In one of their studies, they found the keys to understanding your relationship development–there are three distinct relationship stages and this is what each stage looks like.
What is it: Casual dating is the first stage of any relationship.
It is characterized by people just dating for fun without any expectation of commitment or exclusivity.
This type of dating helps us understand ourselves and our likes/dislikes when it comes to relationships.
But once we find someone we really connect with, we might quickly find ourselves in the next stage: What is it: Exclusive dating is when two people begin dating with the expectation that partners will not date others.
This is more serious and sends the message that “I like you more than other people I’ve dated and feel like we have a special connection.
Knowing where a relationship’s at and where it’s going is important.
The answer to these questions help us determine such things as how intimate we should be with our partner and what plans we should start making for our future together.
Determining the seriousness of our relationship, however, can be very challenging and confusing.Lucky for us, Laura Umphrey and John Sherblom, researchers from the Universities of Alaska and Maine (respectively), have simplified the process.Stresses: Because of the lack of commitment, we’re also more likely to worry about what our dating partner is thinking.Whether our thoughts are “what does she think of me? ” we are uncertain about the future of the relationship.We may find it easy to be open about some things during casual dating, but because we haven’t developed a relationship of trust, we may also hold back and keep select information from our date.Why Do It: While casual dating is not very secure, it is a great way to meet new people and explore our options.