The modern dating world seems casual at times, and the lack of commitment can create anxiety. It is up to you to discuss with your partner the level of commitment that you envision as the relationship progresses. When both of you aren’t compatible or in agreement with what the “end in mind” is for the relationship, that’s when you risk wasting your time, energy, money, etc. and this oftentimes may lead to heartbreak.
There are 4 general levels of commitment as listed below. It is integral to establish a certain level of commitment to ensure both of you set your boundaries so you are respecting each other’s intentions in dating. This helps to secure emotional & physical safety and to get the commitment you want eventually.
Level 1: Honeymoon Stage
This is the early stage of dating; it is the exploration and attraction stage where both partners are learning and understanding each other’s uniqueness and qualities, and assessing what they can offer to the relationship.
Level 2: Be My Valentine Stage
This stage consists of emotional and physical/sexual exclusivity; this is the stage where both partners have the agreement that they are emotionally and physically/sexually exclusive and they only date each other to enter into a committed partnership. Oftentimes, couples label this stage as boyfriend/girlfriend stage.
Level 3: Deeper Love Stage
In this stage, couples develop a much deeper level of commitment in all aspects of the relationship: emotional, physical, mental, intellectual, sexual, and intimate levels. Couples enter into a deeper commitment with the intention of spending the rest of their lives together. At this stage, couples may be engaged or cohabitating, or both. Their lives have integrated deeper, usually involving both sides of family members.
Level 4: Forever Lasting Love Stage
In this stage, couples reach the ultimate deepest level of commitment: couples may decide and commit to their partnership and may agree to get married or commit to the long term lifetime relationship.
No matter what stage of commitment you are in during dating, it is imperative to ensure both of you have the intention to reach the commitment level you both agreed upon with the same pace and forward momentum to ensure a happy romantic relationship. Otherwise, incongruous levels of commitment may drift dating couples apart.