I’m sure we’ve all experienced the long, drawn out talking stage at some point in our life. “What’s the talking stage?” I hear you cry; it’s that awkward period where you’re stuck in a limbo of getting to know someone while catching deep feelings for them...but you’re not sure if they like you back... Or if they’re having several talking stages with different people.
The talking stage can really suck. It can literally drain out all the energy from you as you put so much time and effort into getting to know someone, just for it to flop and you’re back to stage one of ANOTHER TALKING STAGE with someone else.
The talking stage may seem long and drawn out, and you may just want to cut to the chase and get married, but it’s so important you take your time and really make sure you look out for those red flags.
Your match may seem great from their muzmatch bio, but as the conversation goes on you may come across things you don’t like. It could be that they’re trying to meet too quickly, or they keep asking you for your photos or number. If something seems off to you, always trust your gut instinct because most of the time it’s right, don’t wait for the red flag to develop into something more.
This being said, make sure you don’t go out of your way searching for red flags, these are things that should appear on their own, not something you should actively search for. Sometimes you can be completely wrong about a person, for example, one of our success couples Tamara and Mehemt had a long journey before marriage. Tamara had blocked Mehmet 3 times before finally giving him a proper chance! But now they’re happily married, Mashallah.
Most of the time you can tell this from the amount of effort they put in. If they call you, text you, ask you about yourself and genuinely show an interest, then they most likely are interested in getting to know you.
Whereas if they leave it up to you to initiate every conversation, call, or meeting, and they take ages to reply… sorry but they’re not serious. Of course we all get busy from time to time, but that is not an excuse to just disappear for hours or days; they could easily let you know that they’ll be busy. And if you've brought it to their attention before but they continue to do the same thing, you really need to ask yourself if they actually care about you or not?
The talking stage is a great chance for you to learn about your preferences in a partner. You may already have some ideas or a checklist in your mind about what you’re looking for in an ideal partner (e.g. job, height, looks etc.), but as you get to know them, you realise that though they are perfect on paper, you guys are not actually compatible at all. In fact, research finds that we don’t actually know what we want in a partner, until we have the partner!
Rejection is always difficult. We never want to hurt anyone, but sometimes it has to be done. It's way less painful than getting ghosted without any reason, as then you’re just left wondering what went wrong, or worse... did they die?!
It doesn't need to be hard- simply thank them for their time and for giving you the chance to get to know them, and then end it with something along the lines of “I don’t see this going anywhere in the future and I don’t want to waste your time”. It really is as simple as that. In fact, feel free to copy and paste that if you ever need it. For more templates on how to reject, click here.
Rejection hurts, but there are ways to deal with it, here are just a few:
1) Remember that their rejection is Allah’s protection- If it’s meant to be it’ll happen, if they reject or ghost, then they definitely weren't the one!
2) Learn from it- perhaps there was a genuinely valid reason why they rejected you, perhaps they didn’t like how you spoke to them or you were too serious, or even not serious enough... Learn from your mistakes and implement them with the next person you talk to.
3) Realise that it’s not that deep, and you’re okay being single- it’s so easy to get caught up in “finding the one” and putting all your energy into that. But that is not your life. You are your own person outside of a marriage, you just need to learn to be content being single for now. Put your trust in Allah, and be patient. It’ll happen when it’s written for you, remember Allah’s timing is perfect.
Honestly, this is up to you. It can last from days to weeks to months. You need to see if they’re serious and if you consider them “marriage material”. Ask yourself these questions: Are they worth your time? Are they putting in effort and only talking to you? If so, then take it to the next level- make your intentions clear and set up a meeting or a (halal) first date. If you’re feeling a bit nervous about this, don’t worry we’ve got you covered! Here is a blog which is for all things first dates