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Stages of a Relationship

Stages of a Relationship

Everyone who’s happily attached goes through stages of a relationship, but you might mistake those stages as being linear. You find someone with whom you share incredible chemistry, but then who he really is starts to shine through and you enter into a more uncertain stage. Some relationships end here, others don’t.

If you make it through the uncertainty stage (we’ll give them more formal names shortly), you enter into an adjustment phase when the differences between you seem to stand out and you feel like you’re constantly negotiating something.

If you can survive the adjustment stage, you’ll find yourself ready to commit. You’re accepting one another for who you are and willing to hang in there. The next stage is acceptance. You’ve gone through a lot to get where you are, and you feel closer than ever.

The challenge is that you won’t stay in that acceptance stage because you’re both always growing and changing. You’ll cycle through these stages multiple times throughout a long-term relationship, regardless of what Hollywood tries to tell us.

stages of a relationship

Stages of a Relationship: Stage 1 – Early Dating

This stage is called the infatuation stage, the euphoria stage, the merge stage, and probably a dozen other names, but they all mean the same thing. It’s that first phase of a relationship when you feel the chemistry and you’re drawn to one another so strongly that common sense and reason often fly out the door. During this stage, your emotions are strong, often overriding any rational thinking you might normally do. You feel he’s your perfect match, a guy who’s very similar to you and someone you want to spend all your time with. According to scientific research, during this phase of a relationship, your brain shows decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is the part responsible for the negative judgment of people. This means your brain has just handed you a pair of rose-colored glasses. While this can feel like a bad thing, research also says that couples in the study who stayed together for three or more years had the most decreased activity in this part of their brains. While you each have faults and you see them, they don’t matter enough to cause you to end the relationship. In other words, you look past them.

The Dangers of Stage 1

While this is all well and good, there are some pitfalls to this chemical reaction your brain is having.

Ignoring Red Flags

First, you may ignore true red flags. You’re so in love with him that you see the red flags, but you don’t pay attention to them. Some flaws are no big deal and the ability to overlook them is fine, but sometimes there are bigger red flags that you should notice. He may be financially irresponsible, physically or emotionally abusive, controlling, or have any of a host of other negative behaviors. One or both of you explain these poor behaviors away and move forward. Of course, all of those I just listed are not good for a healthy relationship, so ignoring them is leading you down a bad path. To avoid this, ask your friends to meet him and give you their honest assessment. Listen to them because they have one goal – to protect you from yourself. They want you to be happy, so when they tell you something you don’t want to hear, remember that! Take off those rose-colored glasses for a few moments and ask yourself if what they’re seeing is true. Date with your head, not with your heart

Giving Up Your Outside Live

Another problem that can occur in stage one is that you spend more time with this new love instead of on your hobbies and outside friendships. You begin to spend so much time together that your friends finally just give up on you coming to girls’ night ever again. While this seems okay, it’s not. He fell for a woman who was active and engaged with the outside world. He fell for you because you were busy and confident. A guy will enjoy this for a little while, but then he’ll begin to feel smothered. He wants to spend time with his friends, alone, but you’re always there. He can’t catch an evening to himself, and he may begin to feel smothered. A relationship can’t survive with the two of you slobbering all over one another all the time. The two of you need time apart so you can appreciate your time together. He needs to be away from you sometimes in order to be excited to be with you again. Avoid this by maintaining the activities you had before you met him. If you had Yoga on Tuesday nights, keep going. He’ll be okay, I promise. If you and your girlfriends did a girls’ night twice a month, keep going. Keep working on your hobbies and volunteering or doing other things that occupied your time before you met him. Of course, don’t spend every evening doing something. Make time for a date night with him too, but don’t plan to spend every day, from the end of work one day until you wake up to go to work the next together.

Not Being Fully Honest with One Another

I often equate dating, especially early on, as a marketing activity. You’re putting your best foot forward so you can impress this guy. If you met through an online dating site, you put up your best photos, maybe photos that were a year or five old. You only listed your good qualities because who wants to put up the bad ones? But this isn’t really you. We’re all flawed, and we all have baggage. We’re all afraid of being too vulnerable with someone we don’t really know, so we keep those parts of ourselves hidden. Of course, if you feel you’ve hidden your true self for too long, you wage a war with yourself over when is a good time to bring up some of those vulnerabilities and pieces of baggage. So, here’s what you do. Try to be as close to your true self as you can be on your first date. Don’t wear an outfit that doesn’t represent your taste just because you think it makes you look sexier. Wear something you feel comfortable in that doesn’t show off too much of your body but still leaves him appreciating you. Instead of hiding your baggage, unpack it slowly, in little pieces first. Always remember that just because you think something is negative in your life doesn’t mean he will. Baggage is different for everyone. You may have dated a few men who bolted and ran when they found out you have a three-year-old son, but that doesn’t mean the next guy will.

Having Unreasonable Expectations

When you have low confidence and self-esteem, you may set unreasonable expectations in the early phase of a relationship. For example, you may seek a commitment from him way before he’s ready to make one. Guys take longer to fall in love In reality, you’re probably scared to death that he might see through you to your pain and vulnerability, so you make sure to dump him first. That’ll teach him for being too perfect! Some women meet a new guy and within a few weeks, they’re reading The Knot and dreaming about wedding dresses. Every time he does something that they feel is a milestone, they add to this vision of a lifetime relationship with him. If you find yourself doing this, it’s time to stop dating for a while. Take a relationship break and work on yourself. If your confidence is low, you’re attracting a type of man you don’t want and who may not be able to commit to you in the way you envision. Confident men don’t date women who lack confidence. They date confident women, so to attract a great man, you must first build your own confidence and self-esteem. I want to change my life!
stages of a relationship

You Have Sex With Him Too Soon

Sex too early in a relationship can kill whatever you have between you. Yes, a guy will ask to have sex, but that doesn’t mean you must say yes.

Have a boundary that says you won’t have sex with a guy until he’s proven himself worthy of you. Of course, if your beliefs say not to have sex until you’re married, let him know that. If he respects you and likes you enough at this stage, he’ll respect your boundaries.

How many dates before we have sex?

Sex and a new relationship | When is the right time?

When you have sex too soon, it is a low-confidence signal. It’s your way of saying you think you can’t keep him if you don’t have sex. That sex is all you have to offer.

This is not true. You are a wonderful woman, whether you see it or not. A good man will respect your boundaries and not try to crash through them.

We slept together. Now what?

How Long Does This First of the Stages of a Relationship Last?

Most believe that this first stage lasts about six months, some estimate it could last up to two years, but I don’t think that’s true. Really, it depends on the two of you. Nobody can predict how long any couple experiences one stage or another.

Your relationship is different from any other because you’re at different stages of your life than other couples. Another factor is how your relationship started, your personality traits, and how long it took you to fall in love.

I have neighbors who began dating during COVID. The man lives next door to me, and his girlfriend lives across the street from me. To add to the situation, his ex-wife lives about five doors down from his girlfriend. They all get along well, thankfully, so it all works.

When the man and his wife were married, they lived in the same school district as his current girlfriend. They knew one another. Their kids went to school together, so when they ended up being neighbors, they weren’t strangers. I would estimate it was about a year after she moved in that they started formally dating.

I don’t honestly know how long they stayed in this stage. They were very quiet about their relationship for quite some time, for obvious reasons. We have a close-knit neighborhood with quite a few busybodies. My point is that for them, this stage may have lasted a shorter period of time because they knew one another already. Some of the secrets were already out.

If you’re in this stage of a relationship, enjoy it. This is the fun stage when you’re learning about one another. Do fun things together. Enjoy getting to know one another. Don’t put the pressure of commitment on yourselves just yet. It’s too soon.

How to Get This Phase Back Later

Remember above, I said you’ll cycle through these stages of a relationship. How can you bring back this phase?

Continue to Show One Another Your Love

Never stop giving compliments or appreciating one another. Keep surprising him with his favorite coffee once in a while. Put a note in his laptop bag to remind him of something special you have planned.

Keep making deposits in the emotional bank every day. Just because you may move out of this phase doesn’t mean you get to stop being nice to one another. In fact, as the challenges of the other phases kick in, it will be even more important to do these things.

Keep a Regular Date Night Routine

Date nights are crucial to happy relationships. I’m convinced of this. They provide you with an opportunity to reconnect after a busy week of other stuff.

They also give you the chance to discuss your relationship and your shared vision for where it’s going. How do you see your relationship advancing? What kinds of things do you want to do together? How do you see this playing out in the future?

Date night also gives you time to just be a couple. If you both have outside responsibilities, like kids, it helps you reconnect as a couple without those outside distractions.

