Is There A Benefit To Being In A Relationship? Identifying The Stages of Courtship

Relationships are an artifact of being an animal, driven by immaturity and hormones rather than by destiny and true love. When considering relationships, we cannot assume that our instincts are correct just because a behavior is generally approved of by others.
 
We need to realize that we are animals and that a lack of self-awareness will just lead us in circles, chasing emotions and going through endless conflicts.
 

You Are Just Programmed

 
All animals are programmed for life and humans are no exception. Just because we do not see our own programming does not mean that we have none. And just because other people include you in their programming, does not mean that this has any inherent relevance to you or that you have a responsibility to resonate with that. 
 
Imagine picking up an ant and walking a few steps, just to have it stare at you and scream “Hey!! I have an appointment in 10 minutes in the other direction!!”. It would be silly, wouldn’t it? Its an ant, whatever it has to do cannot be important.
 
Why? Because we have no emotional responses to ants and there is nothing of value ants can provide us with. An ant is exchangeable to us. Its life is not important.
 
 
But do ants think so? Do they have feelings, do they contemplate or have hope in their lives? How could we know? The truth is, we make distinctions between what is special and what is not, based on our own perspective. The life of a plant and the life of a cat are not equal in our opinion.
 
We value the cat much higher than the plant because we could eat lettuce all day while we would be shocked if someone were munching on the neighbor’s cat. We also value a cats life higher than a cows life because we like our steak.
 

Partners Are Always Exchangeable – It’s By Design

 
What does this have to do with relationships? Simple. We value a partner based on the worth we attach to them and this worth is entirely based on our thoughts and emotions. A human does not have an inherent value at all but we are programmed to be attracted and to follow courtship, mating or reproduction rituals.
 
What we are not programmed for is the exact partner we should select for these rituals because, evolutionarily speaking, partners are always exchangeable.
 
 
People clearly have “type” but even if you have the most amazing relationship and your partner tragically dies….. you will end up with someone new. You might not seek out do find someone and you might not consider yourself open to meet someone new but it will happen nonetheless.
 
This programming itself is not good or bad, it just is. The decision you will have to make is to what degree you want to indulge in this programming and what your benefit will be. The problem I see with almost all relationships is that they are riddled with immaturity. These little flaws waste your time, make you feel stressed, in conflict and weak.
 

Relationships Are Build On Immaturities

 
Arguments, disagreements, “managing” your partner, cheating, lying and a lack of intimacy. These are the bad parts. What are the good parts? Of course, there are a lot of good parts as well. In order to understand relationships, we have to dissect them into their most important components:
 
  1. Attention
  2. Sex
  3. Intimacy
  4. Pair bonding
  5. Lifestyle integration
 
Each of these parts can be experienced on its own and each relationship can be constructed based on any variation of them. In detail, they are: 
 

1. Attention & Attraction (Assessing reproductive value)

 
This is usually the first part of interacting with any prospective partner. You observe the other and you assess them. If you like them, you will seek to engage them and to give them the opportunity to observe you as well. This ritual can take a few minutes to many years, depending on the skill and desire of the people involved to move things forward.
 
Since this part provides gratification, people can get caught up in feeding their immaturity through the perceived admiration of others. Women might show extra cleavage on Instagram and go on dates with guys they do not find attractive, while men might give hopes to unattractive girls just to be admired by them. 
 
 
There is not much benefit in spending any extra time in this stage. If you are quick to identify the other person’s attractiveness and have allowed them to identify yours, then you should move things forward or move on to someone else.
 
There is no point in slowly growing attraction over time, through many dates and interactions, since this will lead to a “job interview” type of arrangement where one person is unsure of the others attractiveness and wants to gather more data.
 

40,000,000 Options At All Times

 
If you are the one who is being slowed down by this then the other person does not see your value and you should be engaging with the 40,000,000 other people out of which many will immediately see your value. Why 40,000,000 you ask? Simple. 
 
Imagine there are 8 billion people on this planet and half of them have your preferred sex, making it 4 billion. Now assume that 1% of these people happen to be in a good age range and are also attractive. This would leave you with 40,000,000 potential mates on this planet. Still, want to hang out with people who do not see your value? Move on or ignore them immediately.
 
 
This number is also important for a different reason. Many people get hung op on someone specific. They obsess and they desire. The more they get rejected, the more they want them.
 
Sometimes these interactions lead to a relationship and it was destiny, sometimes it does not end up as anything and we get bitter. But with 40,000,000 potential partners, why would anyone spend more than a second with someone who rejects them even slightly?
 
Simple: Immature people will see this as an investment. The challenge and the barrier to overcome will make the result seem more worthwhile to them. In truth, a one night stand with that person would have made them forgettable but if they play hard to get, they suddenly fall in love.
 
This is as immature as it gets. Never chase anyone. No one in this world is special. We are all exchangeable. 
 
