Most couples need 5 to 6 dates before they start discussing a relationship, and some may take even longer. Don't worry if you have had a few appointments. This is in line with the 1 to 3 month timeline that is typical for many people. This stage can last anywhere from 3 to 4 months, depending on the individuals and their maturity, experience, and self-awareness. Towards the end of this stage, and hopefully at other points throughout it, it is not uncommon for questions such as “is this the right person for me?” to arise.
Women in particular may also be eager to find out where the relationship is headed. Psychologists suggest that you should wait at least two months before asking the other person to be exclusive with you. Although couples may decide to commit to each other sooner than that, eight weeks is usually a good benchmark. The five stages of a relationship are fusion, doubt and denial, disappointment, decision and unconditional love. Every relationship goes through these five stages, although not just once.
Here's all you need to know about the five stages of a relationship and the skills couples need to get through each stage. This is also an important stage that couples can use to assess the relationship and their ability to be part of an emotionally intelligent relationship. Trust is stronger and more intimacy may be shared at this stage, as couples let go of some of their “best face” and allow themselves to act in a more natural and relaxed way. At this stage, the attraction may not be too “deep” and each half of a couple generally puts their best foot forward. Often, people at this stage of a relationship will feel like they have found their perfect partner, someone who is so eerily similar and compatible with them.
At this stage of the relationship, couples should have a good understanding of their partner's values, lifestyle, and goals for the future. This Love Cycles model is based on my experience as a couples therapist over the past three decades, studying couples at all stages of a relationship and identifying common patterns. Couples can stay in this stage as long as they can continuously maintain their own integrity as individuals, so set ongoing goals for self-care and personal growth. Unfortunately, some people don't fully experience or process each stage as an opportunity for personal growth or to make a healthy assessment of the relationship or of themselves. When I see couples at this stage, I always encourage them to consider taking a new path - deciding to work on themselves before making any decisions about the relationship.