The Relationship Timeline: The 6 Basic Stages

Relationships are an enviable occurrence in life. Some are serious while others are more fleeting.  Each new relationship has a cyclic pattern.  Relationships are tough and we all mess up sometimes, so follow the rules of the six stages listed below.

1. You Just Met

The feelings started with the thought “holy fuck she is hot, let me talk to her,” but grew into much more.  This girl is even more special than the dimepiece you pinned up against the wall while grinding to Jay-Sean.

You likely follow a dating code of ethics.  That means for girls the “I’ll let him contact me” rule and for boys the “wait three days to call” rule (unless of course you’re just trying to get laid).  However, newsflash to you ladies & gents: these rules are stupid, so let me re-write “the game” for you.

  1. Girls: ‘Catch that dog’ – If you’re interested and he hasn’t texted or called you, just text him.  It shows that you are “ready for it,” and if the guy is interested he’ll like it.  It doesn’t need to be a serious three page text, but a simple ‘had fun the other night, it would be great to see you again’ will send the message.
  2. Boys: ‘Use it or lose it’ – Definitely wait a day to text or call. Keep the girl slightly intrigued, but not in the dark. Use her number or throw it away, because she won’t remember who ‘Brian Highlighter Party’ is a week from now.

2. The First Few Dates

If you go on a real date (aka it is ONLY the two of you) – This indicates there is serious interest. More interest than just sex, an actual willingness to get to know one another.  For those not opposed to being in a relationship this is a good start.  A real date involves letting a man be a man and buy the meal, there’s a time and place to reciprocate. #dome

If the date is in group settings you are on the express pathway to friends with benefits.  97.9% of college kids choose to avoid awkward first date moments by having their first date being in a drunk group setting.  Yes, this actually still can turn into a real relationship, but first it will head down the ‘we’re drunk and horny so is it okay to hook up on the first date?’ path. So do what you want kids, but be aware of the rules for stage two:

  1. Do NOT tell me you love me drunk:  In fact don’t even use the L word- ever.
  2. Do NOT ask if it’s okay to have sex without a condom:  This makes me think you have raw dogged our entire university.
  3. No I don’t want to meet your parents.
  4. Keep drunk texting to a minimum.
  5. No we do not have week day sleepovers.

3.  Hooking Up

Welcome to the ‘we’re talking’ phase. ‘Talking’ has a zillion different meanings, but let me clear up the definition for you.  “Talking” means “I like you, I want to keep seeing you, but I’m not you’re girlfriend so if I meet someone better then too bad for you.”  During the “talking” stage everything is new and exciting and you’re beginning to get more comfortable.  It’s also when you really determine whether or not you have enough feelings for each other to keep this moving forward.  If not- there’s two options: stop seeing one another or become friends with benefits.  Keep in mind the rules for stage three:

  1. Get comfortable, but NOT too comfortable: Sure take your shoes and socks off, but don’t you dare put your nasty feet on me.
  2. Quality over quantity: Yes I’d like to spend some quality time with you- no I don’t want to see you every day of the week.
  3. Definitely still don’t want to meet your family.
  4. Make some small sacrifices: If we’re screwing, even if we’re not exclusive you still have to buy me things and make me feel good about it!
  5. Don’t waste my time or yours: If you don’t see this going anywhere be honest- nobody likes liars.

4.  Dumping With The Door Open

Hello relationship status: It’s official you two are exclusively dating.  If you’ve gotten this far you’re definitely out of the honey moon phase and checked backed into reality.  Meaning he has busted prematurely far too many times for you and him not to be on a realistic, “we don’t screw like pornstars anymore” level.  You don’t like everything about them and they don’t like everything about you. Overall, the feelings are real and it’s something you want to give your best shot. Here are the general stage four rules:

  1. You don’t have to “clear history”and you can get rid of your Playboy’s.  You are finally sexually active on the reg!
  2. If you’re going to break up: Don’t do it by shacking up with her sorority sister…or real sister.
  3. Don’t be jealous: Yes, she will have friends of the opposite sex, so chill the fuck out.  However, if his best friend is a blonde with DD tits, be concerned.  Sorry boys, but sometimes life isn’t fair.
  4. Be together, but don’t be the lame couple that never goes out.  You aren’t living in a retirement home so go have fun with your single friends even if you are in a relationship.
  5. At this point grinding with other people is frowned upon, so beware your crazy nights at the bar are gone.

5.  Long Time Commitment

At this point you have been dating for months, even years, and love has evolved.   There are not too many relationship rules anymore. If you’re feeling horny, you say so. If you want head, ask for it.  Here are the stage five guidelines to live by:

  1. Don’t cheat: this is a no brainer.
  2.  Appreciate the small things: take time every once in a while to appreciate the tiny things you do for one another.
  3. Be realistic: If you don’t ever plan on marrying and you don’t think this is the person for you, do yourselves a favor and end it.
  4. Go on birth control:  He doesn’t want to wrap it up anymore and no one wants kids.  So do yourself a favor and take the pill.