I recommend a technology-free rule for date nights unless you have a job that requires you to be on call or you have kids with a babysitter. But you don’t sit there and read emails, look to see who liked your latest Facebook post or how many new followers you have on Instagram. Save that for later. This is your time to be together.

Spend Time Apart

I mentioned this before. It’s important for you both to have time apart, as well as time together. If you stay glued to one another all the time, it will get old fast and one or both of you will feel smothered.

This time apart allows you to maintain friendships, hobbies, and other activities you were doing before you met him. It also allows you to be apart so you can miss one another, which helps you remember why you’re together in the first place.

Practice Partner-Based Gratitude

There are reasons why you love having him in your life. Share them with him. This doesn’t need to be a daily practice, but you should strive for a few times a week. You can do it in different ways. You could write him a love letter and mail it to him, or you could write it in lipstick or dry-erase marker on the bathroom mirror. I suggested earlier sticking a note in his computer bag or in his lunch.

All of these pieces of appreciation are important and help maintain the bond between you.

Become an Active Listener

Many people think communication is all about how you speak to one another, but one person can’t be heard if the other isn’t listening.

Listening is perhaps more important than speaking because then your partner feels appreciated and heard. Many problems in relationships arise when someone feels unheard. He’s been trying to tell you for weeks that he needs more time to himself, but you just keep scheduling things to do together, ignoring his request.

Listening involves sitting quietly while your partner speaks. Don’t work on what your response will be. Ask questions where they fit. Nod your head to show you’re paying attention. Keep your eyes focused on him, although not to the point of being creepy.

Only after he’s done speaking do you consider what you’ll say. Don’t try to make it something to top his story. Maybe all you say is, “Wow, Gregg! That’s amazing,” or “Gee Joe, I’m so sorry about your dog.” It shows you were paying attention and that what he said mattered.

Don’t Let Your Sex Life Fall Off

The kids are young, and you have a puppy. You just got a promotion and he’s just started his own business. You’re both so exhausted by the end of the day that you just want to drop into bed and fall asleep.

Instead, I encourage you to relight the fire. Buy some new sexy lingerie or his favorite perfume. Find some couples’ games and have some fun. I know your life is exhausting, but sex is a powerful thing in a relationship. When it slows down, it’s a red flag.

Touch alone is a very powerful tool in a loving relationship. Just lying together in bed and caressing one another is a very deep and caring activity.

Do Things Together

There are many ways to do things together. You can do something as basic as preparing a meal together, or you can do something riskier like rock climbing, bungee jumping, and so on. You can also plan a vacation together or even go grocery shopping. Some couples find a hobby to share or they’re able to combine their individual hobbies into one they can do together.

These activities are outside of your regular date nights. They can be planned or impromptu. The point is to do something together.

Communicate

The most effective way to deepen your relationship is to communicate. Ask your partner what he would like out of your relationship at this point. Does he want to experience something with you, or without you? Are there things he’s always wanted to do? Is there something he feels is missing from your relationship?

Relationship failure can often be traced back to poor communication skills for both partners. You don’t really know how to ask for what you want or need, either because you’re afraid to be vulnerable or because you’re afraid of being told no.

If you care for one another, you’ll work hard to make sure you’re both happy and your needs are being met.

stages of a relationship

Stages of a Relationship: Stage 2 – The Love Hangover

This is a difficult stage for many couples, and some divorces and breakups occur in this second of the five stages of a relationship.

The Dangers of Stage 2

You Focus on the Differences Now

During this stage, the rose-colored glasses come off. You finally see the differences between you, instead of just the things that make you great together. It can feel like it’s hitting you hard, like an ugly wake-up call. Those same qualities that he has that you once thought were cute are now just annoying you. Maybe he’s an adventurous type, and that attracted you to him early on, but now it feels like he’s taking too many risks. Perhaps he first came off as generous, but now you feel he’s a spendthrift.

You May Engage in Power Struggles

As these differences come to light, there’s more friction in the relationship. You may experience power struggles and feel dismayed at the differences you’re now observing. Sometimes you feel like you love him and at other times, you feel so irritated that you can’t stand to be around him. You must be careful during this stage not to fall into that my way or the highway mindset. Relationships are about compromise. There’s give and take, and the same person can’t always be the one giving or taking. The conflicts you’re experiencing aren’t about huge issues because you don’t yet have that deep commitment or know that much about one another, but they’re disagreements, nonetheless.

Life Becomes Too Stressful – Fight or Flee?

If this becomes too stressful for you, your fight-or-flight instincts might kick in, causing you to either engage in arguments or want to flee the relationship. You might want to fight to defend your values or your point of view, which may translate into wanting everything to be your way.

Are You in Stage 2?

One way to know for sure that you’re in this second stage is that you’re able to sleep easier. You aren’t thinking about him 24/7. You feel more comfortable doing your outside activities and hanging out with your friends now. Another signal is that while one of you is withdrawing from the relationship, seemingly shutting down your heart and pulling away so you can get some space, the other is pursuing harder. The pursuing partner wants more attention because she feels the growing distance. This partner might feel emotionally abandoned by the other partner.

How to Survive Stage 2

Stage two is certainly survivable, or there wouldn’t be three more stages to follow. The challenge, of course, is to get the person who’s withdrawing to recognize the emotional abandonment their partner is feeling. And for the partner who’s ramped up their pursuit, to recognize that they need to pull back and give their partner some space.

Realize You Can’t Change Him – Accept Him Where He Is

It’s also important to recognize that you can’t change him. Just because he isn’t the person you thought he was doesn’t mean you aren’t compatible. If you love someone, you learn to love them where they are, not where you want them to be. James and Kira have been together for a couple of years now, but James just retired from military service and is battling some post-concussion issues. The doctors are saying he may have what they’re now calling a traumatic brain injury. James isn’t the guy he was when he left, and while they communicated during his time away, they were able to avoid many of the pitfalls of Stage 2. Now that they’re together, Kira is frustrated, partly because she doesn’t understand the changes in James, and partly because their differences seem to be coming to light now that he’s back. But Kira realizes that she loves James and is willing to do what it takes to understand what he’s going through, even though it’s difficult at times.

Learn How to Fight Fair

An unfair fight is one where you yell and carry on without listening or giving the other person a chance to say their peace. When you see a discussion escalating into an argument, it’s time to step back from it. You can say something like, “I think we both need to take a few minutes to calm down so we can talk about this rationally. When you’re emotional, like when you’re angry, it’s very difficult to think logically or rationally. Your mind just can’t do it, so any argument comes from an emotional place, not a rational one. By giving you both time to calm down, you’re allowing for your rational or logical mind to come back into the picture. You’re also more likely to be ready to listen now that you’ve calmed down. During this calming down time, take some deep breaths to send a signal to your system that the danger is over. Alleviate that fight or flight response that kicked in. You may also consider taking a walk or going to the gym to work out. This also releases those fight-or-flight chemicals and allows you to burn off the angry energy. When you come back together, stick to the ONE topic you were arguing about. Don’t bring up something that happened between you six weeks ago. Also, avoid hurling insults and using foul language. Be calm and come prepared to listen as much as, if not more than you speak.

Remember, this is Normal

What you’re going through is normal. It’s a stage of your relationship. It isn’t permanent. Nor is it a sign that there’s nothing between you. Your relationship isn’t ending just because you’re in the middle of a disagreement. Throughout your entire relationship, you will disagree. It’s how you manage those disagreements that make the difference between whether your relationship will survive.

Learn the Difference Between Healthy Disagreements and Control Issues

You can work through any healthy disagreement, but if you find yourself in a constant battle for control, that might not be a relationship worth saving. What to do if your boyfriend is controlling             Is my relationship over? Surviving Stage 2 is all about acceptance and tolerance of the issues that now rise up between you. Neither of you is perfect, nor is one of you always right and the other wrong. If you can learn to compromise, you’ll be more likely to succeed!

How Long Does Stage 2 Last?

Stage two can last anywhere from a few months to years, depending on the couple. How long it lasts for you depends on a few factors:
  • Your willingness to embrace change
  • Your own childhood history and any attachment issues
  • The quality of the advice you receive
  • How willing you are to compromise and forgive
This is a stage where selfishness will be your demise. There are, of course, only two possible outcomes from going through Stage 2. Either you break up or you power through. Couples who break up are often serial daters who are always looking for love but finding disappointment. They’re more likely individuals who lack confidence and/or are battling some attachment issues from their childhood. Couples who power through are usually more confident individuals who are able to forgive and survive the pain and frustration this stage can bring. These are individuals who believe that being in a relationship means making sacrifices and compromises for your partner or the relationship.

