Stages healthy dating relationship

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According to the principles of marriage and family therapy, love relationships undergo five basic stages or phases.

Similar to individual human development, each stage is marked by a central crisis and several developmental activities.

Some couples break up when their vision clears and they realize that all is not perfect.

Others move into a phase of getting to know each other better, notes relationship author Christian Carter in an article for e

At this point, the relationship is likely not exclusive, and both partners are evaluating whether they want to move forward with this person. Enjoy your time together while learning how you handle conflicts and other issues together.

Many people stop seeing each other during the noncommittal phase.

Although each relationship is different, most evolve in reasonably predictable ways.

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In healthy relationships, the couple is able to communicate, show support and understanding, and navigate the external world together. Risks include unfaithfulness, emotional withdrawal and even the collapse of the relationship.

Tashman calls the second phase accommodation, while Wessman defines it as initial but limited commitment.

Some couples enter this phase within a few weeks, others within a few months, but virtually all couples are in it by the two-year mark.

Relationships that have reached this stage are nearly impossible to destroy.

Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer specializing in disabled adventure travel.

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