large, overlooked. Moving unhurried in this period, recognizing the imperfection and choose to what extent you can be flexible can help in continuation of the dating period. Physical affection in the form of holding hands, hugging, kissing, cuddling is important to feel closeness and connection.

3) Reality: Deeper connection is established by now. You are aware of each other’s weakness and are adjusted to it. You are ready to change for the other person and vice versa. This is the period of complaints, disagreements and fights. Emotional intimacy is getting stronger. Apology and problem solving with understanding and maturity take place. You know how much you can handle and whether you are ready to go ahead in your relationship after knowing the natural and real side of the partner. Don’t push this stage to go further. You can discuss commitment here but don’t be quick to jump there. As you move ahead, taking a u-turn will be extremely heartbreaking. This is the deciding stage.

4) Commitment: After going through the previous three stages, you have developed understanding of each other’s nature, a maturity to handle problems; you are aware of each other’s habits and are ready to accept the person as they are. You may begin to discuss your future plans of career, job, finance and engagement and marriage. You reach this stage after facing a lot of hurdles and issues. This is the last stage to decide continuation. There should be no looking back from now. You must commit only if you are 100% sure. Therefore you normally reach this stage after months or may be years. This is the stage of acceptance, promises and lifelong relationship.

How to decide if you (both) are ready for commitment?

1) You are extremely comfortable with each other and your wavelength and vibes are in sync.

2) You accept each other with flaws and acknowledge that no one is perfect.

3) You are comfortable with each other’s families and they accept you as a part of their child’s life.

4) You have maturity to understand that you have to spend time making your career and focus on future. You respect the dedication of each other.

5) You can maintain the balance between various aspects of your life.

6) You have transparent communication and are able to convey your opinions properly.

7) You handle clashes with maturity and are able to sort your issues in a healthy way.

8) You are able to patch up soon and don’t hang on the fight. Apologizing is easy for both of you.

9) You accept each others’ friends as well.

10) There are no insecurities. If any, have been sorted out or talked about already.

Certain important points

~ do not change the status just to have physical intimacy

~ do not begin the relationship under pressure of family and friends.

~ consider deal breakers in the relationship(coming soon)

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