The 5 stages of dating that every couple experiences

Whether you’re at the start of a blossoming relationship or been with your significant other for years, every relationship goes through the same five stages of dating. These five stages are attraction, reality, commitment, intimacy and finally, engagement.

It may seem pretty obvious, but relationships – whether romantic or platonic – grow with time and undergo distinct changes as bonds are formed and intimacy is developed. As your relationship evolves through each of these stages, you’ll learn more about each other and determine if you and your partner are committed and destined for a lifetime together.

If you’ve begun dating someone new or if you’re unsure at what stage your existing relationship is at, this blog is for you. Below, we’re going to talk you through each of the five stages of dating, so you can work out where you and your partner are right now and more importantly, whether your relationship has the strength to flourish into a long-term commitment.

1. Attraction

Attraction is the first stage of dating, and plays a fundamental part in whether the connection can develop into something more. Whether you meet each other naturally whilst out with friends, family, or acquaintances, through a matchmaker or on online dating sites or apps, there has to be an element of attraction between each couple for it to develop into something romantic. Often known as the honeymoon phase, this is the stage at which everything feels very new and exciting and seems almost perfect.

This stage often lasts for the first few months of your courtship and will see constant communication between the couple with lots of messaging back and forth on different channels such as texting, dating sites, social media and WhatsApp as well as long phone calls and video calls in the evenings on the days that you are not together. You will also find that during this period you will go on lots of dates and make time to get to know more about one another before you decide whether to take things to the next level.

2. Reality

Stage two is reality, and it tends to creep up on you slowly and can last for around six months. This signals the end of the honeymoon phase and is the point at which you might start to see flaws in your partner and notice things that annoy you.

This doesn’t mean you no longer like or love each other; it’s just reality and life setting in and you tend to become more aware of your partner after the rush of hormones has subsided. For example, you may find that as you start spending more time together you notice little quirks or habits that you might not have noticed at first.

Unfortunately, it is this second stage where lots of relationships fail. But the good news is, if you make it past this stage this is a good sign of things to come.

3. Commitment

Once you get past the reality stage, you enter the commitment phase. At this point, you express a desire to be with each other exclusively and you have grown to not only recognise but accept the flaws that may come with your partner.

This agreement to commit to each other regardless of circumstances also means accepting their dreams, goals, wants and needs in life. This could mean things like deciding where you want to live together, helping them to achieve career goals and discussing plans for the future. 

4. Intimacy

Stage four is intimacy and this typically involves nurturing the true love that has been cultivated over the last year or so. Contrary to popular belief, this stage doesn’t just relate to physical intimacy either, it’s also about connecting beyond the superficial.

Once two people have bonded with each other, this is when true love really begins. This stage usually means opening up to one another and really letting your guard down. For the first time in the relationship, you will become vulnerable without holding back, learning about each other’s pasts and deeper feelings and seeing their true character in a new light.

5. Engagement

The final stage is engagement and blissful love. This is where you ultimately decide to pledge a lifelong commitment to your partner and take things to the next level. This level of commitment comes with working together to plan a happy and fruitful future with each other.

Even though you have made a commitment, it doesn’t mean that your relationship will be without its ups and downs in the future. The important thing is to learn to apologise and forgive when things go wrong and instead work together as a solid partnership to overcome any challenges that life throws your way.

At Ignite Dating, our expert team of matchmakers are on hand to help you navigate through all of these five stages, so you can find ever-lasting love. If you’re ready to find the right person and to build a relationship, get in touch with our team today.


Matchmaking agency expectations vs reality

Dating shows have become one of the nation’s biggest guilty pleasures. With so many out there that claim to showcase the work that matchmakers do to help their clients find love, you can’t help but wonder if these shows really match up to the reality of the matchmaking process.

In this article, we’re going to look at the process behind these shows, some of the biggest misconceptions that dating shows give the audience and how the matchmaking process matches up in real life.

Let’s get started.

TV matchmakers have a whole team to back them

The overall matchmaking process is represented as being much shorter on TV; after all, they have to fit the whole process from start to finish into just an hour (or even half an hour) programming.

Though these shows typically receive a lot more applications and potential dates than seen on screen, TV matchmakers have a whole team of dating professionals behind them helping to assess and choose the ideal candidates for their clients. In reality, and unlike Ignite Dating who have a head office team of dating professionals, matchmakers don’t always have as many resources at hand to speed up the selection process.

That said, there are some similarities. For example, it turns out that TV matchmakers, just like the rest of us, rely on a good social media and google stalk to help determine the suitability of a potential date. After all, digital footprints can be very revealing when it comes to finding out more about a person. 

Reality shows set unrealistic expectations

As with all reality TV shows, there is a certain level of exaggeration and over-dramatisation involved to boost audience ratings and make the programme more watchable. This often includes adding glitz and glamour to the whole process.

The reality is that dating isn’t always smooth, and matchmakers don’t always have a straightforward route to finding their clients love. Despite what you see on TV, it is unlikely that you are going to find true love on your first match. While it can happen on occasions, trust us we have had a fair few successes on the first or second match ourselves, it is more likely that your dating journey will see you having a few introductions before you find that one that you are looking for.

