Undeniably, a lot of things happen between the time of meeting someone and having sex with them. As humans, we are compelled to connect to one another on different stages of intimacy. It’s our nature to be attracted to each other. Whether it’s casual sex or formal sex, it follows pretty much the same pattern but the difference comes in the bonding time – the time you take to really know someone before sleeping with them.
Here are the various stage of intimacy in a relationship:
You are seated in a restaurant alone enjoying your meal. You get a gut feeling that someone is staring at you. You look around and sure enough, someone is. Creepy, right? Don’t fret, the other person is summing you up so as to determine whether they will approach you or not. This is the initial stage of intimacy. Whether we like to admit it or not, the first thing our eyes notice about a person is their body. It tells us whether the person is male or female, their age, personality, size, shape and status. The importance the observer places on these criteria will determine whether they will be attracted to the other person or not. That’s probably why they say first impressions matter.
2. Feeling the Connection
This is the second stage and it marks the beginning of active interaction. Usually, when two strangers exchange glances, the first instinct is to turn away, usually in embarrassment. If they like what they see, their eyes will meet again and may be followed with a smile, which signals they might be interested to know each other better. It doesn’t matter how many people are in that room; for a moment, it’s just the two of them. Rather than approach each other, they will keep on making eye contact.
3. Getting to know each other
For people who are just meeting for the first time, this is the stage wherein you both really build on the initial attraction that was established during the first meeting. When the two eventually meet and speak, the initial conversation is usually trivial with the parties basically interested with each other’s names and what they do for a living. It may also involve small talk about politics or an event that is happening as they learn about each other’s opinion. It is at this stage that they will know whether they are compatible or not. If they are, they will become friends. Contacts will also be exchanged with a promise to keep in touch.
4. The first touch
This may be during the first meeting or in another setting. It may be as simple as helping the other cross an obstacle or when a man helps a woman ascend or descend a high step, or as complex as a person rubbing their fingertips smoothly across the other’s arm in a soft caress. It signals the first physical contact between the two and either individual can withdraw from the relationship without rejecting the other overtly. This is your first physical, tactile contact together, and this crosses your personal space and creates a deeper sense of intimacy.
5. Young and innocent love
This is the stage of the relationship where everything is still so fresh and new. It’s always exciting and exhilarating. This is usually where a lot of relationships peak. They feel like nothing could possibly go wrong because everything just seems to click. It’s s if everything just falls into place with you two and there’s nothing that either of you could do to mess it up.
6. Love started blooming
Reaching this stage in your relationship indeed makes a statement. You started spending time with them. You go to party, you are dancing with them on a romantic song. This shows the world that you’re allowed to touch the other person in such a personal and intimate way. To both of you, this displays a physical comfort and understanding that goes beyond words, without necessarily being sexual.
7. The first kiss and hug
This stage of intimacy is where you kiss! Reaching this stage of intimacy means deep physical bonding. You have formed a strong emotional bond and have expressed your attraction to each other in ways that allow the relationship to progress. Aside from kisses, this is also a stage where you might also hug. Here, you can communicate with each other effectively, even without words.
8. Discovering the quirks and annoyances
Now, when the romantic love stage of the relationship dies down, the problems and imperfect parts of the relationship are going to start to present themselves. This is the stage of the relationship wherein the flaws are going to come out and play – and the world isn’t going to be seen through rose-colored lenses anymore. But you started making a genuine effort to just ignore the minor annoyances and flaws. You started acting as if everything is still perfect in the relationship. And that’s when the reality of the relationship really starts to sink in. This is another kind of intimacy.
9. Resurgence of passion
You fight. You make up. You disagree and you act bitter about it. You just jive and you feel like you’re floating on cloud nine. And then they do something that upsets you and you’re back to feeling like you’re stuck in a broken record. But at this stage, you turn to your partner, and say to yourself, “Wow. I forgot how hot he is,” or, “She is stunning,” or “I love him so much.” You remind yourself of why you fell in love with this person and why you’re fighting so hard to keep things together. And it’s with that realization where you both really learn how to humble yourselves.
10. Eternal love
It is the point of no return. You give part of yourself to another person and you will never forget about it. Look at it as “sealing the deal” and you will get the drift. It represents the greatest form of bonding and the zenith of trust. There is expectation of gaining and giving pleasure as intense physical sensation flood the senses. And after that, once you’re all set, you coast with one another. You face life together and you take everything that comes attached with it.
These steps give us a chance to think about our actions. As you progress from one stage to another, you prepare yourself to make smart decisions so that by the time you reach the last stage, you have known the person better and are sure this is the right thing to do. Note that moving from one stage to another may take days, months or even years; but you will be glad you made the choice to wait.