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Posted December 31, Reviewed by Davia Sills. There are three stages that comprise the path to healthy romantic love.

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Our intimacy journey is the greatest journey of our lives. There are three stages that comprise this journey, and in this episode, I explain each of them. Stage 1 occurs when you learn to let go of people and situations that chip away at your sense of self-worth. When that happens, everything begins to change. Stage 3 occurs when our dating lives begin to populate with people who are safer, more available, and who Three step dating able to love us for who we are.

The 3 stages have a kind of epic quality because every one of them is so big and changes us in such deep ways. And the lessons of true intimacy are the greatest lessons of our lives. The first stage of the three stages of deeper dating is really quite an amazing stage. But at its heart, this is the stage where we begin to lose our taste for people and relationships and situations that chip away Three step dating our sense of self-worth.

When we become less sticky to these kind of attractions, a dead end era of our dating life is finally coming to an end.

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Now we can begin the real work of intimacy, cultivating our attraction to relationships that feed and nurture us. In dating, and in all of our relationships, we start to clean house, emptying our lives of unnecessary interactions with relationships of deprivation. At its heart, this stage is where we learn perhaps the greatest lesson of love.

It is to be ourselves. But that is no simple thing. Because who we really are is loaded with qualities of sensitivity, of passion, of uniqueness, of differentness, that have gotten us hurt in the past. And we know that the places we care the most are the places where we can be hurt the most. And these places are the home of the most authentic us. Three step dating because people take advantage of those qualities in us, and because were never taught how to understand our unique geniuses, these qualities—so unique and so different, so tender and so passionate—sometimes feel not like gifts but like curses.

People take advantage of them, step on them, and neglect them, so we learn to cover them up, and we create a false Three step dating. And in this stage, what happens is that we begin to excavate these qualities and learn how to honor them and cherish them, we learn how to dignify those parts of ourselves that are uniquely us.

And so they realize that their abundance has been taken advantage of. Or another example of that is a kind of generosity of spirit. It might not involve financial or material abundance, but might involve just the kind of person who loves to give.

So people with that kind of generosity need to stop and need to learn to honor and dignify that quality, and realize that not everyone has that quality, that their people and their tribe are those people that treasure that part of them and know how to give it back.

This is how Three step dating learn to dignify our most authentic qualities. And when we do that, our attractions begin to change. Chip Conley, a dear friend and best-selling author of the book Emotional Equations and Wisdom at Worksaid, after reading Deeper Dating, that in his mind:. And that just means leading with your deepest, truest self, the part of you at the center of this target, the core of you. W hen we do that, everything changes.

They begin to learn to treasure who they are, instead of constantly working on how they have to fix themselves, or improve themselves, or live out of self-doubt. When people do this, they lose their taste for negative attractions and they start to clean house. And that is a really wonderful and powerful thing.

Three stages of deeper dating

And when it happens, the field begins to change. As you lose interest in those people, they kind of just stop coming around. You somehow feel less sticky to them, and you Three step dating that they kind of gradually disappear out of your life. How do we deepen it, and strengthen it, and move quickly through it, so we can enter into the second stage?

Well, there are a few different ways. You want teachings that in the most essential way teach you to honor who you are in your intimacy journey, because I promise you—nothing else is going to work. The second thing that you need in this stage to develop, little by little, is to find your tribe. Who is your tribe? Those people are the heart and soul of a happy life.

Learn where you stand in your search for love.

Usually we have to kind of find those friends, find that tribe of people, and as we do that, we move through the first stage. Until stage one happens—until we learn how to say no to unhealthy dynamics and unhealthy relationships—we are going to remain stuck.

But let me just add one more thought, for everyone who is saying Yes, I relate to this stage. In this stage, we often need to make a lot of changes in our Three step dating relationships. And I want to encourage each of you not to throw out the baby with the bathwater, with people who care about you, and love you, who maybe had dishonored these parts of you.

It either can be hard to talk about them or hard not to overreact when you feel hurt in these arenas. Give yourself a chance and give the people you love a chance. Another example would be if you picture a corridor, with doors on both sides of the corridor.

Stage 1 – finding your sense of self worth

And those doors are closed now. So why is that, that the strange second stage, where things just feel kind of like too quiet or too empty, exists and takes place? Well, one reason is that we often need time to heal. I need to repair myself here.

I need to lick my wounds. I need to reconfigure.

And this is a deep stage. Our psyches need time to reconfigure. You know, the story of Passover is the story where the Jews left generations and generations of being slaves to the pharaohs.

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There might be giants there. And in fact that generation has to kind of die off before the new generation finally enters into the new land. We create a false self to protect ourselves. And what Winnicott says is that the importance of our true self is so great that often in many cases people would rather die than to get rid of the false self, because the true self is that precious.

And this is true. Well, the greatest thing that you can do is to nurture yourself, to take care of yourself. In the early stages of this second part, the early parts of the second stage, you may really want just a lot of time to yourself. I need time to feed myself. I need Three step dating to feed these new parts of myself. And so to the degree Three step dating you need that, honor it. So start looking for the new shoots —and that means new things that nourish you deeply.

And also new shoots of relationships that are healing and nurturing— start looking now because they will start popping up. New relationships with people who are safe, and honoring of who you are; where your heart and your soul feel safe and seen. I find that in my role as a psychotherapist and a coach, often in this stage I point out, hey, what about that really nice person that you just met and you both had a great conversation?

Well, you know you could go to the movies with that person. You could see them at that event the next time you go to the event and maybe go out for a cup of coffee. We need to look for the new shoots of healthy relationships because they will appear in this stage. These bad boys and bad girls. They may not look as sexy right away, but look for the kind of deeper excitements.

And then we need to give ourselves time and space. Now, another thing here: This may be a stage where trauma is holding you back. This is a really good time to work on that. If addictions or Three step dating behaviors are holding you back, this is the time to do that work.