How mature do you think is your relationship?
Does your relationship satisfy you? Is it only you who is satisfied with the relationship and your partner isn`t? Does your relationship lack in maturity?
Similar to every human feature, a relationship is a living form that changes, modifies and develops with age and experience in the same way as people do. A relationship at the age of 20 surely cannot be compared to the relationship when you’re middle-aged, as well as you cannot compare your comprehension and expression of love.
Kathleen White, a researcher of relationships, and her team have therefore developed a model for measuring relationship maturity.
Relationship maturity: human relations are divided into three levels:
1. Self-focused level: On the first level you don’t experience the fullness and symbiosis of your relationship where the partner’s needs, desires and personality development are important too. Instead, you’re egocentrically focused on yourself. You’re only interested in your own desires and plans. There is also lack of open and honest communication between you and your partner.
2. Role-focused level: On this level you’re aware that your partner has his or her own rights, which is also in accordance with social standards. You understand that accepting and considering the partner is a necessary part of your friendship and romantic relationship. However, you still haven’t reached the level of maturity to perceive your partner as an individual person but you are perceiving him or her only from the romantic viewpoint .
3. Individuated-connected level: The last stage is the highest level of relationship maturity. You’re very introspective and know how to express and satisfy your own interests. Your partner and his/her need and motives are also important to you. You provide emotional support and decide to be loyal. You’re aware that you have to contribute your time and energy if you want the relationship to work.
Teenagers are usually on the first level, or at best between the first and second levels, although they think of themselves as adults. The third and most mature level can be reached with age, experience and personality development.