6.  Conflict

Most of us see this coming because usually at this point things haven’t been going that great anyway. The issues have mounted so high that you both decide to call it quits. Or maybe just one of you, either way it is over. General Rules:

  1. No you cannot realistically be friends yet- yes it seems like a good idea, I mean you had real feelings for one another, but really this is the stupidest idea ever. Until all those feelings are gone (or at least most of them) and you don’t feel the urge to be a jealous monster when you see them with someone else, you should cut contact. Be friends in the future if you want but not right after a breakup.
  2. Do not Facebook Stalk- this will drive you insane and cause you to send completely ridiculous drunk text messages, especially after you see that picture of him with another girl that you’ve never met – or vice versa. Do yourself a favor and stay away from their page for a while.
  3. Do not Drunk Text- Easier said than done, trust me I am an avid drunk texter. But seriously, seriously do your best to avoid this one. Leave your phone with a friend, take the battery out, or delete their number for the time being. Drunk texting leads to only one road, regret.
  4. Don’t date my friends- This one is obvious. So don’t do it. Ever.
  • Domujs

    That’s a terrible way of laying it out. Not everyone is an uneducated sex fiend who only experiences superficial relationships. 

  • maddy

    funny, third article down in the best of #CTL is “Reasons Why i am single”
    maybe this article should be a reason, too.

  • unknown

    you should be able to date whoever the hell you want girls need to step off about the friend bs. YOU DO NOT OWN A MAN IN ANY WAY ONCE YOU BREAK UP WITH HIS ASS. just thought that should be added.

    • Susan

      This seems like it’s a point of respect not property. How would you feel if things ended with someone you cared about and then they started dating your best friend. Even if you say you’re okay with it, you’d feel pretty shitty. But honestly a good friend wouldn’t do that anyway. 

    • Scyllarus

      Hey man, I forgot to tell you I invited Katie to the party. What’s that? I’m an inconsiderate fucker? WELL FUCK YOU, YOU DON’T OWN HER.

  • Bob Dobbs

    Sounds about right, really.

  • Cornelius

    “Don’t be jealous: Yes, she will have friends of the opposite sex, so
    chill the fuck out.  However, if his best friend is a blonde with DD
    tits, be concerned.  Sorry boys, but sometimes life isn’t fair.”

    Stupidest shit ever.  No one wants to see their girlfriend hanging out alone with some other guy on a friday night, or vice versa. Even so, if a girlfriend wants to have guy friends, then a boyfriend can have lady friends. 

    This article is fucking stupid anyways.  No need to put guidelines on love and relationships.

  • Anonymous

    Make some small sacrifices: If we’re fucking, even if we’re not
    exclusive you still have to buy me shit and make me feel good about it!

    Oh, I think not.  If we’re not exclusive you can buy your own shit.

    Whoever wrote this is setting herself up for bitter spinsterhood.

  • Patrick Fennelly

    You’re a fucking moron and you should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Allie

    I am pleased to see many fellow commenters have said what I had in mind to put out there, no need now. Occasionally the people on the internet ARE smarter than the stuff people read on the internet…

  • Robert

    “Don’t be jealous: Yes, she will have friends of the opposite sex, so chill the fuck out.  However, if his best friend is a blonde with DD tits, be concerned.  Sorry boys, but sometimes life isn’t fair.”

    It’s crap like this, that is the reason women supposedly make less money for shit! Sorry ladies, but sometimes life isn’t fair! Sounds about right.

    Want equality? Stop thinking you’re entitled to shit. This list is crap.

    • Brittney

      You’re a douche bag. 

    • Shanti

      Of course we deserve equality.

      EVERYONE is entitled to respect and equality.

      I don’t know you personally, but.. 
      I can imagine you don’t even know the beginning of what you’re talking about.

      I could say the same when women have been raped, beaten and disrespected. Even today. What does that say about men? How they need to make us “inferior” to make themselves feel “powerful”,

      If you ask me, THIS is why women aren’t treated equally.

      (P.S: Generalization. Not all women and men think this way.(Obviously)) 

  • Jacob

    Okay…You sound like a fat chick for one thing, and not only a fat chick, but the type that hasnt really been in a relationship so you have a very skewed idea of how things work. Let me just enlighten you I suppose:

    1. WE (Men) Dont owe you shit, be concerened all you want about our double D friends, but honestly, if my GF said shit about it, i’d dump her ass

    2. I imagine you are in college as well as i am too, We dont have to buy you shit, you dont have to buy us shit. You are entitled to nothing!

