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The 6 Stages of a Romantic Relationship

Updated: Jan 31, 2022

As America's #1 Love Coach® and Certified Love Transformer®, I’ve dedicated my career to my passion of helping successful women release what’s standing in their way of true love.

It seems like the dating game is broken and guys aren't how they used to be. They are the ones who want to be pursued, and many women have no idea how to effectively navigate the dating game. There is a new, empowering school of thought getting into the ears and minds of many single women that promotes “Shooting Your Shot,” and philosophies that put women in the driver’s seat. Let me stop you right there, ladies! For the past two decades, I have coached some of the most successful and powerful women across the world, and I know how much women can accomplish. I know that being bold, intelligent, and cutting to the chase are all extraordinary qualities for women to possess in the boardroom. But when it comes to dating, science still shows us that there is a formula for love. I teach the six phases of a relationship in my courses, because at the end of the day one principle remains: Love is built over time. It’s all about the slow burn. For anyone who’s ever rushed into love and has seen it backfire, you know what I’m talking about. So let’s get into the 6 phases of a relationship.

Phase #1: Attraction. During this phase, his testosterone is increasing, because your feminine energy draws him in. The feminine essence triggers his testosterone and, well, he just wants sex. Point blank, period–all the man can do and was designed to do at this phase of the relationship is to think about how to have sex with you. Don’t be insulted–this is how he was made. But this is very important information to have! Women get caught up in infatuation and mistake this phase for "love at first sight." This is where that “sex positive” lifestyle can do you a disservice. Say you’ve had the most amazing time with someone and built a true connection and something unique, only for him to end up ghosting you or dissing you. You’re then just another one night stand. My strict advice is this: Do not have sex during the attraction phase. No one night stands, no hanky panky. No friends with benefits. Don't lie to yourself and don't negotiate your standards. Don’t interrupt the natural process that needs to occur!

Phase #2: Courting. During this phase, he makes the effort in order to earn you. He’s planning the dates, paying for the dates, and doing whatever he can to arrange spending time with you. WARNING: If you are making the effort during this time, you’re driving down your estrogen and your feminine energy and operating in your masculine energy, your cortisol increases and you are stressing yourself out. Even if he appreciates the effort and attention you’re putting in, the reality is he's either operating in his feminine energy or he's going to end up looking for a long-term feminine option.

The ideal scenario is that he’s making the effort to earn you--and he's not able to get the goodies quite yet. It keeps him on the hook longer and it causes him to be curious and really get to know you. By keeping sex and physical intimacy out of the equation–but still always an unspoken possibility–it keeps his interest alive and you both spend quality time together in order to really get to know one another. And as he gets to know you, he gets to know your soul. He sees exactly what you bring to the table, and it makes him realize he needs you, and he craves your presence. You know he's falling for you because biochemically, he starts to show you signs that his serotonin is dropping and his testosterone is dropping. He's becoming more nurturing. He's the one who wants to give to you. He's going to find ways to give to you. It makes him feel good to give to you. As he's doing this, it causes him to fall for you more. The biggest mistake women make when he’s giving to you is you feeling obligated to give back. DO NOT give him gifts, plan romantic getaways, watch his dogs, or do anything for him. You will be interrupting the process, causing him to be in his feminine energy and causing him stress in the process. All you need to do is smile and express your appreciation verbally. It makes him feel good. The low serotonin keeps you on his mind, beyond his control. When he's falling for you, he can't help wanting to see you and spend time with you. The worst thing you can do is satiate him, killing his desire to want more. You always have to leave him wanting MORE. Do not be on the phone with him for hours. Don't be available every single time he wants to see you. Don't hang out 'til 2-3 a.m. chatting. Don't put your friends and your life on hold for him. Don't be AVAILABLE. And please remember: Sex doesn't equal commitment.

Phase 3: Pull Away Phase. Every man goes through this phase, especially if he's fallen for you. It’s a very confusing time for women, but in the grand scheme of things–it’s a great thing. The pull away phase is the reason you never want to have sex before a commitment. Every man needs to pull away, because his testosterone has dropped so low he needs to rebound. Dr. John Gray calls this “caveman time,” and describes a man as a rubber band. When that rubber band gets pulled back, it’s going to pop back stronger and mightier than before. Women tend to freak out during this phase because women pull back for entirely different reasons than men do, and when the man does it, a woman assumes it’s his signaling that he doesn’t want her anymore. I need you to please note: DO NOT text him. Do not reach out to him texting paragraphs and telling him off. Do not communicate with him at all. Your job during the pull away phase is to GO ON WITH YOUR LIFE LIKE EVERYTHING IS FINE. You are happy, spending time with friends, working, taking care of yourself. If you need to send a text in paragraph form, then that's always the nail in the coffin. Ladies, during this phase–DISAPPEAR.

If you obsess during this time, he will energetically still be able to feel your thirst. In order for this to work and to be powerful, you have got to be able to refocus yourself. This is why I tell my clients to date 3 men at a time to keep your emotions in check and stabilized. You need to focus on sitting back as a laid back prize in your feminine energy. Once he feels the disconnect, and sees you living your life not worrying about him, he's going to wonder why you're not freaking out. That's going to make him think about you more. It gives him a chance to miss you. It helps you not waste your time. If he doesn't come back--he's a ghost. Don't let the “not one” occupy the space of the one. You want him to go away as fast as possible if he's not the one. When he comes back, he will be ready to commit to you. After his hiatus, don't answer his calls because you're busy. If he disappears (Sometimes guys pull away energetically but not physically). You may feel like he's not being attentive, and you might be arguing. Don't lecture or argue with him.

Phase 4: Commitment. When you have activated your feminine energy and you're standing in your power and confidence when you know that you are the prize–the ultimate trophy–and any man is lucky to have you. When you KNOW it in your heart, and you move through life in alignment with that part of yourself, you will not be concerned at all with men who can’t make up their mind about you. Because your only job is to disqualify men left and right as soon as they show you the red flags. Remember: two men cannot take up one space. If you are busy entertaining the wrong man, overlooking red flags, then the one who is meant to be with you cannot come in. When he’s pulled away and comes back wanting commitment, resist jumping for joy and showing him how giddy and excited you are. Do not start planning your wedding. Let him know that you are not here for games, you are auditioning prospects for the role of your husband and soulmate, and if he’s earned your commitment, then by all means, accept it with an open and loving heart!

Phase 5: Engagement. This is pretty self-explanatory, but make sure you are not giving wife benefits before the pastor has said, “I Do.” If a man has not proposed marriage to yo'u within two years of you meeting, then he is not confident that he can commit to marriage. Don’t freak out, don’t go off on him. Your job is not to convince anyone why they should want to marry you. If a man can’t commit two years in, it’s time to go, diva.

Phase 6: Marriage. For out more about the 6 phases of a relationship, the Diva Love Formula, and tons of dating and love tips by following Shay’s Instagram and TikTok Channels.

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