Feb 14, 2008

Love Is In The Air

Today is Valentine’s Day and millions of love-struck couples all over the world will be exchanging sweet nothings or celebrating the evening with a romantic candlelight dinner.

But if unfortunately, you are fretting over your stagnant relationship and felt that love had fizzled out or that your man is commitment-phobic by not asking you to marry him after all this while, you would do well to identify the stages of the relationship each of you are in, and try to communicate and reconcile the differences in values, if there are any.

According to relationship guru, couples usually go through 4 phases before walking down the aisle. So if you are having doubts whether you have found Mr or Ms Right, try to give the relationship some time so that you can assess yourself and your partner and find the common ground in the relationship where you can both share the same wavelength.

Stage 1: Introductory
Also term as prospecting, this is the time when singles expand their social circles and make first contact with someone they are attracted to.

First impression matter, dress well and be conscious of your body language.

Stage 2: Exploration
At this stage, the individual is curtailing his or her options to a select few. He or she may go on several dates with different people to find out if the other party is the one.

Find out more about each other, for example, your date’s life philosophies, family background, values and beliefs.

Don’t come across as too clingy, calling your dates 10 times a day.

Go on double dates or group dates with both your friends to observe how your partner interact with others. Your friends can also give you their opinions of your date.

Stage 3: Exclusivity
At this stage, both are committed to each other. Seeing another man or woman as an option is tantamount to double-timming!

Be trusting, give each other personal space for his/her own circles of friends.

Ask questions about family planning, household financial planning but be mindful that women tend to move into this stage earlier than men. Make sure your partner is ready for marriage before hinting about marriage or talking about family planning.

Stage 4: Pre-marriage
As the name implies, marriage is almost a done deal.

Tips: Get advice from churches and social counseling centre which usually conduct pre-marital seminars and workshops for couples. Such workshops provide informative advice for the soon-to-wed couples.

Navigate these "minefields" of a relationship with your partner by your side, not one party should proceed too far ahead or lack too far behind.

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!!