Just like the seasons of life, love relationships go through stages. It's but essential if you're currently involved in a relationship to be aware of such phases so that neither of you could be more or less emotionally attached than your partner at any given stage.
1. Getting-To-Know-Each-Other Phase - also known as the "no strings attached stage". You go out on a date because you're dying to get to know better the apple of your eye. There is no expectation yet of a serious commitment and you both are still open to dating others.
Friendly advice : Don't go overboard and "overwhelm" each other with frequent marathon texts, calls and much worse be on this frenzy of flooding his/her FB wall with messages! Especially if you're a gal, and readily assume that he is truly the "One" - he might feel suffocated early on and could go berserk if not ran for his life!
So just enjoy the ride! Chilax!
2. The Open (Ended) Phase - Emotionally-confusing stage wherein after passing the casual phase, you still date others if you choose to.
How to gauge if each party is committed - Better have a heart to heart talk and set your boundaries for your so called "relationship". Depends on the mutual agreement of the couple, so make sure you are on the same boat to avoid over expectations and fall hopes get in the way.
3. Testing The Waters Phase - Or the so-called "Exclusively Dating" stage where couples agreed NOT to go out with other people BUT is not a sure fire way to get hold of a committed relationship. Since you two, are not yet "officially on", technically it ain't a formal relationship yet.
Ask him/her if you're both on the same level of "commitment" or not so as to save yourselves from heartaches when and if one of you decides to enter the dating scene again. Ever heard of a "change of heart"?
4. The Romantic Phase (Enchantment Stage) - This is commonly referred to also as the "Honeymoon Phase".It is in this stage where most love relationships start off and could be such a wonderful phase! Love birds feel ecstatic, energetic, inspired, giddy and on cloud nine, it's as if literally, you're high on drugs! Blame it on the special endorphin in the brain which makes couples can't get enough of each other because of that "in love" feeling. Like the experts say, it is just a chemically induced phase,cannot and should not last forever.
This could go on from 6-8 months but can vary from couple to couple. Some could last only a few weeks time and simply die out while others 2-3 years. But just like "drugs", it wears off as it is just temporary. As they say, LOVE is more than a feeling itself...there are the realities of life a couple must face head on.
When a couple is already in the committed or serious relationship stage, both should exert efforts to work things out and as much as possible iron out differences in the long run more like doing property management kind of thing. Keep the romance alive, fresh and exciting!