A Map For Romantic Relationships
Walk, run, rest. Hop, skip, jump. Birth, life, death. Everything has a rhythm—an order. This is true for romantic relationships but most people don’t know or pay attention to the order. It goes like this: Dating, Relating, Mating. And when I use the term “mating,” what I mean is entering into a long-term commitment with your partner.
If you get this order right and you do what’s appropriate and necessary in each stage, you will dramatically increase your likelihood for having a healthy romantic partnership. So here’s the short story:
The first stage is Dating
The Dating Stage lasts maybe 2-3 months and might be considered a test-drive. This stage should be easy, fun, uncomplicated and light. If it’s not easy and fun, we suggest that you stop and look for another partner. But, instead, what a lot of people do is they start out working too hard, even in the dating stage. They find a parter who “pushes their buttons” and they think this represents a chance for them to grow and so they dig in and work hard. Big mistake—in my opinion.
If you work hard in the Dating stage all you’re doing is building a relationship that will require hard work.
We don’t believe in that. We believe that life is challenging enough and we want our romantic partnership to be easy, fun and enlivening.
The second stage is Relating
This is the time—usually a couple of years—in which you do need to work out your differences, reach clear agreements, and learn to be a healthy “we.” But, this stage doesn’t have to be hard either. The secret to this stage is placing more emphasis on how you relate to one another (kindly), how you reach agreements (flexibly), how you deal with your differences (respectfully)—regardless of what you’re talking about.
This stage is all about personal conduct. It’s about how you behave. If you learn to treat each other as friends, ask for what you want instead of complaining about what you don’t get, maturely express your feelings and create agreements and boundaries wherein you feel safe and respected—you’ll lay a foundation for continued growth, happiness, and contentment.
Stop thinking about winning, debating, proving your point, keeping score, tit-for-tat or using the childlike logic that results in questions and statements such as, “Well, how would you feel if I did that?” or, “I only did what I did because you did X.”
We all learned to have those rather immature conversations when we were children but very few of us ever learned to have a completely different kind of conversation. Yet, we can. And this is what Live Conscious teaches us—how to have a different kind of conversation. A conversation that makes partnering easy and elegant.
The third stage is Mating
This is what happens after you decide to be a couple with a long-term commitment to one another. Now that you’ve made your commitment, the focus becomes one of honoring your commitment, captivating your partner and celebrating your love.
This stage can be incredibly exciting as you learn to go deeper and deeper, discovering more about each other and about yourselves. No longer hesitant to be vulnerable, you can connect in ways that weren’t previously possible.
This stage not only opens up new emotional territory, but fresh sexual landscapes become visible as, over time, you develop a new retinal nerve that sees beauty beyond the surface. Wrinkles remind us of remembrances and softness becomes sublime.
To hear Jake Eagle being interviewed about Dating ∞ Relating ∞ Mating, listen to the following interview:
Explore our online course:
Each stage of romantic relating has a different purpose and intention. To help you educate yourselves about each stage we’ve created a new online course which we encourage you to go through with your partner. If you don’t have a partner, going through the course alone will help you understand how to attract a healthy partner. Going through this course will give you a new model upon which to create an easier, deeper, more loving partnership.