Image via Wikipedia
Chris Fabry spoke yesterday about dating and referenced the 12 bonding stages. I of course have seen this before, a Dobson book I flipped through a while back outlines the concept developed by Desmond Morris in ‘71. Tale as old as time.
Since Chris’ conversation focused more on individual case studies per say, I pulled up the stages on multiple websites and was not quite surprised at the differences, but they are telling.
Eye to Body
This happens every day and is pretty insignificant. You simply look at the other person.
This is the sizing up of a potential mate. The woman walks into the room. The man looks at her and decides if she’s someone who appears to meet his criteria. Hard wiring suggests he’s looking for a mate who appears healthy and able to bear his offspring, but we’ve all met guys where merely having two X chromosomes is enough. However, if the female doesn’t measure up, he moves away.
Eye to Eye
Assuming the woman passed muster in step 1, the man will attempt to make eye contact. If the woman averts her eyes, that’s a "pull away." The man has the choice of moving on, or perhaps accepting the challenge and trying again. Be aware that a fixed gaze can also be viewed as threat behavior, so there’s more fodder for the push-pull.
Eye contact is very important. When a man and woman exchange glances, their most natural reaction is to look away. If their eyes meet again, they may smile, which signals they might like to become better acquainted.
Voice to Voice
This is where a real relationship begins. This step is all about communication – the verbal kind. You exchange names, phone numbers, IM identities, or generally arrange to start spending time together. This should be a pretty long stage – probably a month or more of dates, phone calls, e-mails, and other communication. This is where you start to know what the other person likes and dislikes, what their family is like, their dog’s (or cat’s) name, how many times it took them to pass the driver license test, who their favorite teacher is, […] This is a time to start emotional bonding – when you figure out if you get along and whether you will be able to get along for a long time.
If she’s accepted his gaze (and, by the way, the woman is doing the same kind of sizing up at the same time), the next step is to strike up a conversation. You want to pull them apart, perhaps your hero uses the pickup line from hell, tells a bad joke, or is a "me me me" conversationalist.
You talk to the other person. This can be very important in getting to know someone.
It takes 1,000 hours to really get to know each other (which breaks down to about 42 full days, or 250 four-hour dates).
Hand to Hand
This is a social statement, “we’re together.” This is a beginning touch step.
The first step to physical contact between a couple. It’s usually a non-romantic occasion but a great way to create romantic conflict. If either person shies away from the touch it could indicate rejection or a difficult road ahead. However, if the touch is welcomed, it could be the beginning of a promising romance.
Hand to Shoulder
This is the natural next step after you’ve been holding hands for a while. Your communication is going great, hopefully. You find each other interesting and fun and you like the fact that you have similar goals for the future – you both want two kids, a mini-van, and a house on the edge of town. You’re ready to show each other and the world that you’re on your way to a real commitment and you do that when the guy puts his arm around the girl’s shoulder as they walk across campus or from the car into the movie. This is still a point where something might happen to cause the relationship to break up, but you’ve not gotten to the point of heavy emotional and physical bonding that comes as you go to the following steps.
Arm to Shoulder
Allowing yourself to be this close physically is the beginning of closer intimacy.
Hand to Shoulder
Arm to Waist
Your comfort level is beginning to grow.
The first real embrace. More intimate than hand to hand, and proof that what was only friendship is progressing in to something more.
It goes on, I’m getting bored/ hungry, but compare the last few steps of <http://www.gonnawait.org/teens/love_12_steps.html> with <http://studiesoflove.com/sexpregnancy/12stepsintimacy.html>.
Consider the differences between the two worldly takes on second to last, “Not quite sex– many young couples that aren’t ready for sex find this a suitable substitute” and “Most of the time, this is the point at which there’s no turning back. The commitment has been made. If the woman does change her mind, it will be very frustrating for the male (a MAJOR conflict). It’s also likely to label the woman as a "tease".”
Last night I was trying to explain, or maybe get out of explaining to a couple that took it quite a bit faster and insists that I don’t know what I’m missing, how I can be content to linger in stage 3
Last week, and the week before, I listened as a friend tried to sort out her friends and which ones should have benefits.
Last month, and the two months before (I like natural progressions) I lingered and thoroughly enjoyed a developing friendship that, if stops there, will last because we have respected each other enough to make sure that’d be possible. No bridges will have been burned.
12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
I have that hope, not just of the glory to which the previous refers, but to an abundant, fulfilling life here. I have the hope, faith, described as the ability to know in the dark what we’ve seen in the light, that this way is better.
Letting physical and emotional and spiritual progress together leaves one less confused and more balanced and better off. since we have such a hope, we are very bold. not quite. This leads to quite a few tangents – boldness, visionary, what hope is, both generally and specifically.
Always be prepared with an answer for those who ask. I’m rarely prepared and they rarely ask.
It’s not me vs you everyone do whats right in their own eyes. That’s not cool.
Tale as old as time- its been done before, studies made, patterns studied. Predictable results.