What’s more, these TV shows set unrealistic views of love and romance that can leave people with unrealistic expectations. Think about it, on screen the couples seem to be blown away by grand, romantic gestures and literal sweeping off their feet, something which often doesn’t happen in real life. It is important to remember the things that are vital to you, and while we would all love that fairytale moment, it is far more important to find someone that has the same values, aspirations and lifestyle as you.

Plus, the whole show suggests that this quick process leads to love at first sight. Unfortunately, this isn’t usually the case and people are often expecting much quicker results than can be delivered. This puts even more pressure on matchmakers to deliver results quickly and takes away the gratification of being introduced to the right person in favour of the instant gratification of being introduced to just anybody.

Matchmakers aren’t accurately represented

Because they are there to do their job but also entertain the audience, TV matchmakers are often exaggerated and not portrayed accurately.

For example, Indian Matchmaking star Sima Taparia portrays matchmakers as quite blunt with a ‘say it how it is’ approach. This is not always the case and more often than not you will find that matchmakers will have more emotional intelligence when dealing with clients and deliver rejection in a kinder way.

Of course, these types of matchmakers might exist, but for the most part your matchmaker is usually quite empathetic and approachable and there to support you and ensure that you feel happy and positive on your dating journey – not to give you tough love.

Don’t believe everything you see on TV

While reality shows might be great as a guilty pleasure or perfect for binge-watching after a busy week, it is important to remember that these don’t accurately portray matchmakers, dating agencies or the dating journey.

The best way to really understand the matchmaker that you are going to be working with is to meet them in person, this will allow you to build a rapport with them and find out more about how you gel together. It also gives you a chance to discover more about the agency and their individual matchmaking process, as well as getting an insight into potential introductions to enable you to make an informed decision as to whether it is the right matchmaker and agency for you.

So, if you’re looking for a professional and friendly matchmaker that will help you to find the perfect match for you, then look no further than Ignite Dating. Get in touch with our team today to find out how they can help you get started on your dating journey right away.


How to get over the nerves of dating

Whether you’re bereaved, divorced or simply been single for a while, dating can be a nerve-wracking and daunting prospect for anyone. Your age, gender, life experience and relationship status will have little effect on how nervous you are when it is time to get back on the dating scene. But the good news is, with the right advice it doesn’t have to be so daunting.

There are some important steps that you can take to help ease your nerves and find the fun in dating again. Not least of all, working with an experienced matchmaker and relationship coach who can help guide you through the various stages of dating and ensure that you enjoy a dating journey that leaves you feeling confident, energized and safe.

In this blog, we’re going to look at some useful tips to help you get over your dating nerves and explore how a matchmaker can offer any additional, but necessary, support along the way.

Get yourself a matchmaker or relationship coach

Firstly, and most obviously, you need to get yourself a matchmaker or enlist the services of a fully qualified relationship coach. This is particularly important if you have had a negative dating experience in the past, you are feeling lost and confused about how to meet the right person or it has simply been a long time since you dated, and you are unsure about the new dating landscape.

Signing up to a professional matchmaking and introductions agency, like Ignite Dating, can instantly ease the nerves you feel about starting your dating experience. From the moment you begin your dating journey, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ll have the help and support of an experienced and dedicated professional every step of the way, making the dating world feel a little less intimidating and taking the uncertainty and guess work out of finding that potential lifetime partner – giving you the best chance of achieving that ultimate goal of a long-term, committed relationship.

Understand where you may have gone wrong in the past

Another important way to feel calmer about dating is to understand where you might have gone wrong in the past. If you can understand why previous relationships haven’t worked out, you can do your best to rectify these issues in the future and recognise any red flags or warning signs that are likely to lead you down the same path.

A qualified dating and relationship coach will be able to help you work this out. They can discuss any previous relationships and dating experiences that you have had and help you to identify where the issues were and how to best handle those situations should they arise again. They can also help you to understand your dating attachment style and those that are best suited to your attachment style and identify any areas of personal growth that you can work on together to give you the best chance of success and ensure that you are ready for the new journey ahead.

Plan the ideal date

When it comes to meeting any introductions in person, you need to plan the ideal first date for you. This means choosing a place, time and activity that is going to make you feel as comfortable and at ease as possible. We would also recommend that you choose something that will allow you to extend if you wish but not feel too awkward if you need to cut it short if the chemistry is not there for you.

For example, while bike rides or bowling might be fun ideas, if these aren’t your usual activities don’t use a first date as an excuse to try out a new hobby. Instead, pick something simple, perhaps just going for a drink in a relatively quiet and lowkey place where you have the chance to talk and get to know each other with the flexibility to extend the date should you both be enjoying one another’s company.

If you’re unsure what to do, your dedicated matchmaker will be able to advise the best date ideas that take into account both of your personalities, skills and interests, making that planning process easier.

