I don't know where in the universe people, especially teenagers and young adults, decided it was OK to just spend months and months talking to someone and getting to know them in a romantic way without planning to be with them exclusively. But if you think about it, that's really wasting time that could be spent investing in someone who truly cares about you.

Call me old school, but if we're "talking" that means we are friends, only friends, and nothing but friends.

You don't get to reap the benefits of being my boyfriend because we're "talking," remember. You can't get mad at me if I see someone who I find attractive and I let it be known that I think he's cute — we're not exclusive, so I can look at whoever I want.

This generation has gotten so comfortable with staying content in the "talking stage" that I don't even think they know what it feels like to go on a date with someone who likes you deeply, or maybe even is in love with you.

Where did this whole thing come from and how? Who made this mainstream?

Not all relationships that started out in the talking stage are doomed, of course, and I congratulate those who are in strong relationships that started off as just talking. However, the talking stage is something I don't want to find myself in. Been there, done that, and I don't want to go back.

Moving forward, I would like to see the talking stage disappear and go back to the old fashioned way of being friends first and then deciding to take that friendship to a new level. The talking stage is such an easy place to get comfortable in and it leaves so many holes and room for error and miscommunication.

I want my relationship to be built off of a strong friendship because even if we weren't meant to be romantically, at least we still have our friendship and that's important to me. I cherish my friendships so much that I would hate to throw it away because we spent too much time just talking, getting to know quick facts instead of getting to know each other deep down.

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