Stages of a christian dating relationship

While some chance encounters result in instant chemistry, there's typically an initial awkwardness to slough off before the first date—and even during it.

Testing the tepid waters of "do they like me, do they like me not," can be the toughest part.

Moving on from falling in love to contemplating long-term exclusivity, however, is a scary, albeit exhilarating, step to take.

This is where the uncertainty stage of a relationship sets in.

You are realizing that what you have is deeper than 'fun, exciting, and sexy.' It is a bond and trust that keeps you together." It's after relating to each other on a completely open level that couples can move on to the final stage of commitment in a relationship: the partnership stage.

It's incredibly tough to be vulnerable with another person and to reveal—openly and unequivocally—parts of yourself that aren't ideal.

"This is the part of dating that is true and raw," De Keyser explains.

"The way to spot if this is an unhealthy relationship," Dekeyser continues, "is if you feel alone. Think about why this challenge isn’t being openly discussed and then fix the source of the problem." If you and your partner have decided to get serious, you've landed at the intimacy stage of a relationship.

While the word may conjure an association with physical intimacy, this stage focuses on vulnerability.

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