4 Stages of dating for women – Enjoying the process

According to John Grey1, there are 4 stages of dating: :





By this order.

Take the time to really get to know each other. Moving in through these 4 stages of dating assures that you get the opportunity to fully know someone and experience the best and the worst of that person before getting married.

If you are quick to fall in love, be careful to proceed slowly and let the relationship pass the test of time. Only time will tell you if he is the right person and most important, only time will tell him you are the right woman. If things go too quickly, men don’t have the motivation to move ahead. When a woman moves faster through the stages, a man will tend to put on the brakes. You think you are in love but it is just a flush of oxytocin that makes you think that – remember, physiological reactions are not feelings.

He needs to experienced chemistry on all four levels— physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual before getting too close. When couples connect too soon, the man generally ends up pulling away, while the woman feels needier. When a man eventually tastes the fulfilment of experiencing complete physical intimacy with someone with whom he also shares emotional, mental, and spiritual intimacy, he cannot go back.


Stages of dating – The first stage of dating is Attraction

Stages of dating - First


a) Let him know how to please you

In this stage of dating, you show you are attracted and you are interested in getting to know more about someone and vice-versa.

A woman first thinks that she is special to a man when he feels physically attracted to her. You must remember that you are not that special, because there are a lot of women to whom a man can feel physically attracted.

If he is attracted to you, it is a good beginning, but it doesn’t necessarily mean anything more. To him, at that moment, you may be the ultimate woman of his dreams. In this case, he may believe and behave as though he were in love with who you are, but only time will tell, by giving him an opportunity to get to know you.

In the first dates, the more a man talks, the more interested he becomes in what he is talking about. For a man to become more interested in a woman, she needs to do more of the talking and authentically share herself in a positive manner.

Do not talk about your emotional problems, your issues in previous relationships, how you don’t like this and that. Talk about what you want in a clear way and he will be delighted to please you.

When a woman dwells on negative feelings or problems in her life, instead of valuing her willingness to share openly, a man mistakenly assumes that she is difficult to please.

Putting your best foot forward means sharing your most positive side, your upside, and your autonomous side. Later you can share the other part. It is just a matter of timing.

Just as a woman is attracted to a man who shows interest in her, a man is attracted to a woman who clearly can be pleased. If you appear to be difficult to please, he may easily become turned off.

Show how he can please you and then show how happy you are when he does it. Tell him how good you feel because of him. APPRECIATE.


b) Trust you will get your needs met – and show it

Never ever show to a man you do not need men and that you don’t care if you are in a relationship or not. If you want to be in a relationship tell him that clearly. Tell him how naturally you want to be in a relationship and have someone special in your life. He needs to feel he can make a difference in your life, he needs to feel he can be your hero, he needs to feel you are willing and ready to share your life with someone…if that person is the right one (not necessarily him, as you do not know him yet.)

When a woman feels her healthy need for a man, he can sense that she is responsive, receptive and self-assured. This makes her best qualities shine. If he is the right man for her or is close to the right guy, then he will be attracted to her. By clearly feeling her need for a man, she becomes a magnet for attracting the right man for her.

The more a man can sense that a woman needs what he has to offer, the more interested he becomes. Quite automatically he feels more confident, purposeful and responsible. 

I am not talking about being needy. I am talking about confidently showing you are willing to have the emotional support of a partner.  Being needy is nagging and getting upset with him. Being needy is asking for more than what he is able to give you.  When you send the message that you do not appreciate what he does for you, he gets the message he is not enough for you. It is not you wanting more that turns him off. It is the lack of appreciation for what he is offering that makes you “needy”.

Show confidence that he is able to give you what you want. It is flattering to a man when he feels needed. From a man’s perspective, a woman is most attractive when she is aware of her needs and she feels self-assured that her needs are going to be fulfilled. Your self-assurance that you can and will get what you want makes you most attractive and prevents you from being needy. 


c) Let him enjoy his hunting game

Women are nurturing by nature. It is the easiest thing to find – a nurturing woman. The problem is that if the man hasn’t got the opportunity to hunt and be appreciated for that, he will lose interest and go hunt somewhere else.

