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Developing Familiarity

One develops familiarity and closeness through spending time sharing activities during the casual dating stage of relationships.

Generally in the early dating stages, in previous decades, especially on the first few dates, men tended to bring flowers or chocolates, and hold doors open for the woman. As time passes this level of courtesy and formality lessens.

Initially, when a couple begins the dating process, they may be a bit more formal and closed off from revealing too many details about their hopes, dreams, fears and goals.

As the couple spends more time participating in activities such as watching movies and going out for dinner they develop a closer level of comfort until they may move from watching movies in a theatre and eating dinners in restaurants to a more casual and intimate setting of staying home.

It seems to me that, as relationships grow, more couples stay home, lounging in casual clothes, watching TV or videos and ordering take-out or making meals or snacks at home.

The more activities and situations a couple participates in, such as watching or playing various sports – individually or together; or sharing spiritual or religious ceremonies and traditions, observing various seasonal milestones and holidays, to meeting one’s family and friends the more thorough their knowledge of the other. This develops intimacy and creates a deeper level of trust for sharing more personal details.

Thriving-Baby-Boomers - Familiarity - Intimacy is not purely physical. It's the act of connecting with someone so deeply, you feel like you can see into their soul.

Intimacy is not purely physical. It’s the act of connecting with someone so deeply, you feel like you can see into their soul.

Through shared activities and talking the partners increase their familiarity with one another.

During this early dating stage – through companionship and developing familiarity, one is able to open up, sharing more and more levels of freedom to be who they are in actions, and conversations.

There are a few levels to developing familiarity – from strangers to friends to close acquaintances increasing deeper levels of intimacy to deciding whether to take the next step into a more serious dating relationship. See my essays on Compassion, Cooperation and Compromise in the Serious Dating section.

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