Having met through mutual friends, Lisa and Frank have begun casually dating. They have not yet committed to an official relationship together, but they are clearly infatuated with each other. Lisa and Frank text each other all day long during work, both making witty comments and trying to come off as smart and funny. They are constantly trying to impress one another, and it is clear to everyone around them that they are infatuated with each other. They have a very strong physical connection and are sexually drawn to one another. They have not yet developed a strong emotional bond, but still feel very connected. They are in the most blissful part of their relationship.
As Frank and Lisa spend more time together, they decide to make their relationship official and become serious with one another. They open up to each other about personal thoughts and experiences. In this part of the relationship the couple begins to gain trust in each other and form a stronger emotional connection. They introduce each other to their families and friends, and they begin making plans for the future together. Lisa and Frank continue to be in “puppy love,” the blissful beginning stages of their relationship.
After 6 months of serious dating, Frank and Lisa have their first major fight. The fight is caused over the fact that Lisa feels like Frank is being overbearing and jealous. Lisa has been paying less attention to Frank than she was in the earlier months of their relationship because she feels as though the spark is beginning to fade. Her feelings to Frank remain strong, but the physical connection has faded, and Lisa has stopped showering Frank with the attention that was typical in the beginning of the relationship. Frank is alarmed at Lisa’s lack of attention towards him and feels threatened that Lisa has lost interest in their relationship. He has fears that Lisa is involved with other men, or is planning on leaving him. Because of this fear, Frank acts aggressively overbearing towards Lisa, and shows his negative jealous attributes.
Frank’s jealous behavior makes Lisa feel suffocated, and causing arguments and tension between the couple. While Frank is really trying to keep Lisa close to him, his actions are actually pushing her away. Frank feels like Lisa has emotionally abandoned him, and Lisa feels as though Frank is overbearing and jealous. This is the first time in the relationship that the couple acknowledges each other’s faults. Because this initial realization of each other’s faults occurs during a tense time in their relationship, it pushes them farther apart from one another and is a great cause of stress in their lives.
Frank and Lisa decide to take a few days away from each other to evaluate their relationship. In this time away, both Frank and Lisa are able to see past their initial emotions and realize how their behaviors were affecting each other negatively. Lisa apologizes to Frank for her lack of attention, and once again vows her loyalty to Frank. Frank, realizing that Lisa never intended on leaving him, feels ashamed and embarrassed for how he acted. Together, the couple begins to see how much they really mean to each other, and realize that open communication is the best method for keeping their relationship intact. Frank and Lisa have reached a mature stage in their relationship where they can accept each other’s faults, discuss their emotions openly, and work together to grow their relationship.
Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J. S., & Fichner-Rathus, L. (2011). Human sexuality in a world of diversity (8th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN-13: 9780205786060.