    3. This has nothing to do with your post, but did somebody just get led on? sounds like it to me, anyways, go lose some weight, cuz im sure thats the issue here

    • Lauryn

      wow…. you are so rude. The poor girl!

    • Shanti

      Look, I know you think you’re “owning” whoever wrote the article, but I can tell you right now that when and IF you find the right woman, you will definitely not be talking like you do. You will WANT to buy her things and make her happy. You’re double D friends will seem unimportant and you will respect woman more. You’re just plain rude telling whoever wrote the article fat. It’s immature and I’m sure she doesn’t give a fuck.

      • Chelciebohner

        Wordd. I like this. All the haters need to find something better to do with their time.

        • Liz


    • Samantha

      hahaha yesssss

    • Tim

      I actually know who wrote this article , and I can assure you, this bitch is not fat. In fact she’s pretty fucking hot. I’m certain she has more game than you, so you can just keep your ‘enlightened advice’ to yourself dumbass. 

  • That

    I feel like I just listened to Snooki explaining what she thinks relationships are.

  • Phil Davies

    Could not have put it better myself. Excellent comment.

  • Kay

    I love how all these comments hating on the article are.. drum roll.. men. Looks like they’ll be a few of you wackin your own junk, all alone, til your old and crusty. Because this is pretty straight up, and pretty close to how it goes. Yes, there are a couple entitled parts.. but 99% or women are going to want some old school charm. But don’t worry, if you get yourself a good one (which it doesn’t sound like you will) she’ll want to buy you things too.

    • liz

      actually I’m seeing a variety of people commenting on this. I don’t think its just because they’re men that they’re posting. I think its that they have a shred of intelligence – unlike you.

  • Justin

    I read a little bit of this article and as a male feminist was horribly offended. I felt compelled to leave a comment and explain how sexist and self-righteous the author is, but then I realized that a ton of other people had already expressed the same ideas, albeit in widely varying terms.

    If you’re going to be ignorant or a hypocrite (and you seem to want to be both), please don’t go around posting on the internet as if you have some sort of authority to explain anything to anyone. It’s just plain irresponsible.

    • Susan

      Great to give your opinion man. But really people post a ton of shit on the internet all the time. A lot of stupid horrible ridiculous things and some good stuff, etc. YOU really have no authority to tell someone else not to write something esp. since you’ve got the ability to leave your own personal comments on it. I suppose that makes you a bit hypocritical now doesn’t it? 

      • liz

        at least he said please..

  • Christien

    There’s something about this article that bugs me.  I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that you’re posting from a distinctly female perspective, and trying to give advice to men and women as if you’re coming from a balanced place of observation.  You aren’t, really.  Your advice is really just a personal viewpoint of things that you think should happen during a relationship, and probably won’t help anybody because the only people who are going to agree with you are people who are similar to you.  Relationships are based on respect and equality, but a lot of what you’re saying is disrespectful towards both men and women because it upholds gender roles that are sixty years old.  Deal with that shit and get your advice on an even keel, or stop trying to write for others benefit. 

  • Dustin

    I read this whole article as a list of things you’ve done and regretted afterwards and things guys have done to you that you wish they wouldn’t do anymore.

    If you want to write a good advice article, try not making it quite so personal and bring a little bit of understanding to the table. These are more “rules for dating me” than they are “rules for the 6 steps of a relationship.”

    Whether this article would be from a guy or a girl’s point of view, I’d still think it has some major flaws. Although, I’ll admit if it was from a guy’s point of view I’d probably laugh at how stupid some of it was and move on instead of posting about it. All the disrespectful guys out there could stay ignorant for all I care. Just makes me look that much better.

  • L Dyaln

    I actually find a lot of this information to be true. But if you guys want to keep jerkin it all alone, thats fine. don’t take any pointers. I am not saying that all of the information was good. Lot’s of it was terrible actually. But i found lots of information that i can relate to.
    so quit whining people.

  • Sharea

    Love it.. Right on.  Power to ya girl!  

  • Natalie Sherwood

    Silly generalizations.

  • Ajaustin

    love this

  • Lydia

    what a fucking rude person who wrote this.. dont tell me what to do, jack ass.

  • Tom Laning

    spot on

  • Ariel

    the trashy guidlines to dating… it!!
    for real tho….this is not how dating works in the real world. you really need to mature before you post “advice” like this.

  • Emily

    Some things are right on, but whoever wrote this makes women sound stupid.

    Guys always complain about how they can never get a girl, and this is why. Don’t order us to go on the pill just cause guys are lazy and don’t want to use a condom. How arrogant can you get? Some women physically cannot go on the pill. If the relationship is that serious, the guy should be willing to use a condom or he’s not gonna get any for a while. Jerk.

  • August

    Absolutely brilliant! hahaha

  • Lane

    Lol, it’s funny, some of it very true, some of it dumb as shit. 

