Most relationships start out fun and light-hearted. It’s when you’re discovering one another and learning as much about them as you can. 

But… changes in relationships are inevitable. You can only ‘get to know someone’ for so long before one of you starts to crave for something more. It’s perfectly normal, especially if you’re dating with purpose (meaning you’re looking for a life mate or a commitment). There are stages of relationships and knowing which stage you’re in can help you focus more on enjoying the moment than worrying about where things are going. Let’s look at the initial stages.

dating

Most relationships start with ‘just’ dating.Dating is the very beginning. It’s when you first start spending time with someone and discovering that you might just enjoy their company. This stage is also a little tricky, because some people define the dating phase differently. Some feel that it’s okay to date others while you’re getting to know each other. Other’s may want your undivided attention. If you want to avoid misunderstandings, be clear with each other early on about what ‘dating’ each other means.


coupled-up

This is when you’ve come to the conclusion that you don’t want anyone else to have intimate time with your lover. It’s also around this time that you start introducing each other as girlfriend or boyfriend and you find yourself making plans to meet each others families. Since this period of most relationships happens organically, you may find yourself a true couple – without even realizing when it actually happened.

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love

Now that it’s official, things will start to heat up fast. You may find yourselves inseparable, not wanting to leave one another’s side because you’re so in love. By this time you have probably exchanged the word ‘love’, and started envisioning (and even planning) your future together. There’s no timetable for this phase and it can essentially happen at any time. For some, it can be the first week while for others it could be several months… But whenever it happens, they’ll be no denying how you feel.

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commitment

At this stage, you may not be ready for a huge surprise proposal filled or do it yourself wedding invitations, but you’re definitely feeling like this might be the one. It’s when you start to feel secure and safe in your relationship. When the two of you feel free to be vulnerable with each other and even if it goes unspoken, you can’t see your future without him/her in it.