Wear something that makes you feel good

Much like choosing a new activity is not ideal for a first date, don’t use this opportunity to wear something new that could make you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious. While a new shirt or dress may seem like a good idea to begin with, sometimes old favourites are the better option.

Be sure to wear something that you feel great in and that makes you feel comfortable. After all, you don’t want to be fiddling around with your clothes all night and often when you are uncomfortable it shows in your body language and can be misinterpreted as lack of interest by your date – which could be miles from the truth.

If you’re unsure about what to wear, speak with your dating coach, matchmaker or even get a friend or family member over to offer their honest advice and help you choose an outfit that shows you off in the best light without adding any discomfort.

Set realistic expectations

When it comes to dating, you need to make sure you don’t set your expectations unrealistically high, either for yourself or your date. Having a more grounded focus on what is really important to you and what you are hoping to achieve can help to relieve some of the pressure and reduce your nerves.

If you know you tend to get stressed or expect too much from your dating journey and subsequently your introductions, speak to your matchmaker. They’ll be able to help you set realistic expectations for your own personal journey and your introductions to ensure that you are not adding unnecessary pressure to yourself to achieve the impossible.


Last, but certainly not least, you need to remember to breathe! There is someone out there for everyone, so don’t stress or feel disheartened if the first, second or even third date doesn’t lead to a long-term relationship. Just take a breath and trust the process. If you have enlisted the services of a professional matchmaker, trust that they know what they are doing and listen to any advice that they give you as this will all help you to enjoy the dating journey and find that long-term, committed relationship that you are looking for.

If you’re looking for support and advice on dating and someone to help calm your nerves, the expert team of matchmakers at Ignite Dating is here to help. Get in touch with us today to take that first step and start your new dating journey.

Coronavirus Uncategorized

How a year of lockdown has changed dating

The Coronavirus pandemic took its toll on everyone. With numerous lockdowns in place, socialising all but banned, gyms, restaurants and pubs closed and everyone being forced to work from home, not one part of our lives remained normal. But one of the biggest groups to suffer as a result of these imposed restrictions was single people.

Living alone amplified the feeling of isolation. For the best part of a year, they waited patiently to be able to meet new people in person, to go on dates and to try and begin building new relationships.

And as we begin to come out the other side, it is clear to see that through this period of dormancy there has been a big shift in the dating landscape. From vaccination statuses on dating profiles to socially distanced date nights, lockdown has had a huge impact on the dating world over the last year and with some of these changes set to stay, single people have to find a way to navigate the dating scene once again.

Video calls have become a part of dating

Pre-lockdown only 35% of adults ever really used the video calling functionality on their mobiles, but thanks to the lockdowns that were imposed video calls became a hugely important way for people to stay in contact during the pandemic, be that friends, families, colleagues, or partners. Those who were still trying to salvage some sort of dating life during lockdown also relied on these platforms to enable virtual dates with potential new partners – most of which they had met online.

But as lockdown lifts and people can meet in person again, it looks like video calls will be much more commonplace in dating. In fact, seven out of ten adults are now making video calls at least weekly, and although this is unlikely to replace face-to-face dates it will feature in most blossoming relationships as a way to stay in touch on the days that they cannot see each other in person.

People are choosing to take it slow

Imagine speaking to someone online for months without being able to meet in person. Well, this was the reality for a lot of people during lockdown, and in many cases, it led to deeper emotional connections in the long run.

As such, it has sparked a trend of people choosing to date more slowly and placing more of an emphasis on getting to know someone more deeply before taking things to the next level, even as restrictions begin to ease.

People want to know your status

No, we don’t mean that singletons are out to uncover your dating status; rather they want to know if you’ve been vaccinated.

Although we’ve begun to get a handle on the Coronavirus, there is still no cure, and many are remaining very cautious – particularly when meeting new people outside of their social bubbles. This has seen a huge spike in people adding their vaccination status to their dating profiles in a bid to secure more dates and, most importantly, make their dates feel safer and more at ease when meeting in person.

Many have realised that they want to settle down

For all the social events, dates and cosy nights in that were missed during the lockdown, lots of single people who were once happy with their independent lifestyle have realised that they miss the intimacy and closeness that a committed relationship brings.

Throughout lockdown, we have really come to appreciate the relationships that we have with those around us, be those friendly, romantic or family connections. As a result, many single people have re-evaluated the life that they had and gained a renewed focus in the search for someone to settle down with.

People will be more open-minded when dating

Having gone months without much company, lots of single people have had the time to reassess what they are looking for in a partner and realised how trivial some of the traits and qualities that would have once put them off a person, might actually be.

Now that restrictions are easing and people are stepping back into the dating world, we’re likely to see people approaching dating with a more open mind and letting go of some of the factors that they would have once described as deal-breakers. After all, if the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it has taught us what is really important in this life and given us a renewed focus to go out and get it!

After a year of lockdown, you might be ready to get back on the dating scene. If so, our expert matchmakers can help support you through this new dating landscape. Get in touch with our team today to get your dating journey back on track this year and find that right person that you have been looking for.