How do You Know When Stage 2 is Over?

You’re ending Stage 2 when:
  • You can communicate effectively about difficult topics
  • You’re able to quickly repair the damaging effects of your disagreements
  • You can heal old wounds and restore any broken trust
  • You’re able to share the power, instead of struggling for it
  • You can accept one another for who you are, instead of trying to change one another
This stage can feel like it’s just not worth it, that it’s too much work to survive it, but sometimes the harder the struggle, the stronger you are if you make it to the other side! Unlike stage one, this isn’t a stage you want to revisit. If you find yourself arguing over small differences, it’s a kick in the behind to remember to compromise and listen. If you find yourselves returning to this stage over and over, or if you seem to get stuck here, it means you lack the skills to navigate your power struggle and resolve your differences. You need to develop these skills in order to move on successfully past this stage.
stages of a relationship

Stages of a Relationship: Stage 3  – The Adjustment Stage

If stage two didn’t kill your relationship, stage three might. Sometimes, this stage is defined by what some call the seven-year itch. This is another stage of challenging moments, which arise as your commitment deepens and you continue to learn about one another. The differences at this stage may have more to do with external factors like family differences, cultural discrepancies, religious beliefs, values, or morals. Those things are all starting to make a difference in how your relationship functions from one day to the next, so they’re rising to the surface. At this stage, you’re at a point of deciding whether these deeper differences are surmountable. Since many of these differences often dictate how you live your life, they can be a big deal. Up until now, you may not be living together or spending a lot of time together, at least not enough for these issues to surface, but you’re getting closer and they matter now. Sometimes, during this phase, you drift apart. Just like in stage two, however, this doesn’t mean the relationship is over. It simply means you need to communicate. What’s driving you apart? Can you resolve the differences or are they too important or too big to overcome? If you’ve learned how to resolve your differences well in stage two, you may find this to be a time of peace. You know how to work through issues and you’re carrying those skills forward to manage the new potential conflicts. During this stage, you realize that you can’t change one another, so you either accept each other for who you are or you split up. You develop mutual respect for one another that overrides the differences and helps you set and maintain your boundaries.

The Dangers of Stage 3

Boredom

You can lull yourself into boredom during this stage if you aren’t careful. Finding that peace is nice, but if you settle into too much peace, it’s no longer fun and challenging. Grow together and push one another to stretch your comfort zones. These types of activities help you build intimacy and make your relationship stronger. While many people mistake sex for intimacy, intimacy is actually about spending bonding moments together, building memories, and growing deeper in your affection for one another. When things get tough, it may be those memories that draw you back to one another.

Unhealthy Relationship Habits

If you’re experiencing a lot of conflict during this stage, you can develop unhealthy relationship habits, like giving one another the silent treatment after an argument or completely ignoring your problems altogether. Exhaustion and frustration at the constant bickering can weigh on you, making you not even want to try. If you get to this point, you need to have a conversation about whether this relationship has what it takes. You’ve gone through a lot already and you’ve spent a good amount of time together, probably a couple of years at this point, so be careful about giving up too easily.

Becoming “I” Instead of “We”

It’s easy to feel alone when there’s a growing distance between you. In this stage, you might feel as if you’re alone again, except with someone still sort of there in the periphery. The solution, again, is communication. At this point, it’s the solution to everything. If you haven’t yet developed healthy communication skills, it’s time to do so. Instead of both of you hanging out with mutual friends, you may find yourself spending more time with your friends and less time with him. Even if this relationship doesn’t work out, you need those communication skills for the next time. In that instance, evaluate what went wrong and how you can do your part better the next time.

How to Survive Stage 3

Again, stage three is survivable or there wouldn’t be four and five. There are things you can do to help yourselves make it through.

Stop Avoiding Your Problems

Problems don’t go away just because you ignore them. Especially when they’re problems between two people. They just get bigger and bigger until they’re too big to ignore, and often by then, they can be insurmountable. When a problem comes up, wait until a time when you’re getting along and then bring it up. Don’t choose another fight to solve this problem. If you sit down when you’re both already calm, it opens you up to logical and rational thought processes instead of emotionally charged yelling matches where nothing is solved. If something is too challenging but you want to work it out, consider couples counseling. An unbiased mediator can often see things you’re missing and is trained to look for cues in the things you say and your actions.

Remember to Show Affection Toward One Another

When things are rough, it’s easy to forget to show your partner that you still love them, but it’s also more important than ever. You can have an argument that leaves one or both of you wondering how the other feels. Without any affection, that unknown can really weigh on you and cause more harm. Some people go by a never go to bed angry rule, and it’s a good one to use. That way you can still come together at night and comfort one another, have sex, or just cuddle. Even spending time watching a movie together can be intimate.

Be sure to Notice the Positives

In stage one, it’s all about the positives of the relationship and failing to see the negatives. Stages two and three can focus more on the negatives, so be sure to remember the positives. Be appreciative of the things he does for you. This is how he shows his love for you. Also, try to do things for him. Even small gestures like baking his favorite cookies or cooking his favorite meal can go a long way to showing appreciation. When you feel like all of your focus is on negativity, make a mental shift and work through some positivity instead.

How Long Does Stage 3 Last?

There’s no predicting how long this stage will last. If you developed good communication and problem-solving skills during stage two, it might not be a contentious stage at all. You may find that peace I mentioned earlier, but remember that peace comes at a price too if you aren’t careful.
stages of a relationship

Stages of a Relationship: Stage 4 – The Commitment Stage

The commitment stage isn’t about marriage per se. In fact, you could already be married by this point. The commitment is more about knowing that you’ve overcome your differences and learned how to communicate well enough to solve problems and avoid massive arguments. Commitment is about making a choice every day to be with your partner. You feel like you don’t need one another, but you want one another, for better or worse, as they say. Now, you experience a balance of love, power, fun, belonging, and freedom. You’ve decided that the bad is outweighed by the good. While you have differences, you’ve learned how to live with them or you’ve made conscious choices to change yourselves to accommodate your partner.

The Dangers of Stage 4

Sex and Intimacy Fade Away

If you continue to nurture and place importance on your sexual relationship, this won’t happen. Keep things exciting in the bedroom. Share a fantasy or yours or his and act it out. Explore sex toys and games to keep things exciting. Passion doesn’t just happen after stage one. It takes effort to keep that attraction alive. Bring back sexual tension in your relationship

Staying Together for the Wrong Reasons

Be objective about why you’re still together. It’s very easy to stay together because of the kids or because it’s easier than starting over. Don’t allow guilt over splitting up outweigh the common sense of ending something that just isn’t working. It’s easy to settle into a routine of complacency, but that’s not engaging, fun, or fair to either of you.

Believing That Your Work is Done

Now that the relationship has settled in, it’s easy to think you can coast now. Wrong! A good relationship is one that you’re always working on. You’re always doing things together to build intimacy. You’re challenging one another, maintaining an air of mystery, and you’re doing things together. At the same time, you’re giving one another space and pursuing a few interests of your own outside of the relationship. Just don’t think you’ve reached a point when your relationship doesn’t require any more effort. You never reach that point!

Forgetting to Maintain Your Emotional Connection

An emotional connection isn’t sex. Emotional connection is, in part, about trusting one another. By now you should have a high level of trust in one another. It’s when you both feel this trust that you feel safe sharing more baggage and vulnerabilities if you haven’t done so yet. If your partner shares something like that with you, be careful with it. Think of it like an egg. You should hold it carefully and give it great consideration. He’s given you something and he temporarily feels as breakable as that eggshell. Don’t belittle him or laugh at what he shares. If he shares something like that with you, it’s a good idea to reciprocate. Show that you trust him with your deep dark secrets too.

Affairs

This is the stage where affairs can happen. They’re more likely to occur if you haven’t navigated stages two and three very well. Your intimacy and trust have already fallen off and you don’t feel connected. You may be staying together out of convenience or for the kids. One of you has pulled away and the other is now seeking either sex or the emotional connection you just read about. Women will seek an emotional connection. Men will seek sex. You can avoid this, again, by being good communicators and by recognizing that a good relationship takes work. Understand the natural rhythms your relationship goes through. It ebbs and flows, just like anything else. When it ebbs, that’s when you need to be a little more vigilant, paying attention, showing appreciation, and communicating so both of your needs are met.
stages of a relationship

Stages of a Relationship: Stage 5 – Best Friends

By now, you’ve gone to hell and back and you’re still together. At this stage, you’re happy together and recognize the struggle you’ve gone through to get here. You’re closer than ever, probably considering one another to be best friends. The closeness you share now feels irreplaceable and your relationship feels like it’s on solid ground.

