Long Term Relationship?
Couples, if you are serious about the relationship, answer a few questions, Long Term Relationship, or no
- Do each of our families welcome the other?
- Does each family support the relationship?
- If we choose to invest more deeply in this relationship, would it cause conflict or distance with either family?
- Do either of us continually defend the other from family criticism?
- Is either family controlling or interfering? in this relationship?
Relationships Develop in Stages
1) Superficial Level; This involves conversation generally referred to as “small talk.” How are you? Where are you from? The weather or the news.
2) “Still Safe” Level’ This is an exchange of no-risk facts. Where did you go on vacation last year? What sights did you see? Openings or “gates” not yet present in the boundaries. First dates may occur at this level, you will find fun articles with ideas and humor;
3) Judgmental Level; Here, we begin to risk a few statements about our opinions on politics, religion, or other matters about which our new friend might disagree with us. We allow more “gates” in our Boundaries.
4) Emotional Level; We begin sharing how we feel about life, ourselves, and others. We are sad, glad, worried, depressed, etc. If the other person is experienced as critical, we strengthen our Boundaries and go back a step.
5) Disclosure Level; Takes place on a continuum. We begin to reveal our private thoughts and feelings to another person, confessing secret dreams as well as painful failures. This stage involves an honesty and vulnerability that lead to true intimacy. As we experience the other person as safe, we disclose at a deeper level, creating more emotional intimacy. Most of us only have a few people in our lives with whom we share at this level. Some people have no one to share emotionally intimate information with.
Copyright ©2014 Marta