Being jointly aware of how relationships develop gives you the opportunity for committed love, and you can relax and explore along the way.

It takes time to get to the point of compromise. Too many commit too soon. It causes distress and disappointment.

Have you done that? Like a fairy tale with a first date and then living happily after? It’s a fairy tale! The real world is that love takes time. Take each of the three stages to get there.

Stage One – First dates

This is the exploratory stage. Is there chemistry? Everything is very preliminary.

It is not yet the time to think about a possible future together, just see each other and see if you are interested enough for future dates.

The chemistry of relationships is physical, emotional, and spiritual. The physical is often obvious … do you find the person physically attractive? Do you like the eyes, the mouth, the body type? What about the voice and the laughter, even the accent?

How does the person smell to you? What about the sense of touch when you shake hands or even kiss? And the taste?

If a person smells or tastes like smoke, is that a game changer for you? Some things will never change. Some things will change or may change over time, but right now you are in the stage of first impressions through the five senses.

There is also the emotional and spiritual connection that is part of the early discovery of chemistry. How is the conversation going? What do you care about? Do you share similar interests and views on life?

The second stage is the honeymoon

The honeymoon special. It is something that many couples work on to maintain later aspects in their relationships.

They see each other frequently. They have fun and get very excited together as they really get to know each other.

The honeymoon can last a few months or up to a year. It ends when you acknowledge the humanity of your partner. Your partner has flaws and you start to see them. And they are yours.

For some, the honeymoon is all they want. They have a kind of addiction to the honeymoon thrill.

They separate and move on as the honeymoon phase matures to an end. I call these people 90 Day Wonders.

They are ideal for a honeymoon, but lack the emotional stability and maturity to pursue a long-term relationship.

Commitment to the relationship is the third stage

Once the honeymoon in the rose-colored glasses is over, and you see each other’s lack of perfection, you can try to change each other.

You may have a hard time deciding who is wrong and who is wrong in situations, beliefs, and attitudes. This can turn into a power struggle.

If they can get to the point where they accept each other for who they are, rather than trying to change perceived imperfections, many relationships become stronger and more durable.

Otherwise, a breakup can occur or, often worse, stick together and be miserable.

If the decision is to accept your partner and vice versa, the relationship can continue and grow in a healthy way. They have given each other a chance to find love.

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