 
If you keep thinking about someone then you are chasing your own shadow because that someone is nothing more than an ant just like yourself. When the attraction is high, move forward. If it is low, move on. Never confuse being attractive with being special because you compete with 40,000,000 people at all times.
 
 

2. Sex (Reproduction)

 
Sex is usually the next step in our rituals and it stands out because it is one of the few truly physical parts. We are designed to have sex and it changes our physical and mental state more rapidly than most other rituals. Sex can be enjoyed with almost anyone and is an integral part of human interaction.
 
Surprisingly, sex has not that much immaturity attached to it since it is an action mostly performed without talking and thinking. It can become an immaturity if you only seek sex for secondary reasons, e.g. to feel more attractive or to brag about it, but other than that, have as much sex as you desire.
 
 
Obviously, sex also has the purpose of reproduction but since there is no real difference between having sex for fun and having sex to make babies, nature has designed having children to be more an accident than a plan.
 

3. Intimacy (Assessing long-term compatibility)

 
Intimacy means interacting with someone without the normal social barriers. Instead of small talk and the day to day pretense, you actually talk about your desires and needs. Even in conversation, you can take an honest look at yourself and allow someone else to peek into your heart. You are vulnerable and you are open.
 
Intimacy is a beautiful thing and since it is a very passive state, characterized by openness and vulnerability, there is not much space for immaturity to grab a hold on. Of course, many people talk about their needs and problems to gain attention but this is not true intimacy.
 

4. Pair bonding (Rearing children)

 
Pair bonding is distinctly different from intimacy but can be seen as an extension of it. Pair bonding relies on not only connecting to the other person but also to develop a degree of responsibility for how they feel. We do not only spend time with them when they feel good but we also want them in our presence when they are down. Also, we make sure that we are considerate when interacting with them so that we do not unnecessarily upset or anger them.
 
While all the stages above are very immediate and instantly gratifying actions, pair bonding has a degree of long term planning attached to it. By investing emotions and time into a person, you have to view what you receive in return as valuable. This can be an increase in attention, sex or intimacy.
 
Pair bonding can be very easily abused by immature people by confusing co-dependency with connection. Co-dependency is a term originating from drug addictions and the way they can change the dynamics of a relationship. If you are in a relationship with a drug addict then you are co-dependent on the drug because the drug affects your partner’s emotional state which, in turn, effects you.
 
 

Co-Dependency Is A Hallmark Of Immaturity

 
Co-dependency can also be used in non-addict relationships if your emotions are dependant on your partner whose emotions are dependant on you. Co-dependency is a phenomenon found in immature people who are not self-sufficient and whos mood and emotional well being depends on the attention, affection and care received from their partner.
 
Finding out if you are co-dependent is simple: In our mind, exchange your partner or potential partner with someone else and see if you can comfortably imagine a relationship with them that is just as rewarding. If you can’t, you are co-dependant. Additionally, if you want to break up with your partner but feel like you can’t or feel like you would regret it, you are co-dependant.
 

5. Lifestyle integration (Security)

 
Lifestyle integration is the last stage of the relationship rituals and is usually the least emotionally motivated as it is mainly a desire for security. This can make a lot of sense if the goal of the relationship is rearing children or has any other worthwhile motivation but in most cases, it is a sign of laziness and resignation.
 
Figuring out relationships, being alone and dealing with our own expectations and rejection can be difficult for immature people. Ingratiating another person into their life (and vice versa) can be the last resort for people who are unable to deal with their own immature mind. Although this seems like the ideal solution, it is actually just as difficult as the alternative.
 
 
Cheating is extremely prevalent for both men and women. Women cheat more often on men than vice versa because women can be passive and cheat while men always need to be active to cheat, therefore they would have to plan cheating while women can just let it happen. But in general, men and women have the same capacity to cheat wand the same level of immaturity which leads them to cheat.
 
Also, cheating can happen in all 5 stages listed above which means that it can go from long eye contact over an intimate conversation to sex. The question is not if someone cheats but where they draw the line. Lifestyle integration does not protect you from drama. It just makes you powerless in dealing with its repercussions.
 

Summary

 
In summary, all stages of relationships are perfectly ok to pursue but you should be very clear about your own level of immaturity and how you seek to address it. Someone once said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” and I fully agree with that. If you examine yourself on a deep level, you can find out which parts of yourself are true (mature) and which parts are untrue (immature).
 
Be aware of the stages of relationships and why you seek them. There are no rules for progressing through the stages and if you like sex and intimacy the most, you do not need to ever go to pair bonding and life integration. Customize your relationships according to your personal needs. Avoid the traps of the stages and realize that you are a programmed and unimportant little human just like the rest of us. 
 
Once you realize this, you can rise above being human in many ways and maybe even rise above being human completely.
 
 
 

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