5 Stages of Intimate Relationships

Dating is to see if there's chemistry, shared interests, and personality compatibility. Long-term, you need to feel safe enough to be honest and vulnerable.

1. Early Dating

Hopefully, you'll both quit walking on eggshells and being so rigid. As oxytocin and drop, people become more real and argue more.

2. You Both Settle

You finish school, start careers, move, and have kids. Moving forward is sometimes a multi-year process, but hopefully you construct a less-disruptive life in your 30s.

3. You Commit and Build

Individualization is key. What form it takes depends on the past: you get fed up with doing the heavy lifting or with your passive partner

4: You Breakout

You tackle the core problems—stop doing heavy lifting and achieve greater balance; you survive the affair, and it improves your relationship.

5: You Repair or Leave

All of this is natural, however the specifics vary depending on personality and society.

The key to not outgrowing your relationship is for you and your spouse to remain aware of internal changes, such as your wants, frustrations, expectations, and vision, and communicate

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