Key Stages in a Relationship - Stage 1 by anamaulida


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<p>This is also the most important because without the expectation and
actual success in selecting the right partner, nothing else will happen:
no dialogue, no love, no marriage, no sex, no continuation of the
species! This is the time when expectation is high on one hand but
carefully muted to some degree, often deliberately suppressed to prevent
any personal disappointment.</p>
<p><strong>Selection involves a hunt of some duration, ending with the
catch or prize - the potential partner</strong>. The only goal at this
stage is to attract someone to whom the person is appealing in return.
Everything hinges on this ultimate objective and, to prevent any
disaster, there is a high level of teasing, pretending and game playing.
The guy might pretend he is merely seeking a 'friend', no commitment, of
course, while the girl might pretend he is no one special, perhaps
playing 'hard to get' in the process. Thus, reading the signals becomes
crucial at this time in case we overreact, but they are often missed
through inexperience, fear of not making an impression, offending the
other, or through too much excitement and bravado. Sometimes they are
also misinterpreted through a difference in culture, age or gender
perception or the wish to appear 'nice' and accommodating</p>
<p>The emphasis here is on getting someone healthy, worthy, almost a
mirror image of the hunter in culture, race and values. Someone almost
flawless in every respect in order to continue the species in the most
effective form, and in the quickest possible time. Efforts are then made
to catch the attention of someone special, primarily to make a
connection, nothing more. In fact, if we still have some unresolved
problems with a parent, this is the time we may unconsciously choose
someone who is similar to, or the opposite of, him or her. We may even
find a partner attractive because she has traits we feel we lack or we
find unacceptable in ourselves.</p>
<p><strong>Attracting Attention</strong></p>
<p>For example, a woman who is too serious may like a man who is fun-
loving and carefree. But, later down the line, too much extroversion,
especially at the wrong moments, might jar on the more reserved party.
Initially the differences in personality will seem very appealing, but
they are more likely to irritate after a while, especially if they are
the result of low self-esteem, and will inevitably take their toll on the
stronger party.</p>
<p>The selection stage is characterised by an elaborate ritual of drawing
attention to one's self at every opportunity and seeking interest from
the other party - often with unrealistic expectations to match. The main
aim at this crucial time is to impress others and to stir a positive
reaction. Many people go to lengths to find a reciprocal mate, especially
with regard to physical attraction. They try to look their best, preening
themselves like peacocks, and often in the latest fashions, to emphasise
their individuality and style. They try to say the right things at all
times and to behave according to the perceived expectations of the
intended one - perceptions which are likely to be based upon past
experience. That is why many suitors make the mistake of using the
expectations of former partners, or general stereotypes, to judge new
ones. Bad move, in fact, because everyone likes to be treated
individually. Each person's expectation will also be age-related,
culturally referenced, value driven and based upon her/his future
<p>In selecting a potential mate men invariably focus on the physical:
someone 'beautiful', 'stunning', 'gorgeous', 'a real babe', translated as
one who looks good and carries the right height, weight, hair and boobs!
They also loathe any form of rejection, taking offence at the slightest
lack of interest, but are usually quickest to reject the women they do
not deem to be suitable often without a second thought. For women it is a
more emotional requirement, though well-developed bulges in the right
places, like biceps and triceps, will not be overlooked! Attributes women
value in men are passion, love, a caring nature and loyalty. If they are
older, at least some hair and the suitor's own teeth would not go amiss!
Some money would be welcome too, while a nice bum would be a great bonus.
This is the time when we would almost go through hoops to be noticed,
which also makes us ultra-sensitive to the mildest form of rejection.</p>
<p><strong>Desperation Creeping In</strong></p>
<p>Trouble arises when one party is already further down the attraction
line - such as being at the third stage of commitment - which is too
obvious too early, which tends to frighten off the other party.
Connection then hangs in the balance while other factors are used to
judge the possibility of further progress, like the value of the prize
(whether he/she is 'worth it'), and the personal state of readiness to
move more rapidly beyond the selection stage). Factors like these
influence the decision whether to proceed or not with the chosen one. As
this 39-year-old male says about his method of selecting: "<em>I prefer
women under 35 or over 45. The in-betweens are best avoided. Women
between those ages have moved into those years where they feel the
overwhelming urge to 'settle down' and have children. Desperation creeps
in then, and desperation is never sexy."</em> When that crucial
connection is made, it is time to move on to the next stage.</p>
<p>When my ex-husband first met me he earned only £8 per week - a good
wage then for a junior person in the Forces - but, as he was always
trying to impress me, he often took me to have an expensive meal (about
£1.50 then!) followed by the cinema or pub. After these outings, and
some savings in his post office book, there could not have been much left
to last him through the week! One night he missed the only bus and walked
16 miles from his Royal AirForce base to the nurses' home just to see me.
I <em>was</em> impressed!</p>

<p><strong>ELAINE SIHERA (Ms Cyprah -<a rel="nofollow"
er/elainesihera</a> and <a rel="nofollow"
/a>) is an expert author, public speaker, media contributor and lifestyle
columnist. The first Black graduate of the OU and a post-graduate of
Cambridge University.</strong> Elaine is a CONFIDENCE guru and a Personal
Empowerment, Relationships and Diversity Consultant. Author of: <em>10
Easy Steps to Growing Older Disgracefully; 10 Easy Steps to Finding Your
Ideal Soulmate!; Money, Sex &amp; Compromise and Managing the Diversity
Maze</em>, among others (available on <a rel="nofollow"
href=""></a> as well as
her personal website). Also the founder of the <strong>British Diversity
Awards</strong> and the <strong>Windrush Men and Women of the Year
Achievement Awards</strong>. She describes herself as, "Fit, Fabulous,
Over-fifty and Ready to Fly!"</p>

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