How do I know we are in the talking stage?

Soph04
So I realized something was off with my friend when he blocked me and the other friend in our small friend group so I texted his best friend and we figured out what happened but in the process I found out that he had told him that we were dating. We have flirted and what not but never really talked about it and I was shocked to hear that he was telling people we were dating because he would always tell me that he doesn’t like me like that and that he was just having fun. How do I know if he likes me? How can u tell you’re in the talking stage?
How do I know we are in the talking stage?
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