Characteristics of Stage 5

You Take on a Big Project Together

You may decide to start a business together or to build your dream home. You might share a hobby or be passionate about a cause you give your time and money to. You’re a cohesive unit now and you show that by working together on things. The world now sees you as one, instead of two.

Your Communication Skills are Excellent

You’ve learned how to communicate, and this is part of why your relationship is where it is today. Both of you understand that talking things through before they get out of hand is a much better plan than letting things sit. You may even be one of those couples now who doesn’t always need to communicate. You go into a coffee shop and you just know what he likes. You decide to stop on the way home to pick up dinner and you don’t have to ask him what he wants because you already know.

You Rely on One Another

Because you’re best friends, you can share the ups and downs of daily life. You get the promotion or you don’t; regardless, the first person you want to tell is your partner. If you don’t get it, he’s there to comfort you. If you do, he’s there waiting to celebrate. You’ve built an unshakable friendship, trust, commitment, and joy in being together.

The Dangers of Stage 5

Of course, there are pitfalls to any stage, but not as many as there were.

You Shift into Autopilot

The worst thing you can do to a relationship is put it on autopilot. Each day looks exactly like the last. You’re cycling through the same twelve meals, getting up and going to bed at the same time. Even sex has become routine. This is not the way to keep your relationship healthy. Routine is easier on your brain for sure, but you want to challenge your brain. Change things up. Try new meals. Watch some sex videos or get some sex fantasy books to read together. Don’t allow each day to be just like the last. Do something to keep things lively and fun.

You Live Parallel Lives

Instead of being a unit, you drift into being two people who live under the same roof. You’re driving kids to gymnastics and dance class while he’s coaching soccer and baseball. You go to work all day, come home, and throw something in the microwave. He eats on the road between work and practice. You might come together in the evening and fall into bed beside one another, but the distance isn’t inches, it’s a canyon. When conflict arises, instead of using those communication skills, you avoid one another. You’re both busy anyway and you use that business as an excuse to stay away from one another. You can become depressed if this happens, and it’s a prime landscape for an affair or two.

You Invest Too Much in Outside Lives

Balance is key in your relationship. It’s great to have those outside activities, as long as you aren’t using them to live those parallel lives. You can get so invested in outside activities that you never spend time together, one-on-one. To avoid this, maintain your weekly date night schedule. Be sure to put some sort of rules in place for how much time you’ll each commit to outside activities. You can also do some of them together, which increases your time together. The goal is to continue to nurture the great relationship you’ve spent years building.

Stages of a Relationship: Final Thoughts

As I said in the beginning, these aren’t linear stages, meaning once you get to stage five, you can cycle back to one of the other stages. Ideally, you’ll cycle between five and one, because those are the two stages when you’re the most excited and energized by each other. Your ultimate success relies really on one or two things:
  • Your communication skills
  • Your desire to work through things together
If you can look past his flaws and he can look past yours, you can build something great together. A good relationship requires work from day one until the day one of you passes on. As long as you keep putting in the work, you’ll have a very satisfying relationship.
Should I Breakup with My Boyfriend?

Should I Breakup with My Boyfriend?

Just by asking the question, should I breakup with my boyfriend, you must already be clued in that something is wrong. Your intuition is pinging.

The obvious reasons for breaking up with someone include drug and alcohol addiction, as well as an addiction to pornography, infidelity, or abuse.

But what are some less obvious answers to the question, should I breakup with my boyfriend? Let’s look at a few.

You Aren’t Growing Together

We grow in maturity and intellectual abilities throughout our lives, but we don’t all do it at the same rate.

As a couple, you can grow by trying new things together. Try new types of ethnic food, working out together or traveling to new places. Choose a hobby to work on together or read books together.

You try together and you learn what works and what doesn’t. Have fun and build deeper intimacy. You’re a team who can take on the world! Building memories together helps your relationship stay fresh and fun.

Grow as an individual by exploring new things on your own. Try a new hairstyle or color. Perhaps you decide your old wardrobe doesn’t reflect who you are any longer. You might explore a new hobby or a passion you have. Reading is a great way to grow and there are millions of self-help books available if that’s what you want.

You’ll know you aren’t growing together in a couple ways. One of you may feel bored. Sex is non-existent, and you find yourselves arguing more than doing things together.

You may feel as if one of you is being left behind. You’re out there trying new things and he’s sitting at home playing video games with his friends all night.

You ask, “Should I breakup with my boyfriend?” The answer depends.

Your gut is already telling you to consider breaking up, but this is also fixable. If you think you can talk to him about it, invite him to explore something new with you and see if he’s agreeable. You might be able to fix it if you can find your way back to growth that supports one another instead of leaves one behind.

You’re Two Very Different People Now

This feels like the last one, but it isn’t the same. Sometimes, people get together, and the chemistry is so hot that you just launch yourselves into a relationship. The sex is great, and that chemistry keeps you together, but not forever. Chemistry only gets you so far. Great sex doesn’t make a relationship and it isn’t the same as intimacy.

Intimacy comes from doing things you both enjoy, together. It’s those afternoons picking apples or painting the living room that pull you closer together. It’s the time when he was sick and you brought him some chicken soup, then stayed to help clean up and maybe watch a little Netflix.

You may discover that he’s not an animal person, but you love your Great Dane and can’t imagine parting with her. He could be very outdoorsy while you prefer to stay in. One of you could be very social while the other prefers to stay at home.

These aren’t things you discover when all you’re working with is hot chemistry. They’re the day-to-day things that start to pile up. It keeps you both from living the life you enjoy because you feel an obligation to do everything together.

None of this makes either of you bad people, it just means you need to work through it or find someone new. You ask me, “Gregg, should I breakup with my boyfriend?”

My answer is this. Have you even discussed what’s bothering you yet? It’s possible he too is feeling the problem but is afraid to approach you.

Talking will solve this one way or the other. You’ll either find a way to work through your differences or you’ll decide it’s better to find someone else.

should I breakup with my boyfriend

Should I Breakup with My Boyfriend if One or Both of Us Has Changed?

Sometimes you go into a relationship thinking you know what you want, only to find out later that you’re wrong. This happens to both men and women, and it doesn’t make either of you wrong or bad. It just means you’ve figured some stuff out about yourself and you aren’t the same person.

Many things happen to cause change in either direction – for the better or for the worse.

One of you may experience the loss of a loved one and you’re having trouble finding your way out of the sadness. You may have decided you want to start a family soon, but he doesn’t want kids. It’s something you discussed peripherally before but now, you’re serious and so is he.

For men, the loss of a job or financial status can be a very hard blow, one women don’t often understand. It can send a guy into a tailspin.

Whatever the cause and whichever of you has changed isn’t the issue. The issue is that you don’t feel compatible any longer and there’s nothing wrong with that. What would be wrong is to continue as if nothing problematic was happening.

Instead of asking, should I breakup with my boyfriend, sit down and discuss your differences. If it seems that a breakup is in order, then do it. There’s nothing wrong with ending a relationship if it isn’t the right one for you.

Are You Ready to End it?

Not all breakups are initiated by a man. If you're ready to end this relationship, go for it. Only you know whether you're happy and if the relationship is fulfilling your needs. It's possible that he feels the same way but you're both afraid to take that step. It's okay. Read some of the other articles on the subject by clicking below. They're here to help.

The Dreaded Mid-Life Crisis

Everyone talks about men wanting convertibles, younger women, and a full head of hair but women have mid-life crises as well.

You feel as if there’s something in your life you can’t fulfill in your current relationship. Your fight or flight has kicked in and flight seems the proper response.

Fight or flight is a result of anxious thinking. You’re worried about something that will or won’t happen in the future and you’re afraid that if you don’t exit the relationship right now, you won’t be able to either make something happen or avoid something else.

You might feel as if you missed out on part of your youth because you started getting into serious relationships at a young age and have stayed in them since. Now, you find yourself wanting to go back and experience those things.

Instead of asking, should I breakup with my boyfriend, the question to ask is if you need to explore and experience alone or can your boyfriend tag along? If you really think you need to do this alone, explain it to him and maybe you can come to some sort of arrangement.

You never know until you try!

What I encourage you not to do is ignore this feeling, while at the same time helping you understand that you can’t recapture your youth and there are some experiences that are better left behind you, whether you got to enjoy them or not.

should I breakup with my boyfriend

Should I Breakup with My Boyfriend over Outside Influences?

In this category you find things like religion and politics. As you age and mature, you might find that you’ve grown apart in an important area of life. You might have shifted your beliefs in one direction or another and he went the other way.

