Advice on the 3 Stages of a New Relationship

stages of a new relationship

New relationships have three stages. You meet, decide you want to date then you either move forward as a couple or end the relationship. Get advice from a dating coach on all three stages and whether you should become a couple or call it quits.

Stages of a New Relationship Advice

Reader Question

I am 18 years old and my boyfriend is 34 years old. We have been dating for about a month now. In the beginning he was really into me, he would do anything for me, he talked about getting married and having a future, he told me he loved me all the time, he constantly called and texted me. Recently, his attitude has completely changed. I make all the effort to call and/or text him; I'm always the one trying to hang out. He never has time for me anymore and tells me it's work that is keeping him busy, and that we only have time… so be patient. My girlfriends have told me he could be cheating and to talk to him about it. So. I have and he doesn't even respond when I ask. Do you think he is cheating?-- Contributed by: Charlotte

Expert Reply

Dear Charlotte,

All relationships go through three initial stages. The first two stages are meeting and deciding if there is enough interest to date. Usually during this second stage, there is a high level of infatuation. Contrary to all negative beliefs about infatuation, it is necessary in order for a relationship to have chemistry. Without infatuation, all you have is the possibility of a friendship. During these two stages, partners may still be dating other people.

Once infatuation starts to plateau, the next stage of dating is either about moving toward the couple relationship being mutually exclusive or ending the relationship. Should the relationship continue, each partner will choose to date the other exclusively and is usually not interested in "seeing" if there's someone else better out there.

That said, I don't think you and your boyfriend are at the mutually exclusive stage just yet. It sounds like in the beginning your boyfriend was all into you. Now that his level of infatuation is beginning to decrease or is less intense, his desire to see what else is out there (meaning to date other women) may have increased. I can't say that he is cheating on you without knowing if both of you had agreed not to date other people while you were seeing each other. If this agreement was not explicitly stated but rather assumed, then it is not cheating for him to see other women. It would only be cheating if you both promised each other you would not date other people. This may be why when you ask your guy if he is cheating he does not respond. He likes you and does not want to lose your interest in him. Which is why I don't buy his excuse that he is busy with work as the reason he does not call, text or make time to take you out. When a guy is really into you, he will make the time to be with you, he will call and he will return all communication in a timely manner.

At this point, you are the one doing all the work to keep the relationship going. What do you think would happen if you stopped? Your answer to this question will tell you what you should do next.


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Advice on the 3 Stages of a New Relationship