“Imagine a guy who’s ready to go hunt for a wild boar. He’s walking in the woods, wearing special boots he bought online that make as little noise as possible. On top of that, he’s wearing camouflage pants and a camouflage jacket. He’s not wearing any deodorant so the animals can’t smell him from a mile away. His face is covered with some dirt so he blends in nicely into the background. He’s well prepared. He has been reading up on this subject, put in a lot of effort, and is ready for the challenge. Then, after a couple of hours of walking slowly through the woods on a rainy day, there it is, a wild boar. Finally! He swiftly licks his finger and puts it up in the air to figure out what direction the wind is blowing. It’s the right direction so the wild boar won’t be able to smell him when he closes in. As he slowly takes out his gun and starts to aim, the wild boar looks up and sees him. “Hey,” the wild boar says. “Thanks for making me feel so special! I realize you could have picked any other wild boar, dear, pig, or whatever out there, so I appreciate it. But hey,” the wild boar continues. “I think I’m too far away for you to have a great shot. There are a couple of trees standing in between us. Let me make it easier on you. I’ll come closer.” The wild boar eagerly trots closer to the hunter. “Is this close enough? Am I in the right position like this? Or should I turn around? Like this? Tell me what you need and I’ll do it.” Can you picture this ridiculous scene? Can you imagine how the hunter wouldn’t even want to shoot that wild boar? If he wanted to eat some easy meat, some “no effort” meat, he would have bought some in the supermarket. He wouldn’t have put in such an effort. The fun, the challenge, and the excitement are gone.”1

You always get the man you’ve chosen. If you pick a guy who doesn’t want to put in a great enough effort to get you, he won’t put in an effort to keep you. The woman has the power here.

Men fall hard and fast, never soft and slow. Men almost instantly decide whether they want to be with a woman or not. Not long after, they will decide whether you are a high-quality woman or not so much. If he doesn’t decide “Whoa, that’s a woman I want to be with” during the first 10- 20 minutes of conversation, he never will. When a man’s interest level is not high enough to go after you in the beginning, it won’t ever raise to a level high enough that you can have a fulfilled relationship with him.

Thus, if he does not go after you, nothing you can do will make him change his mind later. Do not chase after him, never ever.

Be feminine. Accept him, be happy when he pursuits you, and be receptive. But do not go after him.


d) Let him know he can make you happy

A man wants to give. A man wants her woman to receive and then wants her to be happy because he did something for her.

When women do not understand men, they easily make the mistake of diffusing the attraction by continuing to give back, instead of increasing the attraction by continuing to receive.

A man hungers for the opportunity to make a woman happy. It fulfils him to make her happy. Her happiness is his happiness.

When men feel good about themselves, they are most motivated to please a woman. The more a man’s life is in order, the more he hungers for a woman to share it with. Although he may feel very autonomous and independent, he begins to feel empty. He is missing something. That something is satisfied through fulfilling a woman or making her happy.

A woman should never feel obligated to please a man. Romance for you should be the opportunity to relax and let someone else take charge of your needs. By giving him the opportunity to please you more, you allow a man to be most fulfilled. A woman needs to understand that by receiving and responding in a warm and friendly way to a man’s romantic gestures she is already giving back to him.

If you start to ask: What can I do to be worthy of him? How can I earn this love? What should I do for him? How can I make sure he likes me? How can I be most attractive to him? These kinds of thoughts then lead to action. As you proceed to pursue him and give him, he becomes less interested in you.

A wise woman approaches the situation differently. Even if she does fall in love, she is careful to remember that even though it feels as if she is in an exclusive relationship with her ideal partner, she is not. Even if he has the potential to be the man of her dreams, HE IS NOT YET.

Be feminine – receive. Let him plan a date and then focus on the lovely landscape, the good food, the beautiful restaurant, the way he makes you feel, and all the advantages of going out and having a good time with him. And tell him. He needs to be your hero. In every little thing, he needs to feel you appreciate his efforts and what those efforts mean for you.

If he takes you to a restaurant and you appreciate and enjoy yourself and have a good time he “thinks” he was the chef, the decorator, the musician and the builder of the premise, all at the same time. He feels like a superhero. If you complain he thinks you are not grateful, you are high maintenance and he will not be able to make you happy – and he gives up.


e) Let him know how precious you are

Men need sex. It really is that simple. It’s an absolute need that’s really high on their list. Sex is valuable to a man. Please don’t give it away too easily. Please don’t use sexual seduction in an effort to seduce him or make him fall for you. Not in the attraction stage. Later you can do it and he will love it, but not in the beginning.

