Once upon a time, before the invention of Tinder and unlimited SMS, trying to get into someone’s pants – we’d imagine – was a lot simpler.
But it’s not just about the waiting-three-days-to-call-back thing anymore, is it?
Because bae can see when you’ve last been active on WhatsApp and you can tell by their Instagram that they’ve been out partying all weekend and, wait, are they only messaging because they’re bored at work, or do they genuinely want to hear about your day?
It’s a veritable MINEFIELD.
And an updated dating process means an updated set of dating milestones.
Buckle up, Buttercup.
Things are about to get complicated.
1. Your First IRL Convo
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the first date. Your right swipe has led to a semi-decent messaging conversation has led to a suggestion for drinks/ dinner/ a stroll around your local park. You’re in there like swimwear!
Except… Is it going to translate to real life? What if there’s no spark when you actually have to have a face-to-facer? What if they have a really squeaky voice and you can’t take them seriously?
These are all real, genuine concerns, and if you manage to nail the first date, congratulations.
Phase One complete.
2. The First Message After The First Date
‘K we’re assuming that we’re all adults here and that you’re not going to sit back and wait for someone to text you first because that’s what they’re “supposed” to do.
But how good is it when you’re in the Uber on the way home from Phase One the first date and you get that sweet message thanking you for a lovely evening, and could we please do it again?
(Don’t be afraid to be the person sending that message either. EVERYONE LOVES GETTING THOSE MESSAGES.)
3. First Day Date
A day date generally means no alcohol/ harsher lighting/ the first chance for a hand-holding session.
Sometimes, and look, it’s a sad reality, but sometimes the banging (no pun intended) banter you two have over nachos and two-for-one margaritas just isn’t the same over smashed avo on toast and a flat white.
Never underestimate the importance of the first day date, Cinderella.
That coach may turn into a pumpkin yet.
4. When You Guys Become Facebook Friends/ Instagram Followers
You gotta tread carefully with this one, right?
Add them too early – as in, before you figure out on date two that your Maybe is actually a Heck No – and you’ve got yourself a lurker who likes every single thing you post on Instagram while you’re feeling guilty for ignoring their last three messages.
And what IS too early? Are you coming across as a bit of stalker? Do you REALLY want to give them access to those photos of an 18-year-old you with bad eyebrows and kitten heels?
Like we said, MINEFIELD.
5. The First Time You Get A Drunk Message
No, we’re not talking booty call. Minds out of the gutter.
There’s always that in-betweeny stage of seeing someone – before you’ve had The Talk – when you know they’re going out with their mates on a Saturday night and you’re kind of wondering if they’re still chatting other people up.
Then you get that random, 10pm message that they didn’t really need to send and you know you’re on their mind.
Get your coat, you’ve pulled.
6. When You Change Their Last Name From “Tinder” To Their ACTUAL Last Name In Your Phone
Or better yet, a cute AF emoji.
Look, even if you’re only going on a new date once a fortnight or maybe just once a month, it can get a little tricky to keep track of your address book.
So it makes sense to save them as Tim Tinder or Hailey Happn or Billy Bumble, right?
But then it gets to a point where you feel a little awkward because now you know their last name and you don’t need to organise them by dating app anymore.
Besides, it makes you feel like such a grown-up to have a tidy contact list.
7. Phasing Out Your Other Maybes
Which brings us to Milestone Seven: Losing interest in the other crushes/ matches/ bumbles you were half-chatting to.
You’re just having so much fun talking to bae and you’ve no free time to talk to that dentist who can’t quite commit to a date anymore.
Bonus points if you go through and delete them as contacts from your phonebook.
8. The First Time You Have An Emoji-Only Conversation
Hear us out on this one, because it totally makes sense.
You’ve relaxed enough to not be overthinking the messaging, you’re not stressed about whether or not they’ll reply to five upside-down faces in a row and it’s CUTE! Look how ADORABLE you are! You mixed up the PEACH and the TOMATO!
Plus, we all know that it’s only a matter of time until the eggplant emoji comes into play and NOW we’re having a good time.
9. The Talk
Neither of you want to be the first to instigate it; you’ve been seeing each other for a few weeks, your dates are getting closer and closer together, you’re about three nights away from just leaving your toothbrush at his house but you’re still not OFFICIAL.
Do you want to do it after a few wines or have the conversation sober? When’s the right time to bring it up? Can you handle the truth? Do you even WANT to have The Talk?
We need to have a sit down.
10. When You Disable Your Dating Apps
You guys are TOO CUTE we can’t even deal!
So you made it through The Talk, you’ve been given your Girlfriend/ Boyfriend title and you’re in that insanely irritating romantic bubble where everything is sweet and funny and you never want to leave the other person’s side.
Which means it’s time to clean up your apps.
Gaze fondly at your Tinder profile one last time, have a final, quick scan through Coffee Meets Bagel and remember the good times you had with Grindr before you check that hopeful little box in the settings section to turn your profile off.
Congratulations, lovebirds. You just hit Milestone 10.
See you at the wedding.
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