It was a much simpler time when our parents were looking for love. Before the advent of online dating, people actually went on first dates like it was a totally normal thing. Now, dating apps (even the serious ones) have complicated our love lives, and have given way to a whole new relationship phase: “talking,” where members of the potential relationship are in some sort of communication with each other. More often than not, most of the symbolic talking occurs over texting or social media. It’s not dating, and it’s not platonic either. It’s talking, and seven millennials attempted to define what exactly that means.

young couple texting


If I’m talking to someone, I’m exclusive with them. To me, talking is what dating should be — you go get ice cream or coffee and get to know someone.” – Adam D.

Talking is getting to know someone with the intention of potentially dating them. That’s all there is to it.” – Holly B.

“I have a pretty good sense of whether I’m talking to someone as a friend or something more than that. ‘Talking’ in the romantic sense means that there are feelings involved and you’re getting to know each other to see where it goes. You talk consistently and probably have established ‘dibs’ on that person.” – Maddie L.


“Talking is when you could see it becoming a relationship but also think it could fall apart at any minute. You wouldn’t DARE ask, ‘what are we?’ because both people are trying to act casual.” – Dani G.

“To me, talking means that you both are hooking up with each other. In those situations, I’m normally not talking to anyone else, but I’m not exactly at the point in the relationship where I feel okay to ask if they’re talking to anyone else or not. It’s this weird, make-or-break limbo.” – Rachel K.

“When you’re talking, you’re more than friends and less than a couple. You don’t want to be labeled. It could be serious; it could be just a fling.” – Drew H.

It’s a step away from dating. Having stated that mutual interest, you’re going on dates and texting throughout the day. It’s up in the air from there.” – Redish R.

Clearly, the jury is still out on what “talking” means in the dating world. Social media and dating apps have changed the nature of person-to-person communication. There isn’t much room for confusion when you’re talking to someone IRL, but with texting, swiping and in-app chatting, interpretation (or misinterpretation) of someone’s words can be as varied as an emoji keyboard. Keep that in mind the next time you send a winky face to someone.

What does “talking” mean to you? Let us know @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)