What would you say either in general, or for you specifically, are the ideal benchmarks/preresequites for relationship stages? In other words, what would you say are the major transitional stages in a relationship of two people from stranger to life partner / coparents, and what do you think the prerequisites are for advancing to the next stage?
I’ll give my own example, but I’m not sure it’s necessarily correct or ideal, which is why I’m looking to you all, especially those with a lot of relationship experience, for your input.
I don’t mind those whose relationships are a little unconventional from chiming in about their polyamorous situation or whatever, because that’s very interesting and is even helpful in giving perspective, but I am hoping to get the majority of input from people who also feel like a sexually monogamous life partnership is their ideal ultimate outcome for them personally. I either case, I’m looking more for what you feel would be the ideal pathway, rather than whatever pathway you happened to actually take, though feel free to include anecdotes in service of supporting either by good or bad example why you feel a certain way.
Here’s my first draft!
Merely requires meeting someone and either communicating with them or participating in the same activity, more than once.
Acquaintance > Friend
Communicate with and participate in activities with on a regular basis.
Friend > Best friends
Be honest and open about values, past, etc.
Best Friends > Casual Dating
Have mutual physical attraction, decide to start dating casually, decide methods and level of physical intimacy
Casual Dating > Boyfriend / Girlfriend (Committed Relationship)
Decide to be mutually exclusive, take STD tests before having sex, discuss the nature of sexual intimacy, confirm that you share similar goals with regard to the future of the relationship in terms of marriage, kids, career, etc.
Committed Monogamy > Live Together
Discuss financial aspects, time together and apart, etc.
Live Together > Engagement
Decide on a mutual desire for a more permanent committed relationship, reconfirm relationship and future goals, reconfirm shared values, resolve any lingering conflicts, discuss and decide on financial responsibilities, decide what to bring to and expect from the marriage, meet families, discuss method of future conflict resolution.
Engagement > Marriage
Reconfirm everything above.
Marriage > Renewal
Reaffirm commitment, resolve any unexpected new conflicts
Renewal > Parenting
Discuss parenting methods, values, beliefs, and responsibilities with regard to having children.
I’ve been a little vague in parts, definitely would love to hear what other people think needs to be negotiated and decided during the various stages.