It’s okay to be different in these areas of life. The question is can you live with your boyfriend being a Democrat if you’re a staunch Republican? Can you date someone who doesn’t believe in God if you have strong Christian beliefs? Couples do live together in these circumstances. They agree to disagree and leave those topics of discussion off the table.

Another outside influence can be an ex, especially if shared custody of children, or even animals, is involved. Often when two different families are parenting children, there are vast differences. Children come home from one home to the other and must adjust to different rules and parenting styles.

This can really do a number on any relationship and it’s not good for the kids either. Here, the best path forward, if possible, would be to work with the ex you’re sharing custody with and see if you can work out those parenting issues, for the kids, not for your relationship. Your relationship is a side problem.

Should I Breakup with My Boyfriend?

As you’ve read, there are several different situations which can place a strain on a relationship, but most of them are things you can work through if you can talk to one another.

On the other hand, your gut might be telling you it’s time to get out and you can’t find the reason in any of these situations.

In that case, it’s probably best to sit down and agree to a split. There’s no reason to be ugly or unkind to one another. You’ve just come to a point where your relationship doesn’t work any longer. The mature adult thing to do is end it well and keep a friend, or at least avoid making an enemy.

How to Get Over a Breakup

If you decide to breakup, I recommend He’s Gone, Now What? This a breakup book specifically written to help you overcome the unexpected repercussions of a breakup. You’ll discover the nine stages of grieving a relationship as well as the impact a breakup has on your body and mind. Even if the breakup is your idea, you will experience all these things.

The book also helps you sort things out and prepare yourself for a new relationship! You can read more about it here, or buy it by clicking the buy button below.

Are you living like you're dying, or are you plugging along on autopilot, waiting for something great to happen but not really pursuing it? Is your life as fulfilling as it can be? Do you dream of a different life? Do you sometimes feel as if you're walking through life, half asleep?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you need to Live Like You're Dying. Learn to embrace life, take chances and life the life you want to live, free of fear and anxiety, full of experiences and exploration! Learn more about the book here or buy it by clicking on one of the buttons below.

What True Love Is

What True Love Is

Do you know what true love is? Is true love what you see in the movies, or is it defined by what you witnessed growing up?

If you can’t define what true love is, you’ll probably have a hard time finding it.

Many define true love by the stuff – white picket fence, fancy car, dog and so on. But that’s a load of crap!

Instead, I like this one:

“True love is not how you forgive, but how you forget, not what you see but what you feel, not how you listen but how you understand, and not how you let go but how you hold on.” – Anonymous

True love, to me, is an imperfect relationship where both partners are trying their very best to stay to together, forgive and forget, and grow together.

It’s when each person takes a turn being there for the other in times of need. There is no “I”, there is just us. There is no scorekeeping. When one of you needs something, the other is just there. Period.

And yes, it can be nasty at times.  But, in the end, respect for the other is always king and problems are easily resolved.

What True Love is: Acting as a Team

In the past, I’ve seen the difference between true love and what I thought was true love. That difference can be summed up by an us against the world mentality.

True love is teamwork in grocery shopping, cleaning, child rearing and love making. It’s a give and take where love balances out. You discuss major decisions and power might vary but balances out in the end.

When you work as a team, there’s a feeling of unity and security. You know he has your back and he knows you have his. You’re a we, not two me’s. Your identity includes each other. While you remain an individual, you still identify as part of a couple.

The Good Times Outweigh the Bad

All relationships experience bad times. When there are more bad times than great times, you’re not experiencing what true love is.

True love is about building great memories together. It’s being there for one another when times are tough and being supportive when it matters. During the tough times, there is no question that you’re there for one another. During the good times, you appreciate what you have and enjoy your time together. You build intimacy through shared experiences and use that intimacy to carry you through the bad.

You Know One Another’s Flaws and Choose One Other Anyway

The key word here is choose. He snores, his eye for fashion sucks, and he can’t even hang a picture on a wall. But he tries and that’s what you love about him.

Nobody is perfect, so discovering those flaws and loving them shows that you know what true love is! If you’ve already found someone, great, but if you’re still looking, recognize that you don’t need to find a perfect man, you need to find a man who’s perfect for you, flaws and all.

What True Love Is: There’s No Justice Trap

I dated someone once who looked at the relationship like an exchange of services. If she rubbed my feet, I owed her a foot massage. If I spent time with my friends, I owed her something in return. And, if she cooked, I had to clean up and take her out the next time.

I’ve heard couples with kids talk about whose turn it is to babysit the kids while the other does something away from home. If you feel you’re babysitting your own kids, I’m not sure why you had them to begin with.

When a relationship feels more like a scorecard or tally sheet, you don’t have love. In the case of my relationship, it reached a point when I didn’t want to accept anything from her because I knew I’d owe her something in return.

This takes any special meaning out of any gesture I wanted to make and any gesture she made wasn’t special, but her chance to make me owe her something.

True love balances out. If I do five nice things for my girlfriend, then I did five nice things! I wanted to. She’s worth it. She’ll do nice things back and I don’t want or need to keep score.

True Love Gets Better Later

You don’t hear this definition much, but I find it to be true. True love comes after the early relationship butterflies have flown away and after you’re over wanting to have sex multiple times a day. It comes when you settle into a life where you accept one another for who you are.

You enjoy your time spent together and don’t feel nervous or like you need sex every five minutes. You want to do things together like going hiking in the woods or spending an afternoon at the beach.

True love brings security and protection to the relationship. You can be yourself. There is nothing to hide and only great times to be had. You can plan your future together because there is a future.

You Feel Free to Share Your Vulnerabilities

It is very difficult to share your vulnerabilities. This requires a high level of trust for both of you and the first time you share a vulnerability will be the hardest. How you each respond is crucial to whether there will be more sharing in the future.

The first time your guy shares something that makes him feel vulnerable, respond with caring and acceptance. He needs to know that you still accept him, now that you have seen his weak underbelly. If he shares first, it’s important that you reciprocate, but not immediately. It will seem fake. Do it soon, though because he will be waiting.

What True Love Is: Summary

While these are my definitions of what true love is, the truth is that you won’t tick your way down some list. You’ll know because there’s a feeling that is unmistakable. It isn’t about the things like a house or car. It’s about feeling you get. True love is when he walks into a room and you feel happy. It’s when you read a text from him, you smile, inside and out. True love is when he remembers that you like rosemary garlic bread and he brings you a loaf for dinner.

The important thing to remember, early on in a relationship, is that love isn’t chemistry. Chemistry is essential, but lust isn’t love. Don’t be confused by lust but wait for these other signs to develop. It takes time to build it but it’s worth the wait.

Once you find true love, the key is keeping it! In my best-seller, Pennies in the Jar: How to Keep a Man for Life, you’ll learn many things you and your guy can do to maintain a healthy, happy relationship. The pennies you put in the jar are shared memories. You add pennies when you do things together like exploring a quaint little town nearby or relaxing in a coffee shop on a Saturday afternoon. They’re added when you make a game out of grocery shopping or have a cooking contest for dinner.

Learn how to put pennies in the jar, how to communicate effectively and how to fight fair, all inside this great book!

To learn more about it, click here. To purchase the book, click one of the buttons below.

Are You Ready for a Relationship?

Are You Ready for a Relationship?

5 Signs you’re Ready for a Relationship

There are many reasons you may be ready for a relationship – or not. Age, recent relationship failures, abuse or a host of other things in your past may be playing a role.

Unfortunately, due to some basic urges and needs we all have, we never consider this question before we enter into a new relationship. The sad thing is that you could find Mr. Right, but you’re Ms. Wrong because you’re just not ready.

It’s Kirbie today and in this three-part series, we’re going to examine whether or not you’re ready for a relationship. Next week, we will look at whether or not he is ready.

I’ll give you some subtle things you can look for to help you figure it out. Finally, we’ll wrap it up with some tips on getting yourself ready for a relationship.

You’ve Given up the Party Every Night Lifestyle

Having fun is great – in fact, it’s essential to take time to have fun. The problem is when you party too much or too often. Regardless of your age, you should not be partying to a point where you don’t remember how you got home.

Nor, should you be spending every waking hour partying. Going to a bar once in a while to hang out with your friends or inviting them over for a glass of wine is fine. Having the bartender know your favorite beer and how many to have ready for you per hour is a problem.

You Have Direction

how to know if you're not ready for a relationship

Do you have a clear path of where you want to go?

In order to be ready for a relationship, you need to be able to face life head-on and have some goals. What career path are you following or planning to follow? Where do you want to live? What type of home do you want to have? Do you want to travel? Do you want children? Are you even ready to move in with a guy?

If you’re older, do you want to date someone with younger children, or have more children with a new guy? Do you want to relocate? You need to know all of these things in order to know what type of man you should target.