Unfortunately, some men just want to play games with you. It’s important to test them, to throw some challenges at them and see who sticks around. Men who are only interested in sex won’t be willing to wait. So, try to wait at least a couple of dates before you have sex with a guy, as a test. See who sticks around and continues to treat you like a princess. Those interested in more than your body will wait and continue to pursue you.

He adores the chase and needs to feel fought for it.

You’ll know he’s worthy of you by looking at his actions. Does he keep his promises? Does he behave like a good man around you? A good man who has good plans for you will want to provide and protect. He’s built to do that; it’s in his genes. He will always want to protect his special one. Is he doing that? Does he try to take care of you? When you’re sick, does he come over to care for you? When you have a handyman task to be performed in the house, does he take care of it for you? These are important clues.

Too much intimacy, too quickly, can cause women to become needy and men to pull away. Just as men tend to rush into physical intimacy, women make the mistake of rushing into complete emotional intimacy (the hormone oxytocin is responsible for this mistake).

Give time until the relationship gets to the Intimacy Stage. He will never forget how he had to fight for your consent. 50 years on and he will continue to tell your grandchildren all the effort they needed to do to conquer you.  


Stages of dating – The second stage of dating is Uncertainty


a) Let him pull away and come back

There is a shift from feeling attraction to feeling uncertain. This uncertainty is normal. This does not mean that someone is not right for you. But you are going to feel the need to step back and have time to wonder whether you wish to continue with that person. In this stage of dating, men tend to pull back for a while.


After the first stage of attraction, a man is going to ask himself: “Am I the right man for her? Can I make this woman happy? Does she need more than what I can give?

Quite often, he needs to pull away so he can reflect on these questions.  However, women do not understand what is driving them and feel vulnerable and may easily begin to panic. During the attraction stage of dating, he was coming on so strong, and now he is not. If you don’t understand the stage of uncertainty, a host of feelings may arise. These are some common reactions.

Did I do something wrong? Is there someone else? Does he still care? Will he call? Am I doing the right things? Am I doing enough? What can I do to regain his attention, interest, affection, and desire?

To find reassurance, you make one of two common mistakes. Either you start asking questions about the relationship, or you may try to win him over and start to pursue him.

They do not like to be pursued and they will get confused because they need time to reflect. He will devalue you if you go after him or question him too much.

When a man stops pursuing, a woman’s task is to resist the enormous urge to find out what has happened or to do something about it.

The uncertainty stage is the time for the woman to stay open to his future advances, but more importantly, it is a time to fill up her life with the support of friends and activities she loves. It is time to take care of herself. This is a time to test whether he is really the right person for an exclusive relationship.

If he pulls away, you should gracefully allow him to take his distance. A woman needs to remember that men are like rubber bands. They pull away. If you don’t run after them, they will spring back. After he springs back a few times, he will have the certainty that you are the one with whom he would like to pursue a steady or exclusive relationship.

The worst thing you can do is to call him and interrogate him about his feelings about you and the relationship.

Yet, after a while, a wise woman can create the opportunity for a man to pursue her. If he pulled away he may be afraid of her reaction when he wants to come back. The woman can send a friendly signal, so he clearly gets the message that she is not harbouring any resentment because he didn’t call.

Sometimes when a man is in stage two he temporarily forgets about a woman. Two days, two weeks, or even two months can pass by in a flash, and then suddenly he remembers how much he likes her. He thinks about calling but anticipates that he will be reprimanded or rejected for taking so long to call. So, he decides not to call and moves on. If he has received a friendly sign, then he gets the clear message that he is not in trouble. This then frees him to consider pursuing her again.


Stages of dating – The third stage of dating is Exclusivity

People, Man, Woman, Cold, Weather

The exclusivity stage of dating is when both of you decide to date someone exclusively and to give and receive love in a special relationship. The energy spent on looking for the right person is now on creating a romantic relationship.

It is not a marriage contract. It is just a new stage in your dating process.

