Different Stages of a Pre-Commited Relationships
By understanding the different stages of relationship, you can be prepared to navigate through each stage successfully & not get “stuck” in them.
You’ve been dating someone great and it’s still in that new and lovely phase, but they keep putting pressure on you to be in a relationship – you like them but you’re not ready to make that decision yet, and the time limits being imposed on your are making it even harder for you to make a decision – yet you’re afraid you’ll lose something potentially great because of this fear of commitment. Help!
We are not born knowing how to have a conscious relationship. Most of what we do in a relationship (or life) is a pattern of learned behavior that we can modify if we choose to. Behavior follows patterns. Nothing is random in life. Sometimes, we show up a non-skillful way, and there is a story to it. When we come from a place fear, who we let seating in the driver’s seat is not our adult self but our saboteur. We all have saboteurs in different forms and their roles are to alert us to important issues we need to address but we are afraid to face. To tame them; we need to be aware of their voice, the alarming sound, and differentiate it from our inner knowing by centering ourselves in love, at ease. So, scanning our feelings, body senses, and thoughts would give us some indication about this discomforting voice. It’s not like resisting to it but being aware of what’s happening and being with it. Uncovering any deep fear would create awareness. With that awareness, we can acknowledge what’s happening in us and our relationships, which would lead us making some conscious choices, and that would result in forwarding the action. It’s a step-by-step process.
There are different stages of couple relationships, and as far as I’m concerned, the ones prior to commitment are;
1- Readiness: This stage relates to singles, them having a clear vision on what they require, need and want. It’s more of developing clarity to create a relationship with intension. In singles coaching, as coaches, we develop a relationship plan with our clients based on their values, dreams, passions and needs. We, also, identify self-limiting beliefs and inner-barriers.
2- Attraction: This is the yinyang part of the relationship; clicking with some certain people. However, although there is an attraction, there is also self-knowing as; we might be attracted to someone who may not be a good fit for us. We need to come from a place of knowing what we need and have at the essence of a relationship – who can meet our expectations and how we need to show-up in the world for that to happen. This is the dating phase. Having a clear relationship plan becomes handy at this stage. A question comes to mind though; how and where do we need to hold ourselves accountable for that plan to work out?
3- Pre-commitment: That’s when two singles become a couple, prior to deciding to become committed. Some considerations at this stage are; by being in a certain type of relationship, am I setting myself for failure, is this a good choice, or is this the right relationship for me?
4- Pre-marital: Couples decide to become committed yet they still might have some fears to overcome. They need to make good choices so that; they can set themselves up for a successful marriage.
As couples are moving to the pre-commitment and pre-marital phases, the pace in this transition may vary between them and that pace difference may cause anxiety, trigger our saboteurs, and even bring some unpleasant past experiences to the surface. We simply get edged-out when this big change happens in our life. This is very normal as; something major in our story/myth, in our roles in the relationship and out in the world is changing. We are being challenged, and that’s absolutely ok! What we need to do is; to scan our feelings and become more aware of the source of energy that we’re driven from. At this stage, in order to identify what we really need, we can take one easy step forward and start asking ourselves some meaningful questions; the type of questions that would evoke thinking and help identifying what we are holding at the core of any form of a relationship, including the one between us and ourselves. That would open some doors to us about what we are not even aware of.
Here is a list of thought starter questions to reflect on;
What do I want and need?
What’s real about this relationship?
What’s my intension?
What’s important to me?
What values and dreams am I honoring/dishonoring with actions?
What’s holding me back?
What am I scared of?
Where am I setting myself up for failure?
How would it look like if I take that step forward?
What’s my vision?
The Vision is the most important thing and it’s a real thing inside of us. It’s an internal image of what we want for our life. It’s part of our inner guidance system. It drives our energy, our thoughts, our wants and needs and our choices. It’s the thing leading us towards/away from some certain choices. There is always some things we really want, some things that feel right, some things we’re content with, and there is an inner knowing about them. Connecting to that source of knowing would put us back in the driver’s seat, enable us to make some choices. Choices are decisions, made in the moment result in action. We are always at choice of getting unstuck and often more than one choice, we have got. So, what do we choose? How can we focus on effective attitude, skills, and choices?
Skills are learnable. Having a heart-to-heart chat with our partner about how we feel and what we are afraid of would shift things. It would bring more empathy to the relationship and enable us to expand our range of being and doing. It’s like dancing with someone in the moment, which takes two to happen. Living in the moment, not the past or the future, by coming from a place of commitment, deep democracy, and heart would help us explore what’s possible for us if we stop fighting, flying or freezing in the times of change."