10 Stages of Dating

Wendy Newman
7 min readJan 24, 2021

The predictable steps you’re likely to take on your journey to finding love.

Source: 123RF Stock Photo

I went on 121 first dates before I found my love. Can you even imagine? And I discovered there are ten predictable stages to dating.

Not everyone experiences all of them, or even in order. But understanding what to expect can help you navigate the tricky and sometimes insidious dating landscape.

Are you ready to dive in? Let’s do this!

#1 Ready to Date

Ready to date means you’re probably in one of two camps. You’re either…

Eager & Enthusiastic, as in you’ve finally ditched that going-nowhere-for-way-too-long relationship, or the ink is drying on your divorce papers and you’re ready for the real deal this time.


Reluctant but willing to try this crazy dating thing because even though you don’t really want to, it seems like it’s the only path to love.

This is what “ready to date” looks like.

So you pick yourself a site: Facebook, Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid, JDate, Farmer’s Only — whatever calls your name. Once you’ve chosen your online automated matchmaker, you’ll need two things:

  • Kick-ass Profile Photos — No pro photographer need. Ask your friend to shoot a half a dozen…



Wendy Newman

Dating, Sex & Relationship Expert and Author of 121 First Dates (Simon & Schuster). Over 80,000 women trust Wendy’s advice, tools, & experience. WendySpeaks.com