The 3 Dating Stages You Must Follow To Have A Healthy Relationship

There are three phases (stages) that constitute the path to a healthy relationship.

And these same stages mark the way to a life rich in intimacy – in all its forms.

Because, at the end of the day, the real skills of dating are simply the skills of intimacy.

And intimacy skills are the most important skills in our lives.

Stage 1: Claim Your Sense Of Self-Esteem And Clean The House

These three stages of wiser dating have a steep learning curve — but they’re worth it.

At some point, and usually as a result of tremendous pain, we begin to lose our taste for relationships that undermine our sense of self-worth.

We find that we just can’t stand the thought of being hurt again.

The End Of A Dead End Era

As we become less “adherent” to this kind of attraction, a dead-end era in our love life is finally coming to an end.

Now we can begin the real work of intimacy: noticing and cultivating relationships that nourish and nourish us.

In dating, and in all of our relationships, we start cleaning the house, emptying our lives of unnecessary interactions with deprived relationships.

At this stage, we learn one of the greatest lessons of love.

It’s the lesson we’ve all heard over and over again, but it’s not easy.

It’s being ourselves.

But this is not a simple thing.

Because who we really are is sealed with qualities that have hurt us in the past.

For example, we may be ashamed of our sensitivity, intensity of feeling, or feeling that we are somehow different from most people.

Instead of defending these essential parts of ourselves, we face them with a kind of a protective shame.

I call these parts of ourselves “Essential Gifts” and they represent our greatest hope of finding meaningful and lasting love.

However, after people take advantage of these qualities, or misunderstand, neglect, and even punish us for them, we learn to cover up our Core Gifts with a protective “false self.”

And in my many years of practice with unique clients, this is the profound formula I have found to be true:

The more we get lost in that false self, the more we become attracted to people who step on us or take advantage of us.

Start Honoring Your Essential Gifts

In this first stage, as we learn to dignify the qualities that we alternately value and dislike, we learn to stop saying “I’m very sensitive” and instead think “I’m deeply sensitive.”

We move away from thinking, “I’m always being exploited, what’s wrong with me?” and learn to say, “I have deep qualities of generosity, and I need to honor and protect them.”

We stop thinking, “Why do I always end up with people who are unfaithful?” and start thinking, “Loyalty is very important to me.

It is an essential quality of mine, and I will finally learn to honor and dignify it in my relationship choices.”

When we do this, our world begins to change in essential ways and we find ourselves entering stage 2.

Stage 2: The Intermediate Stage

Stage two is kind of a strange and unexpected stage.

It’s one that it took me a long time to identify in my clients’ lives.

In the early parts of this stage, it doesn’t seem like much is happening.

It’s like we’ve cleaned the house and now our house is strangely empty.

Surprisingly, this stage tends to last much longer than we might think.

Why does this strange “empty” stage occur?

Why don’t we move on to the better relationship possibilities that await us?

We need time to heal.

The biggest reason is that we often need time to heal.

Our brains may be saying, “I want what comes next,” but our psyches are saying, “I need to rest. I’m not ready for new romantic risks. I need to recover, reconfigure.”

This is a deep stage.

Much of what happens here takes place underground.

Our psyche needs time to reorganize and integrate.

At this stage, the biggest thing we can do is nurture ourselves, learn to be kinder to ourselves as we grieve, reflect, and prepare for stage three.

Look For New Buds

At this stage, the seeds of your newly emerging self have started to grow, but you probably still won’t be able to identify the ways in which they are starting to influence your love life.

At this stage, we need to start looking for relationships, situations, and activities that nourish us, that doesn’t undermine our sense of self-worth.

We are often surprised to find that somehow we are finding new relationships with people who are secure, who always value us for who we are.

And we’ve found that they don’t annoy or annoy us as they used to in the past!

This is an indication of true change.

Often, we don’t even notice these “new offshoots” of healthy relationships at first.

In my role as a psychotherapist and coach, I often need to point out these new relationship possibilities to my clients because they are not recognizing their meaning.

In the second stage, we need to look for new shoots of healthy relationships – because in most cases, they will start to appear.

Stage 3: Building A Life Rich In Love

The third stage is where we begin to actively build a life rich in healthy love.

In this third stage, life is fuller – but less drama-filled.

There is a kind of peace at this stage because the people we choose to be with have less psychic violence qualities than the people we may have dated in the past.

At this stage, now that we’re dating people who are safe, available, and kind, we finally have the opportunity to practice the deeper skills of authentic intimacy, such as generosity; learning to balance in terms of how much we give and how deeply we receive.

This is the basis of rich, exciting, passionate love – but only when we practice it with people who are safe.

By the time we get to this stage, the “field” will have changed for us.

The people we notice will be different.

It’s amazing that this actually happens, but it happens because our attractions have changed.

We’ve found that we’re more likely to find people who are kinder and more available.

It seems our love life is starting to change for the better.

But now, at stage three, there is more work to be done.

We have lost our taste for unhealthy love.

Now we need to cultivate our taste for healthy love.

And it’s not always easy.

For example, those of us who are used to unhealthy relationships often want to run away when we finally meet and start having deeper feelings for someone who is kind, decent, and truly available.

Unconsciously, we start to get scared.

On a conscious level, it may just feel like a constant urge to run away.

At this stage, we need to learn a new set of deeper and richer communication skills.

The heart and soul of this third stage are cultivating and deepening our connection to those people and situations that truly nourish us.

What stage or stages of deeper courtship are you occupying?

And what are your next steps to move forward on your journey?

After reaching stage three, we’ve reached a very important place, but our journey of intimacy will continue to be humbling, challenging, and complex.

We want to get to stage three, but once we get there, we’ll just start the next leg of our journey.

But the good news is this: if you are cultivating these healthy relationships and developing the tools to help them flourish, you may be on the safest path to happiness in the year ahead.