During “experimenting” you are realizing you both think fedora hats are stupid. But it seems like the “intensifying” and “integrating” phases are becoming hazy in modern dating: You’re a couple at a BBQ, but you don’t want to use labels.
You’re not sleeping with anyone else, but they aren’t your girlfriend.
We’re trained to assume that relationships happen in five stages: initiating, experimenting, intensifying, integrating, and bonding.
Developed by Mark Knapp, the Relational Development Model (also aptly known as “Knapp’s Theory”) is the sort of theory that you know about without actually knowing about.
Of my friends who entered into relationships in the past year, every single one of them first entered a period of exclusivity before even remotely venturing into "boyfriend/girlfriend" territory.
It is now expected that a couple will first hookup for a significant -- albeit unsubstantial -- period of time, only to then qualify their pseudo relationship with vague promises of monogamy.
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recently had a conversation I’d already had, word for word, many times.
If I'm in an exclusive relationship, I can lie on the couch while she does stuff with her family.
The talk always begins the same way then dives off in one of two directions. ” is the question I ask — the logical question to ask — when a male friend describes a woman he’s been seeing regularly and exclusively. Sometimes he says, “I don’t know.” It’s as though relationships are the same as good weather, something that just happens to you.
Is being exclusive the same as being someone’s significant other? Old me would have said yes too, but now I think I’m changing camps.
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