Beyond the First Date - How Do I Know If this is a Long Term Relationship?

Beyond the First DateYou've survived the initial online dating game and have been out on several dates with this person. What now? People do go through different stages in a relationship. So it does depend on what stage you feel like you are in right now.

The first stage is, well, usually physical. Touching, kissing, holding hands everywhere you go. Like it or not, we are animals, too, and the body sensations are important. You can't wait to be in each others arms. You stare into each other's eyes over dinner. It's all feel good, high vibration times.

This stage doesn't go away (if it does, it's time to reassess the relationship), but it does morph into something else. After all of this intense closeness, there will be some desire to have more personal space. This is a good sign and means you still want to be together but also want to respect what you need energetically for yourself. This is the stage where a couple looks for balance.

This works great if you both are there in this stage together. If not, then one of you will feel as if the other is pulling away. Understanding what's going on now will help the two of you communicate. The goal of this stage is to find that balance between being together and doing your own things separately. This may take a while to work through to find that optimum balance.

At the same time, the physical part may get even better! Taking time away from each other may make the moments together even more special. The anticipation of being together will get stronger. This is an exciting time in the relationship.

As this is all happening and you both are finding that balance of time apart and time together, something else is happening. You are also deciding what the value is to you of spending time together. This starts to form the thoughts about a long-term relationship.

If you feel like the time you spend together creates a special space that you enjoy being in, that's a sign that this could be a lasting thing. When you have enough personal time to do what you want to do, then you have the choice of spending some of your time with the other person. If that time together feels like it enhances your life, then it can be a winning situation.

If when you're together you have thoughts about "I should've stayed home and watched American Idol", that's a sign that things aren't working.  Or if your idea of being together is to drag your partner into your own space and activities ("The girls and I are going out and you can come along"), that's another bad sign.

When the time you spend together feels like high quality time and you look forward to it, that's when the next thoughts begin.

And these are the future thoughts we have about someone. We all have ideas about what we will do in the future. Lots of ideas and lots of activities. Most of those thoughts have only you in the picture, but some may have a placeholder for someone else. When we are moving into the belief that this is a long-term relationship, we will begin to include that person into our future pictures. You will now start to see them in the picture with you doing fun and exciting things in the future.

When both of you are making those kinds of images, with each other in the pictures, then that's a clear sign that this relationship can last. No, it's not a guarantee. You both still have to work to make the relationship succeed. But if you both are showing up in each other's future then you can move forward believing that this can happen.

How long will this take? It's different for every couple. People can go through all of this in 6 months. Some people have dated for years and still don't have clear future pictures with each other. The important thing is to get a feel for what stage you both are in right now.

Building a relationship is not a destination. It's a journey. Talk to each other about where you are in the journey and enjoy the time you have together!

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