12 steps? Did you think there were only three bases? How much do you know about developing a healthy lasting relationship?
The 12 steps of intimacy were first described by Desmond Morris, a behavioural scientist. It explains the progression in a relationship from ‘Who on earth are you” to “I cannot live without you”.
If you proceed through these steps patiently, it gives you time to really bond. Research has shown couples who go through these steps, tend to enjoy longer relationships and have a much slimmer chance of break-up or divorce – compared to couples who went straight to sex.
Women especially hate being rushed. PLEASE DO let the twelve steps remind you of the small things that happen on the way to the big things. The first 8 steps can happen in public – the last 4 in private.
The 12 steps explained
1. EYE TO BODY
• You notice a person across a room – you think you would like to get to know him/her.
• There is no action, just a spark of interest. Eyes scrolling over the body but from afar.
2. EYE TO EYE
• Your eyes meet – it’s a shock. You quickly look away. You look back again. Your eyes lock.
• It probably means you would like to get to know one another. This sometimes only happens on the third on the fourth time you encounter that person.
3. VOICE TO VOICE
• You talk. You hear the person’s voice for the first time. It is like music. Your heart flutters. All your senses are acute.
• You express interest in one another. It starts communication via cell phone, dates, letters & messages.
• You learn as much as you can about this person.
4. HAND TO HAND
• It may start with helping you up a staircase, taking your hand while watching a movie or just walking. The contact is thrilling, sending shivers down your spine. How exciting is it when someone reaches for your hand for the first time?
5. ARM TO SHOULDER
• You are falling in love, finding one another interesting and comfortable. You are finding one another interesting, and fun and you have the same goals in life.
• You are showing the world that you are together.
6. ARM TO WAIST
• You have made a commitment to each other and are confessing it to the world.
• This person has become your best friend and you are very comfortable together.
• You feel butterflies in your stomach with the touch. It is an emotional high.
• You feel relaxed & highly in love.
7. MOUTH TO MOUTH
• The first kiss -it can be a fumble or something that races your heart so fast. You have known one another because you have taken it slowly through the previous steps.
• This is the beginning of deep physical bonding – hugging and kissing.
8. HAND TO HEAD
• Holding someone’s face between your hands while kissing – shows tenderness.
• Stroking someone’s cheek, and hair communicates love, and intimacy.
• You are growing deep emotional commitment to each other. This is real familiarity, real comfort with each other.
9. HAND TO BODY
• This is the first part of getting really intimate– touching one another’s bodies.
• Touching of the neck, breasts, upper arms, stomach, back… you are breathless.
• It is difficult to slow down, once you get here. It is like standing on top of a mountain on rollerblades, difficult to stop once you get going.
• You can call it “making out”.
• Hopefully you will save this part for someone special – not a one-night stand.
10. MOUTH TO BODY
• This is the first part of foreplay – hopefully, saved for your wedding night.
• Your heart is racing so fast, all thinking stopped. Emotions take a back seat to physical drives.
• Shirts and tops hit the floor. You explore one another with mouths, and tongues.
11. HAND / MOUTH TO EROTIC ZONES
• This is all now about physical pleasure. The commitment has been made.
• It is a point of no return. You have committed your body to another person.
• If you are not married, this is the part that you will regret and feel ashamed about.
• In marriage you have now given part of your future to the other person.
12. SEXUAL INTERCOURSE
• This is the gift you only give once – the ultimate proof that you trust another person.
• This is the most dangerous physical activity you can engage in when you consider the physical consequences – you exchange your spirit, and become one with another.
• You will remember this for the rest of your life.
• It is a shared memory that becomes an important foundation “for as long as you both shall live”.
Love is an emotion and we act on it impulsively. Hopefully, by reading this, you will give yourself time to think about a relationship. Pace yourself. Take time to get to know one another. By doing this, you will make smarter choices and live life more confidently, while protecting your heart and body.
You can also test your knowledge of relationships by doing the My Knowledge about Relationships Quiz.