In this stage, men do what they believe is required of them. The problem is that they don’t necessarily know what is required, particularly when it comes to romantic relationships.

In stage three, a man needs to realize that much more will be required of him, but not more than he can do. His best is good enough.

A man bonds with a woman through being successful in providing for her happiness, comfort, and fulfilment. His doubts are dispelled not primarily by what you do for him, but by how you respond to what he does for you.

He stays if he feels competent in giving you what you want. He runs away if you show that whatever he does is not enough to make you happy. If you don’t ask clearly, he does not know what you want.


a) Let him know you are a high-value woman

What is a high-value woman? Someone who knows she is high-value. The high-value woman is autonomous, emotionally stable, happy with herself and her life, and most importantly, firm in the standard of behaviour she requires from men.

When a man does something she does not like, she won’t punish him by giving him silent treatment, getting mad, or nagging; she will simply give him less of her time and attention because she has better things to do.

Men need to be trained just like a puppy. Do not wait around for him to get his act together, for him to realize you are the one, for him to find a job, for him to stop fooling around, etc. You will wait in vain.

The high-value woman knows this and is not afraid to dump him when she realizes they have no future together. If there are some things you could not possibly live with, it’s time to walk away.

When you’re dating, you see the best side of the other person. That’s clear. If during the dating stage, you see any bad habits or personality traits you cannot live with, get out of there. This is the other person at his best. It will only get worse. Don’t lie to yourself and say it’s not a big deal.

You need to know your value. You need to know you can live with or without him. And he needs to feel that too. Not that you are going to say it to him. He knows it if you know it.

Use your common sense to analyse the issue. When something he does or says bothers you, ask yourself:

 “If I move in with this guy, and we live together for the rest of my days, could I live with him doing/ saying this?

If the answer is no, you have a second choice to make. Ask yourself,

“Am I overreacting? If a good friend of mine would tell me her boyfriend does/ says this, what would I tell her? Would I say it’s a deal breaker to her too?”

If the answer is no to either of these questions, you’ll need to decide to pick your battles and not mention it to him.

If, on the other hand, the answer is yes, you need to tell him now. It’s a risk worth taking. After all, if you don’t do it now, you’ll have to do it when you’ve moved in together and you’ll both be so much more invested (both financially, emotionally, and time-wise) than you are now.

You need to give him clear instructions in a friendly and relaxed way. By now you should know that he is happy to help.

He thinks that if you wanted his help you would ask for it. When you don’t ask, he just assumes that he was giving enough and you don’t want any more.

You need to practice asking for support. Do not make the mistake of assuming that now a man will do things without you having to ask. In stage three he assumes that if you want help you will ask. A man may be very willing to help but is waiting to be asked.

You are actually more desirable when you express your desires and you become more attractive when a man clearly knows what you want.

And do not show any doubt about his ability to fulfil your requirements. Just ask and be confident he is more than capable. He wants to be competent in everything but more especially in making you happy.

Ask for support every time you need it. Do not do things for him, do not get resented by him for not giving you what you did NOT ask for. If you get resented he will not be willing to support you. Do not nag or complain. State it in an informative, clear and unemotional way.

If you are in a negative mood when you ask for something a man will resist your request. It is not that he is resisting giving the help; he is resisting your resentful attitude. He is resisting the negative picture your complaints are painting of him. Although you may think you are just sharing your feelings, he interprets your behaviour as unfair blaming and manipulation.

If you don’t like something he did and start nagging or complaining he will change and adapt his behaviour just to escape the constant nagging. He will, however, start to lower his interest level in you and go back to the same behaviour in a short time (or lie).

That said, when you want his support, use the high-value woman approach. Talk to him in a sweet, assertive, and sexy way, and state what’s important to you.

You can use expressions like:

I really would appreciate if you__________.

It would be wonderful to ________________

I really don’t like it when you ____________”

It makes me feel bad/ unhappy/ when you ___________.”  Can you _______________

I like man who_______________”.

Start your sentences with “I” instead of “you”.

And then, when he does it, tell him how you appreciate it, how your life is much better just because he helped.


b) Give less to receive more

He likes to feel that he is a great guy in a woman’s eyes, and very happy to go the extra mile for you.  He will be happy to continue to support you if he gets a clear message that it will make you happy.

