I see it over and over again. You meet someone. You are attracted. You are excited about this new person. You finally have sex and feel even more excited about what this relationship holds. You tell your friends and co-workers you have just met someone fantastic and think this could be the one. And while these feelings and thoughts are completely normal and expected, it is important for you to know that you are officially in phase one of a developing relationship.
Phase one feels good. It's an exciting ride. It's the phase that drives people to have affairs; it causes breakups and creates professional serial daters. All this chaos, just so you can feel that excitement once more. It's also the phase that can delude you into thinking you have just met your soul mate when in reality, you may have just met your next nightmare (or not).
In a newly developing relationship, it is easy to confuse sexual connection with true intimacy. Even though you may feel connected, like you've known this person for a thousand years, in reality, you don't know this person well at all. And while the release of dopamine and oxytocin can make you feel attached and bonded, it will behoove you to keep one eye on the exit door.
My intentions are not to be a naysayer, but instead, a wise counsel. I want you to enjoy the ride and enjoy getting to know your new love interest. I just don't want you to be so infatuated that you miss all the warning signs. I don't want you to wake up one day in a few years and say "What have I done?!"
Instead, I want you to enjoy getting to know someone with a healthy dose of skepticism and a healthy dose of optimism. You need both. You need to let your heart open and move forward—just do it in a steady pace. You need to be vulnerable and understand that no one is perfect—just proceed with both your left and right brain in gear. You need to enjoy the sexual intensity and passion all the while understanding that the intensity will most likely fade—and this doesn't mean there's anything wrong.
What's important is to be present to all that phase one has to offer while understanding that phase two is just around the corner. So keep your eye on the ball and keep your eye on the target. You need both to score the goal.
For those of you that aren't familiar with Phase One and Phase Two of a development relationship, I encourage you to check out The Pathway to Love books and programs. It’s a powerful way to understand the nature of relationships, what went wrong in your past relationships, how your relationships mirror what you need to see about yourself, and prepares you for creating a healthy and intimate relationship. You can find this at www.JulieOrlov.com/24-hour-relationship-help. The program will help you identify your needs, help you communicate more effectively and understand what it takes to create long-term, strong and intimate relationships.
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