Conscious Mating: Is This The Right Relationship For Me?

Lifestyle Fashion

Before you commit to a relationship, or at the “pre-commitment” stage, this is your opportunity to choose your future as consciously as possible.


You are the pioneer of your life. And if you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking to pioneer your relationships by striving to break free from past patterns and make conscious relationship decisions. As a relationship pioneer, your goal is to be fully aware of the long-term impact of your choices and to date and mate with conscious intent. You are determined to create the life and relationship you truly desire and believe that true love and fulfillment will only happen if you pursue what you truly desire and don’t settle for less.

Everyone begins their journey to a successful and fulfilling committed life partnership as a single person. When you date and finally find someone to bond with in a relationship, it’s very exciting, but at the same time, most are aware of the question “Is this the right relationship for me?” and are in what I call the “Pre-Commitment Stage” of a relationship. The journey from being single to becoming a conscious couple in a partnership of committed, fulfilling and successful life, I call it “Conscious Mating”. Just as a conscientious single must be clear about who you are, what you want, and how to get it, so must a conscientious couple. As challenging as it is for you to make good long-term relationship decisions when you’re single, it can be even more difficult to make good long-term relationship decisions when you’re in a pre-committed relationship.


When singles become couples in today’s world, most wonder on some level “Is this ‘The One’? Should I be with this person for the rest of my life?” They are an exclusive couple, but not yet engaged.

It can be tempting to call these couples “premarital” as an umbrella term to include all couples who haven’t yet taken the step of committing. However, in our opinion, the mindset of a premarital couple is “We want to get married,” which is very different from the pre-engagement mindset of “Is this the right relationship for me?”

When I first identified the pre-commitment stage and began to develop some approaches to working with these couples, I recognized this stage as different from “premarital” but didn’t know what to call it. The “pre-commitment” label was intended to be temporary, but it stuck. I was surprised by the lack of recognition, information, and resources for this stage of the relationship among leading relationship experts and the available research and literature. Even today, while this phenomenon has become common practice in our culture, it is still largely unrecognized in the mainstream, which I hope to change with articles like this one.


Pre-engaged couples generally fall into two categories:

UNCONSCIOUS: Usually follows the “mini-marriage” model of testing the relationship, acting like you’re committed without actually committing. A disconnect of fact and attitude.

AWARE: Aware that you are not yet committed, you usually have commitment as your goal and ask yourself “Is this the right relationship for me? Should I commit?” An alignment of fact and attitude.


There are many misconceptions about love. Our culture glorifies the romantic love stage of relationship in literature, theater, television, and film. It’s that early infatuation stage of a relationship when our chemistry is on and we experience euphoria. Powerful amphetamine-like neurotransmitters flood and alter our brain chemistry.

Although unsustainable, the romantic love stage serves an important purpose because it gives us a glimpse of the best and most powerful of ourselves. If the relationship turns out to be a good long-term option, this stage brings us together and prepares us to weather the inevitable storms of life. Confusing this initial romantic stage with real and sustainable love is a mistake that can be our downfall.

We want and expect to be happy, and romantic love is eternally optimistic. We don’t want to believe that when we experience this intense chemistry with someone, it won’t work. We want to avoid the pain of failure and may be tempted to strive to fit a round peg into a square hole, becoming a pretzel trying to “make” a relationship work.

In today’s world, when singles become couples, few blindly jump into immediate commitment. Most new couples are “pre-engaged,” meaning they are an exclusive couple, but they haven’t decided on the future of their relationship yet. This stage coincides with romantic love, and conscientious couples who understand relationships realize the need to know each other long enough for the infatuation to wear off and experience reality before making irreversible long-term decisions.


Here is the radical truth: relationships break. As much as we try to prevent and avoid relationship failure, it happens anyway. Because there are so many unconscious forces at work at every stage of a relationship, being fully conscious is not easy and controlling the outcome is impossible.

In conscious mating, instead of unconsciously believing in romantic fantasies of living happily ever after, we accept this truth. Since relationships break up anyway, why not be as conscientious as possible in the process and increase our chances of success?


Every relationship has challenges. This is normal and does not mean that there is something inherently wrong with your relationship. Some challenges are solvable and can be addressed and resolved, others are perpetually unsolvable. Before you commit to a relationship, or at the “pre-commitment” stage, this is your chance to choose your future as objectively as possible.

You can use the pre-commitment stage of a relationship to identify solvable challenges and unsolvable problems in this relationship. You can then make a conscious decision to accept them and live with them, or decide that you sabotage the long-term sustainability of your relationship and walk away while you still can with much less pain and cost than in the future. In pre-engagement you are in an exclusive relationship that is not yet engaged. This gives you an opportunity to identify if this relationship meets your requirements and needs for a successful long-term relationship before committing. Using the pre-commitment stage to make conscious long-term decisions makes sense.


Even if you experience the pain of the breakup in the pre-engagement stage, this prevents you from experiencing even greater pain in the future.

Making the most conscious choice possible before committing is, in our opinion, a pain-preventing gift you can do to yourself. As difficult as it is to make the decision to end a relationship, you’ll be spared the devastation you’re bound to experience at the end of a mini-marriage or divorce, especially when children are involved.

If you are in a relationship that is not yet committed and you are wondering “Is this the right relationship for me?” I encourage you to make a long-term relationship choice that results in the life and relationship you truly want before you commit. We must acknowledge the possibility that their current relationship is not “The One.” Therefore, I suggest that you seek to gain clarity on what you really want and need in a relationship and whether or not your current relationship will result in living the life you love with the love of your life.

Copyright 2006 David Steele

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