Photo credit : ELO PHOTOS 

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” Hellen Keller 

Human development is a predictable process that moves through the stages of infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Same rule is applicable in relationships.


Relationship is a marathon and if you  approach it like a hundred metre sprint, trust me, you will get exhausted, frustrated and eventually get booed out of the race prematurely. It is disheartening to see close folks badly battered by the whirlwind of uncertainty which blows anyone no good other than those few folks who play by the rules.

People are like books; only kids celebrate books  just by catching the glimpse of its cover. Moreover, the best way to get the best out of any book is by reading it… Chapter by chapter, page by page even line by line. 

To get the best of your relationship, you need to follow the steps and flip it page by page until you know if it is worth the time and resources before going deeper. Skipping any of these stages pose serious threat to the stability of any  relationship.

Below are the stages of relationship I think we should look into:

1.  ACQUAINTANCE: This is the genesis of the whole thing– the foundation of the building. This is the phase where the first communication is induced and contacts are initiated. At this level, the only information you know about her is just her physical appearances; biological features (height, complexion, age group etc), anatomical contours and maybe temperament. Any wise man knows that a virtue is way beyond the physical appearances. However, she must be attractive enough to your taste (at least).

If she passed your physical requirement (not anyone else), then you can go ahead to initiate a casual conversation where you get to know her name, profession and other casual information. Smart folks make this brief, effective and interesting (strive to make it intriguing) . This is the point where you sell yourself. Please, do not ‘over do’  it! 

Wooing a lady the very day of encounter means you place your judgement solely on physical appearance which I feel is too risky for a man of purpose. Most people look cool  on the outside but they are bags of flaws inside. Many good looking folks are grenade going somewhere to happen(probably, looking for a victim) . However, every rule has it own exemption. This is just my humble opinion.

Even if God told you she is your wife, please keep it to yourself and enjoy the cruise. Faith and patience are inseparable.

2. FRIENDSHIP: Friendship is only possible if  you successfully cross the bridge of acquaintances. Your first impression can be the last impression if shabbily delivered. This is the phase where you begin to understand the person’s core values, belief systems, doctrinal values and personality; how she manages pressure, anger, time, task etc. If you are cool with your observation at this level then you can push further otherwise, do the needful (move on).

Real men know exactly what they are  born to do, so they have the mental picture of the helpmeet that will make the journey of life easier for them . They know the qualities they are looking for in a woman.

3. DATING: Contrary to popular belief, dating doesn’t happen before marriage, its a phase even before any marital relationship. Dating is a period you are expected to know each other beyond the surface. TIME  is the key factor here; you must spend time together. This is when you squeeze out as much information as possible. You need to know the gauge of her emotional bank, her previous relationships must be carefully and analytically scrutinize too. You must be sure if she is your size or not. Off course the green light must be beaming everywhere at this point but be careful not to allow your emotions cloud your eyes of Judgement.


At this juncture, no string is attached (keep all your strings to yourself and allow her do whatever she likes with hers too).  She is just your friend and she can do whatever she likes with other people too. So the fact that she goes to the movies with you or hangs out with you doesn’t mean she can not do the same with other male friends the next minutes. She is not indebted to you in anyway! You can ‘date’  your female friends too just to know them better and know how they fit into whatever plan you have even in the future(my opinion).

4. RELATIONSHIP: Relationship is the point at which you have done your homework to a great extent, and you are cool with what you have observed so far. You are expected to officially declare your intended intentions and she must officially accept your request before you can be sure you are in a relationship with her. This is the level of commitment and responsibilities. Now you both are emotionally exclusive to each other. You can now claim some level of entitlement at this juncture with confidence.

Brother, it’s childish to be in a relationship by assumption. I have seen people who thought they were in a relationship with someone, meanwhile  the person felt they were just ‘friends.’  Bro, make sure you are on the same page! 

5. COURTSHIP: This is what I call the advance version of dating. It’s where you get to know the family and friends, its the phase where you consciously ask yourself this question : WHY SHOULD NOT WE MARRY?  Your mentors, church counselors are involved here deeply.  This is the stage of planning for not just for your wedding but for your marital journey and family.

6. MARRIAGE: This is where you make the final and irrevocable commitment to love an imperfect person, perfectly for the rest of your life. This is where you tell the world “I have done my homework thoroughly and I have found her perfectly fit as my helpmate for the rest of my life!” At this juncture everyone expects you to ‘endure’ or enjoy whoever you have chosen for the rest of your life. When you complain about your choice in marriage then you look incurably  stupid. I believe this is the reason God hates divorce so much… GOD  would be like ” HELL NO! YOU MUST BE JOKING!” 

Finally my beloved, do not collapse these phases. Skipping any of them is unhealthy for your relationship! 

I truly hope this helps someone.

Thanks for Reading, 


Please, kindly let me know if this makes sense to you by dropping your comment below. Share if you think it would help someone in your circle 


  1. Stages of relationship going forward. You’ve really done your homework. I guess most people confuse dating with relationships, so many assume assume
    You know as a Pastor’s child I hear so many things, one of them is ‘Canopy witchcraft’ . I could remember my Mother saying which one is that one again and getting the response of ehen we were going everywhere together, doing everything together in fact, everybody and even me myself thought that he will propose and we will marry. How can you say someone is using canopy withcraft for you when he or she has not decleared intention for relationship. Abeg there is a difference btw dating and relationship and relationship and marriage. Don’t form married person and close your eyes to options when it is dating and relationship stage. My take.

    1. Oliseh,… There is no specific timing for any of the stages. However, the first stage show be short, I don’t advise you stay long in friendship zone too because familiarity can make things a bit difficult too. (lol). You just have to use your discretion all through. You know what you want and what you are looking for in someone else.
      Secondly, we are not God so it’s difficult to know someone 100% no matter how long we study them. I am still knowing myself even at this level so it’s almost impossible for someone else to claim he or she knows me 100%. You have to be able to discern and pick what you are looking for in your relationship.
      For example : I check the anger management of the person, I check if the rate at which she feels jealous and how well she manage that, I look at how she treats people who are lower than her in status. I check if she is teachable.

      I hope I have answered your questions to an extent. If not we can talk via email.. bamigboyeolatunji95@gmail.com

  2. Nice one,faith and patient are inseparable… I heard this one loud and clear,bible says that he that believeth shall not make haste.

  3. Marriage is where you make the final and irrevocable commitment to love an imperfect person, perfectly for the rest of your life…this line stuck. Great write-up.

  4. Amazing write up, depending on maturity (both spiritual and physical ) some people jump these stages and still end up well. That doesn’t in any way diminish the salient points I’ve raised here. Well done sir

    1. I perfectly agree with you, Chisom. However, we should note that those who skipped the stages and survived it are few. Very few! And also think maturity in some cases means following the rules.
      Thanks so much for reading and sharing your wonderful thoughts with us.
      God bless you richly!

      1. The second to the last line I meat you’ve. Yes they’re very few. It depends on what one wants and is looking for though. Thanks

  5. Makes a whole lot of sense.
    Thank you for this Olatunji.
    I’ll definitely keep these stages in mind as I look out for the “one”

  6. You can definitely see your enthusiasm within the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. All the time go after your heart. “The most profound joy has more of gravity than of gaiety in it.” by Michel de Montaigne.

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