As we grow older we realize that rushing into relationships is the wrong move. We can no longer afford to make the same mistakes when we were younger and more care free. The reason? Because with experience comes wisdom and with wisdom comes awareness. Awareness about our personal needs of self care. We no longer want or choose to give out time and energy to people who will misuse it or abuse it, its just too painful. We’ve learned that its simply not worth it and that the most important thing is essentially our own well being.
Taking the time out to get to know someone is the right way to go. I like to start off with friendship. Always a good place to start, which brings me to the 5 stages of a relationship that allow you to take it easy and give you a behavioral guide when meeting a new potential partner, because lets face it, every time we meet someone new, we always want to do better than our last failed relationship, right? So, start off slow and really get to know the person to see if you are actually compatible.
5 stages of a relationship
- Attraction – emotional, intellectual, physical, spiritual. (ongoing). This part of the relationship may last up to 4-6 dates and usually dates are held in public places. You could also limit the amount of times you see this person, really its up to you, just so you can pace yourself and give yourself a lot of time. During this stage there most probably is no kissing, or visiting each others apartments, and no delving into very personal stories or sharing personal information. Theres a time and place for everything and now is not the time!
- Getting to know one another – This stage might take 6-10 dates and around two months or more depending on the couple. Here, the two can be more private, you can start to see the person more often. Here, you can begin to pinpoint aspects of their character, are they predictable in their availability to you? How well do they communicate? Do you respect one another? Are you maintaining a life outside of the relationship?
- Stage 3 is becoming mutually exclusive. Here we can begin to evaluate our life goals and common visions, our mutual attraction and compatibility. Are you compatible in the following areas and if so how much? Spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and financial. Are you maintaining friendships outside of the relationship? This is important!
- In this stage it is the exchanging of intimacy, (into me you see). Maybe you have sex at this stage, or its important to meet each others parents. Here, you may start to plan and take vacations together. Still, you should have a life outside your relationship at all times. I cannot stress how important this is, and it should work for both of you.
- Stage 5 finally is preparing for the future. Question you might like to ask yourself are: Are you planning to marry, engage? Move in together? I am still maintaining my friendships and support outside the relationship. My partner now, is not my only source of companionship, joy, and or support.
Good luck people !