In The Kiss & Blog Podcasts, I often refer to my definitions of the four (or sometimes five) ages of coupling. These are entirely my own invention, but fit pretty well the world I observe.
The First Age of Coupling.
Puberty begins our life’s interest in coupling-up, so it’s the place to start. From then until we reach legal majority is the innocent phase of our relationship life.
Let’s say 14 until 18.
The Second Age of Coupling.
When we are legally of age, sex potentially becomes a part of any coupling mix. From this point until (males especially) are fully mentally and physically developed we should be learning about ourselves and how we integrate close relationships into our lives. We also are likely to experience both sides of sexual activity and romantic intimacy – the ecstasy and the heartbreak.
From 18 until approximately 27-ish.
The Third Age of Coupling.
Let’s get serious. This is all about marriage, childbearing and rearing those sprogs. In my opinion, this time is about everyone other than yourself. You owe it to the lives you create that you stick with your spouse until the youngest offspring is 18. Exceptional circumstances only should mitigate that commitment.
Call it 27 until 50+
The Fourth Age of Coupling.
After fertility, after children, and possibly after divorce, this is the last and possibly longest period of consistent coupling patterns. Here’s where you can regain yourself, or start a new self, or do pretty much whatever you want.
From post-fertility and post child-rearing until whenever you choose to stop.
Each age, in my opinion, requires a different approach when it comes to relationships and coupling. I’ll expand further in the future.