    Guys, don’t force your girl to take the pill unless you want to risk her not wanting to have sex with you – it fakes pregnancy, so about a fair percentage of girls lose their appetite. Some girl’s don’t of course, but it’s something to keep in mind. 

  • Yummypumpkins14

    Lol. I’ve never been in a relationship -only 14- but still nice to see what I’m going to be getting myself into.

    • Morgan131

      THIS IS RUBBISH!!! Please ‘yummypumpkins14’ (lol) DO NOT take this persons relationship guidance. It’s limited to put it nicely. Not to be condescending but it reads like a 16 year old on the basis of their own numerous one day relationships! Don’t take this as any kind of indication of real life. Relationships and the way they start, end, develop etc. etc, are vast. There are no rules or strict stages and especially not these stages! (Reliability check (lol) I’m 22 and in a 5 year relationship and getting married next year…. so i know just a bit about this topic especially teen/young relationships and I’m telling you this is crap.)

      • Tim

        Yummypumpkins14 don’t necessarily believe morgan131 either. to be 22 and getting married is ridiculous. since he or she’s been in a 5 yr relationship they probably doesn’t know as much about dating as she claims, considering her relationship number is grounded at 1. 

      • Yummypumpkins14

        Lol. This is just for shits and giggles; I’m not talking it seriously. Even if some of it is true I wouldn’t really know but I’ll find out for myself soon enough. I’m not naive enough to believe everything written on relationships but I still think the author had a nice way of putting things. Was a good laugh and perspective. 

  • DD

    Oh, so that’s why my guy friends’ girlfriends are always awkward around me. -Blonde with that rack.

  • Liz

    Firstly, the big use of language here is very immature. You don’t need to say f***ing all the time to get your point across. This said, your points are awful. Guys and girls, there are very little rules outside of your relationship that you need to abide by. Do whatever makes you and your partner happy, as long as its not to the cost of anyone else’s happiness. Please don’t be such a bossy know-it-all in future and let people dictate their own lives.

    • Tim

      right since reading this article forces people to follow the rules. I forgot every time I read something I was forced to do as it suggests.

      • Liz

        Have I said the word “forces” anywhere in my comment? no. But, to a young girl, “you should fucking do this” and “you should fucking do that” can be damaging. At such a young age, it is reasonable to assume that older people know what their talking about, and might actually follow this rediculous advice. I was merely giving an alternate option.

        • Casey

          such a young age? by the time people get to college (as this article is obviously geared toward collegiate members) you should be able to make your own decisions, and who hasn’t heard the fuck-word by the time they get out of middle school anyway? The article was THE AUTHOR’s take on relationship stages. Who are you to tell her she’s wrong?

          • liz

            so it’s unreachable to people younger than college age? even at college age you’d be suprised who’s still naive enough to follow peer pressure instead of doing what feels right. does it matter that it’s just the author’s take? its still awful. as for the language, it doesn’t matter if everyone’s heard it before, it’s still immature to use it so much.

          • Tina

            stop hating liz. people learn best from their mistakes, so if someone gives into peer pressure, (although idk how this article could possibly be deemed peer pressure) it’s their own fault. also i find this article pretty legit, i mean it’s promoting honesty in relationships and reminding ppl to appreciate the small things. you need to take a chill pill woman.

          • liz

            hey, some of the best writers have gotten better through criticism. i’m chilled as a bean deary, i’m only replying. i would state how it is kinda peer pressure, but i dare not “hate” no more.

        • Guest


  • Rebecca

    what is up with all the haters???

    Jesus this site is for laughs and it has some truth to it. Why does everyone have to take everything to heart or talk about the “damaging effects of children?” SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GO READ A FUCKING CLASSIC ART NOVEL. jesus! we are just people trying to look at the brighter side of life because face it…this world SUCKS!

    Anyway, this site is AWESOME.

    • liz


  • Rebecca

    what is up with all the haters???

    Jesus this site is for laughs and it has some truth to it. Why does everyone have to take everything to heart or talk about the “damaging effects of children?” SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GO READ A FUCKING CLASSIC ART NOVEL. jesus! we are just people trying to look at the brighter side of life because face it…this world SUCKS!

    Anyway, this site is AWESOME.

  • Joy 11

    this girl is ridiculous. seriously… its a joke, and its taken to be interpreted how ever YOUU choose. my advice to you “liz” dont take ANYTHING that seriously. im in a committed relationship and can find the humor, and semi-truth in this. 

    • Liz

      is there a reason my name is in inverted commas? and i’m not taking it seriously. don’t get so het up over a little criticism. 

  • Aries Fuyay

    Biased as shit. Guys your girls will have friends so chill the fuck out . . But if you want to have female friends HOLD UP! Life aint fair. . .The  fuck outta here with that

  • guy

    Some good some bad don’t be pushy