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10 Notable Green Flags in the Talking Stage of Dating

Head and shoulders photograph of Suzannah Weiss
A young woman smiling widely at something on her phone.
The talking stage can be exciting. There are so many possibilities, but it can also end up being a waste of time. What if, after all that texting, you meet in person and realize there's no chemistry? What if they're a charming conversationalist but not a great long-term partner? That's why it's helpful to know the signs that the talking stage is going well. Here are 10 green flags to look out for.

When you first meet someone online, you might spend some time texting or even video chatting before you actually meet. These activities may even dominate your relationship for a little while after. This time spent getting to know each other before actually dating is known as the talking stage. (To meet people you can start talking to, check out eharmony, OurTime, or some of the best gay dating sites.)

1. Their Questions Are Tailored to You

A lot of people rely on generic questions like, "How's your day going?" or "What are you doing this weekend?" when they're first talking to someone. This isn't an automatic deal breaker. They may just not have a lot to go on. However, a prospective partner should get major points for going beyond that.

Somebody who's paying close attention will ask you about the interests you listed on your profile, activities you mentioned you were doing, or other things about you. This shows that they care and are a good listener who puts in the effort to make a good impression on you.

2. You Never Run Out of Things to Say

Physical chemistry is important, but it won't go far if two people don't have much to discuss. It's important that you feel like the conversation is flowing naturally and that you have enough in common to spend lots of time together without the conversation running dry.

3. They're Being Flirtatious

If someone's using flirty emojis or other subtle signs of flirting like teasing or compliments, that's a good sign that they're not afraid to put their cards on the table.

You want someone who makes it known that they like you, after all. Just make sure that you're doing the same.

4. They Respond in a Timely Manner

If you have to wait days for a response, that's a sign that the person is too busy for dating or isn't prioritizing it. On the other hand, if they usually get back to you within an hour or two, that means they're available and have the time for you—something you'll definitely appreciate if they become someone you're relying on for emotional support.

5. They’re Open With You

If someone can go beyond small talk and open up about their emotions, dreams, hopes, and fears, this is a sign that they can handle the intimate and sometimes difficult conversations that will inevitably come up in a relationship.

They don't have to share personal information right away, but they shouldn't be hiding either.

6. They're Clear About What They Want

It's important to be clear about what each person is looking for at the beginning so that nobody wastes their time and both people know what to expect.

While serious conversations don't need to happen right away, it's a sign that they're a good communicator if they're willing to express what kind of relationship they want. This includes how casual or serious they'd like it to be and what they're looking for in a partner.

7. You Feel Comfortable Opening Up to Them

It's just as important that someone makes you feel welcome to open up to them. This means responding to you with empathy rather than judgment and trying to understand your viewpoint instead of imposing theirs on you.

Over time, you will get closer to them if you know you can freely say what's on your mind.

8. They Speak Positively About Their Family

If someone is close with their family, that's a good sign that they value their relationships and are able to get along with people.

Of course, not everybody has positive family relationships, and that's not always within our control. But if they're able to reflect upon their difficult family relationships and learn from them, that's also a positive sign. It means they have a positive attitude and are able to get through difficult situations.

9. They Speak Kindly About Their Exes

Past relationships aren't always positive. However, if someone talks about an ex respectfully, even if things didn't work out between them, that's a good sign that they're committed to treating their partners decently no matter what.

They're friends with their ex? Even better! That takes emotional maturity. But if someone badmouths an ex or constantly complains about them, this may be a sign that they're unable to handle conflicts with grace.

10. They’re Talking About Meeting Up

The time you spend talking before you meet up should only last so long. After all, the whole point is to find someone you enjoy spending time with face to face. If weeks have gone by and they haven't suggested meeting, suggest something yourself. You don't want to waste time talking if there's no connection IRL.

Once you have met up, you can keep looking out for these signals. After all, talking stage green flags are about the same as first date green flags.

Enjoy the Talking Stage While It Lasts

Keep it light and enjoy the excitement of getting to know a new person. The talking stage only lasts so long, so savor the newness while you can. Of course, be careful to also pay attention to red flags like someone repeatedly canceling plans last minute, being rude to waitstaff, or talking about an ex nonstop.

Head and shoulders photograph of Suzannah Weiss
Suzannah Weiss is a writer, certified sex educator, and sex/love coach.