Valentine's Day relationship checkup

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by Tami Hoey

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM

PHOENIX --  Valentine's Day is coming up this week. Do you know where your relationship stands?

Monday on Good Morning Arizona, relationship expert Mike Lindstrom talked to Kaley O'Kelley about  the four major phases in relationships: the early dating phase, the intimacy phase,  the committed phase, and the "beyond the commitment" phase.

The first phase is Dating. "In the beginning of the relationship, there's courting," Lindstrom says. "60 to 90 days. And it's not how many dates you have. It's based on time."

One of the most important parts of this phase is communication. "Be more direct about what you want and what you expect. That's where people fall down," Lindstrom says. "They don't know where they stand because they don't talk about it."

The next level is called the Intimacy Phase, when your relationship becomes physical.  "You're starting to think in the back of your mind, am I the only one involved here?" Lindstrom explains. "The conversation about exclusivity starts to come in."

The Commitment Phase happens when both parties are crystal clear about being monogamous and call each other "boyfriend/girlfriend."  It usually occurs by the four to six month range. 

Finally, if you're engaged or married, you've entered the "Beyond the Commitment" phase. During this time, you have to start paying attention to behaviors that might signal red flags.

"How do they text? How do they engage you? Are they on their cell phone all the time? Do they still do the same things they did with you when you first started dating?" Lindstrom warns that women should  to pay attention to how men act around their cell phone. 

Finally, what do you do if you feel the commitment just isn't there?   Make sure to have a very direct conversation about it, and be prepared to walk away if need be.

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