You Have Your Act Together

Gregg talks about this a lot in his dating advice best seller, To Date a Man, You Must Understand Yourself, so I won’t drone on about it because you’ve surely already read it. Having your act together means you not only have direction, but you have a life of your own.

You have found some things you enjoy doing, and you have friends with whom you do them. You are living within your means and either have, or are building a solid financial base for yourself.

You take care of yourself be eating right, exercising and practicing self-care. You do this because you are worth it, not because someone tells you too.

This also means that you know what your values are. You have an opinion about things like spirituality, politics, work ethics, money, how you treat others, and a host of other things.

Again, these things will help you figure out what type of man you should be pursuing because his value system will be very similar to yours.

You Value the Opinions of Others

When you are a confident woman who is ready for a relationship, you have the ability to not only hear the opinions of others, but to value their side, whether or not you agree. This is also important because it means you have world experiences that have provided you with those opinions.

Nothing turns a guy off faster than for you to giggle and say “Gee, I dunno” when he says “What do you think of [insert random topic here]”. I’m not telling you that you need to become some sort of information savant, I’m saying stay tuned into things going on around you.

Think about things you hear about in the news and form an educated opinion. Take an interest in life.

5 Signs you're Ready for a Relationship

Fill your life with knowledge so you have opinions!

For example, even if you don’t like football, you can still say something intelligent. He may ask, “What did you think of that Patriots win last weekend?” Now, if I were to be asked that question, I’d say something like “Well, it was better to watch that than the awful beating my Steelers took!”

BAM. BUT, I’m a huge sports fan, let’s get back to you – and you’re not so saying something like “Well, I didn’t see the game myself, but I saw the score – impressive!” will at least keep you out of trouble. I mean, come on-you can see that stuff on Facebook!

After you feed him a happy sports tidbit, steer the conversation to something you can speak more about, like “I saw a great piece on hiking in the Smokey’s last week. Do you enjoy hiking?”

You Put the Interests of Others before Your Own

This is a biggie. Too many people in relationships are only looking out for themselves. It’s immature, and it screams, “I lack confidence”. If you’re in a great relationship, you’re always looking out for one another. You’ve got his back and he has yours.

I’m not saying you need to dote on him day and night – so don’t take my words in that way. You then run the risk of making him your hobby, and, again – you’ve read Gregg’s books, so you already know this is a no-no.

am i ready for a serious relationship

Are you ready for a serious relationship?

Here’s an example: you let him go golfing with his buddies on a Saturday morning, rather than whine about the lawn needing to be mowed. Take that time and do something you enjoy.

If you really want to drive him nuts, head out just before he is due to leave, wearing an outfit he has admired in the past, and say something like “See ya when you get home, Honey. I’m going to spend the morning with Victoria looking for a new gym to join.”

He’ll be home from golf as soon as the game is over, and he’ll be wondering all morning what you’re up to. He’ll also be pretty likely to get that lawn mowed before the weekend ends (and isn’t that what you wanted him to do in the first place?).

Here are a few more signs you are ready:

  • You’re not always trying to ‘fix’ him
  • You understand the importance of communication
  • Nobody needs to ‘complete’ you
  • You understand what has caused your past relationships to fail
  • You’re worthy of a good man
  • Your main goal in life every day is to avoid, not stir up, drama

In part 2 of this series, we will examine how to determine whether or not your guy is ready for a relationship, without being obvious about it.

5 Rules To Follow on Your Journey to Catch Mr. Right

5 Rules To Follow on Your Journey to Catch Mr. Right

How to Know if You Found the Right Guy?

In To Date a Man, You Must Understand A Man: The Keys to Catch a Great Guy, Gregg says, “Cast a net off your boat and fill your bucket with men. Then throw back the losers and keep a few in your koi pond.” So how do you know if you should reel him in or cast him overboard?

It’s Tiffany today to remind you that you are the CHOOSER! It’s all up to you to decide whether or not he’s a keeper. And it’s not that hard to figure out, once you have the right gear. I’m not talking fishing poles and actual nets, but solid tools and rules to follow on your journey to catch Mr. Right.

Write It Down

So, you’ve been on a few dates and you have him firmly in your net. Before you go any farther, stop and write down at least ten sentences that detail exactly how you want to be treated by a guy.

Do you want a man who puts you first? Someone who makes you laugh? Someone respectful? Thoughtful? Romantic? Once you have a solid ten, narrow it down to a good three to five items that are non-negotiable.

Now promise yourself you will not fall for the guy unless he proves — consistently, through his actions — that he is the quality man you are looking for. No exceptions. If he doesn’t realistically meet your standards, cast him overboard.

Take A Step Back

When we are really into someone, we tend to view everything with blinders on. It’s hard to assess the relationship clearly when we only see the good. But is he truly a decent guy?

Or is he just hot, without any real substance? In Who Holds The Cards Now? 5 Lethal Steps to Win His Heart and Get Him to Commit, Gregg Michaelsen advises us to slow down and take a step back to discover his true worth.

This is especially important before sex gets in the way, and clouds our minds even more. Remember, YOU hold the cards. Keep it in lock-down mode until you are sure he is a man of value.

Have Your Friends Meet Him

You may have blinders on, but your friends surely don’t! Good girlfriends have your back, and can help you see if he’s the real deal, or just a blowfish. Try not to get defensive when they give you their unbiased opinion.

Listen to what they have to say and trust that they want what’s best for you. If the guy isn’t all that, they can help you give him the heave ho. Cast him overboard. But if they think you found the right guy, reel him in!

Is He Mr. Right?

Meet His Friends

This can be a real game changer. If he doesn’t want you to meet his buddies, there is something wrong. Cast him overboard. If he wants you to meet his buddies, and wants to show you off — great! Take this time to find out what they have to say about your man.

Do they respect him? Is he a reliable, stand up guy? Or is he a girl chaser? Is he a slob? Also pay attention to how your man behaves in this situation. Is he attentive to you? Is he confident and relaxed? Does he put you first? Or is he always siding with the guys? Is he nervous? Insecure? Clingy? Is he crudely checking out other girls? Is he an obnoxious drunk?

Does his personality change in a negative way when he’s with his crew? Remember, if his friends are immature, or if they are all players, chances are he is too. If you find that’s the case, get rid of him — fast!

Follow Your Intuition

Does he make excuses all the time? Does he fail to step up when you need him? Is he too busy to meet your family and friends? Is he controlling? Self-centered? Rude? These are all red flags!

Whatever the behavior may be, if it gives you those uneasy vibes, it’s wrong! When in doubt, follow your intuition. We women are famous for it, so use it — and lose him. Cast him overboard!

On your way to “The One,” you are bound to catch a few bad fish. But remember, there are plenty of men in the sea, so keep casting your net and reel in the good ones! Who knows, you might just score the catch of a lifetime!

Hi, I’m Tiffany — the new girl! Gregg has summoned my powers to help his blog grow by leaps and bounds. Gregg, Kirbie and I will help bring you the complete gamut of ideas, solutions and issues we all face in the name of love.
How to Tell if a Guy is Single without Asking

How to Tell if a Guy is Single without Asking

You’ve spotted an attractive man across the room and your interest is piqued, but do you know how to tell if a guy is single without asking? I mean who walks up to someone and says, “Are you single?” It’s just not done.

So, what can you do to answer the question, “Is he single?” There are a few things you can look for to help you figure it out and none of them involve asking a stranger that question.

How to Tell if a Guy is Single without Asking | It’s All About Body Language

The first clues lie in his body language. If you haven’t met him yet, watch his body language while he’s around his group of friends.

Most people square their shoulders to the most important person in the room, to them. If he’s facing another woman and it’s not just conversational, but consistent, she’s most likely the light of his life.

Any subtle contact he makes with her will also clue you in. Along with that, he’ll make eye contact with a woman he’s interested in, and he’ll close the distance between them.

Other signals might include preening for her or running his hands through his hair. He’ll try to make her laugh if he’s still trying to win her over. His body language overall will be open with his hands wide or at least at his sides.

how to tell if a guy is single without asking

He’ll Ask for Your Number but Not Provide His

He might play this off as saying it’s his work phone or something like that, but if he’s single and interested, he’ll give you his number and if he doesn’t, it’s because he doesn’t want his wife or girlfriend to see your messages.

Also, don’t let him give you a safety excuse. Even men who saw Fatal Attraction years ago will give their number to a woman they like. Men don’t carry the same worries women do about giving their number to a stranger. They’re often bigger and feel they can protect themselves.

He’s Available at Strange Times

He has weekend plans with his wife or girlfriend, so you get what’s left over. He might ask for daytime dates or weeknight dates instead.