A man is actually much more motivated to say yes to a woman’s requests when she asks him for support with an attitude that is free of strings, expectations, and obligations. It is not yet time to share negative feelings.

And continue receiving and appreciating it. Ask and receive. The secret to success for a woman in the third stage is to continue RECEIVING.

This is the time for you to focus NOT ON DOING things for your partner but on RECEIVING. By being receptive and responsive to what a man offers, you are actually giving the relationship the best chance to grow.

Appreciating all the things he does for you is the best way you can show him your affection. You don’t need to do anything else for him.

Do not give compliments. Men do not care about compliments. Man want appreciation for their efforts. Meaning – they like to face challenges, resolve problems for you and then feel they made a difference in your life.

In stage three of dating, you need to create a history of dates where he has succeeded and you feel supported. Having an exclusive relationship provides the foundation for lasting intimacy. A woman creates intimacy by honestly sharing more of who she is, and a man experiences increased intimacy by successfully supporting and nurturing more of who she is.


Stages of dating – The fourth stage of dating is Intimacy


In the fourth stage of dating, you feel relaxed now and are willing to let down your guard and share yourself more deeply than before.

When you have seen the best of a person over time, then your heart has a chance to open. With enough love in your heart, you are then prepared to experience the worst of that person and still come back to a loving connection.

You are able to hold him or her in your heart even though you may be frustrated or disappointed sometimes.

Now you can open up more and communicate how you feel even when you are not in a good mood. It is fine for you to talk about the things that you don’t like in your life and in the relationship. You no longer need to always be so positive when you are together.

As you are able to share more of yourself, how you think and feel, and a man continues to feel love, interest, caring, and desire for you, then you are ready to experience increasing physical intimacy as well.

Likewise, in this stage, the man feels relief as well. He has been looking forward to more physical intimacy. As the woman experiences the ability to open up and share all of herself mentally and emotionally, then they both rejoice in the opportunity to experience that love physically as well.

In this stage of dating, a man begins to switch back and forth between wanting to get closer and wanting to pull away. No matter how wonderful a woman is, as they get closer, a man will periodically pull away before he can get closer.

The more intimate a man feels with a woman, the more he will eventually feel a need to pull away. He can then return to her with even more love. Each time, after he pulls away, his love has a chance to grow when he returns.

But this can be difficult for a woman to understand and support. When a man pulls away, it is very important that you do not pursue him or try to get him back. And you must be careful not to be rejecting him when he returns. A man needs to feel that you freely accept his tendency to pull away.

When a man pulls away, a woman thinks something is wrong and wants to experience more intimacy. The wise woman learns to give a man his space and trust that he will once again find his hunger to be with her on his own

Typically, men understand that having a significant other means less time is available for watching football with their friends, going out, playing golf, etc. What men fear, however, is completely losing that hang-out time – their sense of freedom is very important.  Men need to feel manly. Your guy can feel and recharge his masculinity when he is protecting you, fixing something for you, taking care of you, and more. Nevertheless, part of this manhood will always need to come from spending time with other men.

Relationships are always a long-term game. Women who try to keep their men to themselves, who see guy-time as the enemy, are fighting a losing battle. However, women who not only allow their guy time but actually force him to have it will always win in the short and long term.

When his life is better with you than without you, he will never leave. This means you’ll sometimes have to use your emotional intelligence and fight your own instincts.



Let these 4 stages develop and evolve naturally. You are not going to regret the waiting. You are not going to regret the delay of gratification. You have the power to create a long-lasting relationship where your needs are met and your man feels loved by a special woman.

YOU are a special woman because you know what you want, you share your needs clearly and you know how to please a man – making him please you and appreciate it.

So much suffering would be evitable. For adults, for children, for generations.

There is much more to this subject as you can imagine. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Would you like some guidance about dating?

Check our Me to WE Program here

  1. Grey John, Mars and Venus on a date.

Maria da Silva (PhD, DHP Acc Hyp) is a Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist and a Trauma/Attachment Informed Coach, an expert in helping people understand and overcome their past conditioning and engage in meaningful and peaceful relationships through Nonviolent Communication.