Of course, this is one of my signs that he’s a good guy, but not this time. It’s fine to test a guy by asking him to see you during the day, but if he suggests it, be careful.

Most guys aren’t into daytime dates because there’s a lower chance of sex, so if he does suggest a daytime date, be prepared to meet him somewhere where you won’t be seen, like a hotel or an off-the-beaten-path restaurant.

Weeknight dates only raise a red flag if all your dates are during the week. A weeknight date is fine if you’re enjoying dates on the weekends too. Then, you can be sure he’s not dating someone else or married.

How to Tell if a Guy is Single without Asking | He’s Edgy When You’re Together

If his phone rings or buzzes with a text, he might jump out of his skin out of nervousness. He’s so afraid of getting caught that he’s wound up pretty tight.

You might even notice that he can’t seem to relax at first. As time passes and he realizes he isn’t getting caught, he might relax. He may not be impacted by this if you’re not the first one he’s cheated with too, so this isn’t always present.

If he does answer a call or text, he will leave your presence to do so. He’ll leave the room or excuse himself for a few moments. Of course, everyone has the need for a private conversation from time to time, but not every time.

how to tell if a guy is single without asking

You Got His Number But…

Well, he gave you his phone number, but you only get replies from him during the daytime and never after seven in the evening.

This is because he doesn’t want to text you while he’s with his wife or girlfriend. During the daytime, he’s chatty as he can be, then come evening, crickets.

If he works nights, you can shift this around to when he’s home. He might text you a lot during the evening hours, at least until it’s too late, then once he’s home, nothing. Either way, he’s got something to hide.

How to Tell if a Guy is Single without Asking | Weekend Getaways are Non-Existent

You’ve been dating for a while and you’d like to take a weekend trip together, but no matter what you suggest or when he can’t make it.

Just like you won’t get a weekend date with him, you won’t get a weekend trip. The only way he can pull this off is if he claims he’s on a business trip, but how many of those happen on the weekend?

Not only will he not be able to make it for a weekend trip, but he also never stays through the night. He always dashes out before it’s time to go to sleep.

You Always Hang Out at Your Place

He never invites you to his place because another woman is there. Everything you do is at your place or somewhere secluded.

He’ll make excuses like, “Oh, my place is a mess” or “I have a roommate.” Yeah, he has a roommate, but it’s not a guy.

Beware of a guy who won’t take you to his place. He has something to hide.

Are You Dealing with a Cheater?

Do you think your guy is cheating? If he is, does it mean your relationship is over? This article is a great one to help you sort that out, but there are others! Just click the button below to find them.

He Never Goes on a Spontaneous Date

He’s not very likely to say yes to a spontaneous date invitation. He needs to check in at home first to see if he has other plans.

If you suggest a date in the next few days, you’ll get a standard, “We’ll see.” This is also code for I need to make sure I don’t have plans with my girlfriend/wife before I commit to plans with you.

If he suggests a spontaneous date, it means he just realized his wife or girlfriend has other plans and he’s free.

How to Tell if a Guy is Single without Asking | Your Dates are in an Adjacent Town

Instead of going somewhere in your town, he suggests going to this cute little place in the next town over. He makes it sound all romantic and quaint, but the real appeal for him is that it’s not where he can be spotted.

He’ll say something like not wanting any distractions, and I guess that’s true since the distraction he’s avoiding is another woman seeing you both together.

how to tell if a guy is single without asking

He Won’t Discuss His Private Life

He’ll share anything you want to hear about his work and friends, but he stonewalls you when you ask about past girlfriends or his home life. He probably won’t share where he lives in much detail.

If he’s into you and single, he wants to share everything about himself. His home is part of his status – who he is – and if he wants to impress you, he’ll brag about it and where it is.

He Pays with Cash Often

When a guy doesn’t want his wife or girlfriend to see his dinner date bills, he’ll use cash. This way, his activities can’t be as easily tracked. Occasionally is okay, but if he pays for everything you do together with cash, something’s fishy.

In today’s credit card climate, there may even be instant alerts to an iPad or phone when he’s used a card, and if he shares that card with someone else, she’ll know.

How to Tell if a Guy is Single without Asking | He Says He’s a Commitment-Phobe

As time passes, if you haven’t figured out yet that he’s otherwise attached, it’ll be time for a commitment. Unfortunately, what you don’t know is that he already has a commitment to someone else.

Instead, he’ll say he has a commitment phobia and he’ll avoid all further discussions about moving in together or making a formal commitment to one another.

There’s the possibility that he’ll say okay to something like that but never follow through also. Guys will say anything to keep you interested. I’ve known men who will even buy an engagement ring with no intention of getting married.

I make no apologies for my gender.

He Completely Falls off the Radar

This is the worst possible scenario for you. One day, your guy just never reaches out again. At first, you worry that something is wrong, but after a few days, you realize he’s ghosting you.

A few more days and you’re somewhere between ticked off and worried sick.

He may turn up after a couple of weeks, saying he was busy at work, lost his phone, or some other lame excuse.

Don’t believe him. He was on vacation with his wife or girlfriend, and couldn’t text you, let alone call. He may have even temporarily blocked you so nothing would show up.

How to Tell if a Guy is Single without Asking

If you see some of the signs above, consider whether your guy is really single. All roads point to him having someone else in his life, aside from you. You deserve a man who can put his full attention on you, but you also deserve a man who is honest and has integrity.

A man who pretends to be single when he has a wife or girlfriend has little integrity and lacks honesty. This isn’t the type of man you want in your life. If he will lie about something that big, he will lie about other things.

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9 Bedroom Mistakes You May be Making Without Knowing It

9 Bedroom Mistakes You May be Making Without Knowing It

As women, we think about sex differently than men. For us, sex is an emotional experience, while for men, it’s purely physical. We think about sex less often than men do, we take longer to reach orgasm, and we are stimulated in different ways. None of those things are good or bad, they just are. It’s biology and there isn’t much we can do about it. What we can do, though, is fix some things that might be a little bit off.

We Fake Orgasms

This is something most women have done, but that doesn’t mean it is right. Women report having an orgasm about 26% of the time while men report their partner reaching orgasm roughly 45% of the time. Does anyone see an old movie clip here? (think Meg Ryan). When a woman fakes an orgasm, she is denying herself pleasure. That’s not a good thing, and most men do want to please us, so in addition, we are denying him the information he needs to truly please us. If we fake it, he thinks he’s hitting a homerun.

We Get Comfy

While the cami and sweats may be comfy to wear to bed it’s also kind of a buzz-kill. Men are visual, so unless this is the look that turns him on, we’re probably not inspiring him sexually with this outfit. I’m not saying you need to have a drawer full of sexy lingerie, but now and then, heat things up with something that cost more than $4 at Old Navy. We Engage in Passive Participation Sex is give and take, a two-person activity. We can’t expect to hop into bed and lie there like robots. We need to be active participants. In order for both people to enjoy sex, both need to gain pleasure out of the activity. If the problem is not being in the mood, we should tell our guy and ask for another time. A high value man will understand.

We’re using the bedroom as a storage unit

Again, men are visual creatures (have you picked up a theme here?). Having a bedroom that looks like a storage unit, with stacks of clothing (clean or dirty), toys heading off to consignment, magazines, books, shoes and purses lying all around does not create the mood conducive to sex. It also isn’t a very relaxing space for sleeping, which can ultimately lead to fatigue and not being in the mood for sex as well. Hop on Pinterest® and find some organization tips and put that mess away.

Assuming that if He Turns You Down for Sex He’s Got Someone on the Side

We should NOT listen to our girlfriends when they tell us this – they’re wrong! Women haven’t got the market cornered on being ‘in’ or ‘out of’ the mood for sex. Men can say they’re ‘not in the mood’, just like we can. It doesn’t mean they have a girlfriend on the side. It doesn’t mean that those pesky 3 pounds have finally turned him off. It means he’s not in the mood. He had a bad day, he’s tired, he doesn’t feel well – it doesn’t matter. He’s not in the mood. Try finding something relaxing to do with him – who knows what will happen – and even if nothing happens, he will appreciate the attentiveness to how he felt.

Hoping that Telling Him EVERYTHING He’s Doing Wrong in Bed will Fix Things

When was the last time you thanked someone for spelling out all of your faults? I’m guessing somewhere between now and never. Men don’t like it either, especially as it relates to sex. Men want to please women sexually – really they do! Rather than giving a guy a list of flaws, try commending the things he does right, and give him some ‘gentle’ guidance when he’s a bit off. Having said this, another mistake is to go the other way and give too many instructions. This can be overload, and ultimately sends the same message. Gentle guidance and not a 20 point list is the way to go.

We Want to Talk About Our Day

Probably one of the biggest differences between men and women comes in the form of talking, either before or after sex. Men definitely don’t want to have a nice little chit-chat about the day after sex. They’re done, wasted, no energy. Before sex, they need those visual cues, not to rehash your day. In addition, if it’s during the week, both people may have had long work days, followed by having dinner, cleaning it up, putting kids to bed or any number of other routine activities. Talking about the day may take up the last energy both have, leaving everybody too tired to even bother.

We Don’t Keep Our Fingernails to Ourselves

I was surprised to read how often men have actual scratch marks and/or scars from women running their salon-manufactured nails down their man’s back. Unless he’s into this, don’t do this. Avoid any type of sexual ‘marks’ as much as possible. If you just can’t control yourself in the heat of the moment, then get rid of the daggers.

We Ignore Good Hygiene

Nobody wants to go to bed with the smelly girl. It only takes a few minutes to hop in the shower and brush your teeth. If you have time to spritz on his favorite cologne, BONUS! By the same token, don’t go to bed with rough stubble or sandpaper for feet. I know, I hear you – all of that takes time, but it’s worth it to please your man. Besides, you and I both know that you feel better when all of that is right in your world anyway!

Final Thoughts

I realize that there are things men do that drive us nuts too, but that’s for a different post. The point here can be boiled down to a couple of things really. An intimate relationship between two people works best when both of them communicate, are considerate of one another and take good care of themselves.
Why We Might Want to Date like They Did in the 70’s

Why We Might Want to Date like They Did in the 70’s

Dating Now vs Then – How has Dating Changed Over Time?

Today’s dating arena has changed a great deal from dating 40 years ago. Leaving out the obvious Internet factor, relationship seekers seem to have much less patience now than they did back then.

They knew how to communicate with one another and they knew how to enjoy one another’s company.

Gregg here for today’s blog post…

I was just a boy in the early 70’s – born in the early 60’s, so I didn’t much get into the whole dating scene of that era, but when I look back now, it seems as if those who were of dating age might have been doing something right.

How has Dating Changed Over Time

Dating in the 70s!

In the 70’s, you met someone for the first time face-to-face. Yes, there were blind dates, but it began as a connection made through someone you knew. You might have a couple of dates in a week, and they were with different women. This notion that you had to date one person exclusively from first date to break-up was nearly unheard of.

In the 70’s, you communicated with a woman in one of two ways – either by phone or in person. There were no text messages or emails to hide behind. There was no Facebook to use as your personal tirade banner when someone was not living up to your expectations.

How often have you said something to someone in a text or email, only to have them misunderstand what you were saying – it’s called the “tone” of the email, easily and often misinterpreted.

Someone ends up hacked off, usually for no good reason. When you are speaking on the phone or in person, the tone is there. If you’re angry, you sound angry. If you’re happy, you’re smiling. A couple of cute emoticons cannot make up for that.

Date like They Did in the 70’s

In the 70’s, a date meant going to a restaurant for dinner, or maybe a social gathering of friends, a local community play, bowling or perhaps you’d go play cards or some sort of game with friends. Now-a-days, we have high expectations for a date.

We want the fancy restaurant with the high-priced meal and a ‘special’ night. We are no longer complacent to just enjoy the company of the person we are with. In the 70’s, it was more about having fun with someone than trying to impress or be impressed.

date like they did in the 70's

Ah the 70’s!

Today, we get too emotionally involved too soon. Women, especially those who lack confidence, find themselves sleeping with a new man on the first or second date, which raises the emotional stakes through the roof – for women anyway.

For men, this puts you out of the ‘potential wife’ category and into the ‘fun to be with but not marriage material’ category. They’re going to dump a woman like this, and the woman will never understand it – after all, they had sex. Doesn’t that mean something?

Dating Now vs Then

There’s something to be said for having a relationship in person. I’m not condemning online dating at all, in fact, for many, this may be the best way to meet someone today. What I am saying, though, is that having a relationship, especially at first, that includes texting and emailing, can be a dangerous prospect.

Rather than putting your happiness or sadness up on Facebook or Tweeting about it, maybe you should give your guy a phone call and meet him for coffee somewhere. Live. In person. Without technology.

I will tell men the same. Call the girl you fancy. Pick her up in an actual car. Knock on the door. Maybe bring her flowers! Yeah, let’s get back to dating like they did in the 70’s!

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5 Questions to Determine if Your Boyfriend is Marriage Material

5 Questions to Determine if Your Boyfriend is Marriage Material

You’ve been dating this guy for a year or so now and you really like him. But are you ready for a life-long commitment with this particular guy? Is your boyfriend marriage material? You’ve found a great guy. In fact, you think you’ve found the guy to spend the rest of your life with. It’s great but you still have a few lingering doubts. Something about him is causing you to question whether or not he’s really the one. Some call the guy you date while you’re waiting for Mr. Right your meantime guy. It’s okay to feel this way. It means you’re not blindly entering a long-term commitment without making sure everything is okay. You may have put together a list, before the two of you started dating – your criteria for the perfect guy. You’ve measured every guy you’ve met against this list and none of them quite fit the bill. Then it hit – you found this guy and while he didn’t quite fit all of your criteria, he is still great. He still managed to sweep you off your feet. The good news is that there are a few questions you can answer that will help you figure out whether he’s your soon-to-be fiancé or your meantime guy. Before you consider each of these questions, I need you to set aside your emotions and pull out your logical-thinker hat. Are you ready? Is Your Boyfriend Marriage Material Question #1: How Does He React When You Mention A Future Together?
Is your boyfriend marriage material

Is he marriage material?

A woman will often bring up the future before a man will so chances are, you’ve brought this topic up first. How did he react? Was he willing to discuss anything like having children or whether you’d have cats or dogs? Have you discussed buying a house or condo together or moving in together someplace new? While he might be willing to discuss these topics with you, it’s his actions that really tell the true story of his intentions. If you start talking about buying a property together and he’s on his phone to his real estate buddy, he’s definitely thinking of your future together. If, on the other hand, he says he’ll do something but he never does, he’s not ready. Is Your Boyfriend Marriage Material Question #2: How Does He Treat Others? You can tell a lot about someone by how he treats others. This goes for friends and family as well as strangers. You want a guy who says please and thank you, is polite and respectful to others and treats the wait staff at restaurants politely. If he has pets, or you do, how does he treat them? This is a great way to gauge someone’s true personality without them knowing it. I was recently somewhere with my mom and a man neither of us knew got up to hold her chair while she was sitting down. That guy is a keeper for some lucky woman! Conversely, a guy who flies off the handle at anyone who crosses him is not someone you want to commit to. The answer you don’t want to hear is similarly. Is Your Boyfriend Marriage Material Question #3: What’s His Work Ethic? Is your boyfriend marriage material It might be difficult to answer this question but you’ll get hints if you’re paying attention. A guy who spends a lot of time texting or emailing you while he’s at work doesn’t have a good work ethic. If you see him bringing things from work home and not taking them back, his work ethic stinks. What about his motivation where his career is concerned? Men of value want to have a great career so they can support their loved ones. They’re also competitive and like to show off their stuff to their buddies. Without a good job, you can’t buy a better boat than your best friend. He should be driven to the next promotion or step in his career. At the same time, watch out for the workaholic. This guy should be avoided. Is Your Boyfriend Marriage Material Question #4: Do You Balance Each Other Out When Things Get Stressful? A relationship can survive when both partners are willing to support one another during difficult times. Men struggle with difficult times of their lives. We aren’t wired to manage emotions very well. Throughout our entire life, we’re told to man up or buck up or even suck it up and deal. This does nothing to help us manage things like death and disappointment. You have to learn how to support one another. No, he can’t handle your highly emotional moments but he should at least want to fix things. He will want to bring medicine when you’re down with the flu or help you hobble to the car if you end up on crutches. If he knows you’re having a difficult time at work, he’ll at least order take-out if he doesn’t cook. Is Your Boyfriend Marriage Material Question #5: How Are His Listening Skills? Guys are notorious for zoning out during long talks. It happens and is especially true the longer the relationship goes on. Test your guy by talking to him for a few minutes about your day, then switch topics, and then go back and ask him “What was I just saying?” It’s kind of sneaky but it works! Give him the benefit of the doubt if he screws up once, but if you see it happen multiple times, he’s not paying much attention to what you’re saying. Of course, this applies to guys who are actually looking at you and nodding their heads. If he’s watching football and you’re chatting away, he’s probably not hearing a word you’re saying. Ask yourself if that’s what you want for the rest of your life. Chances are that’s a no.

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