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Dating 411: The Transition from ‘Me’ to ‘We’

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Diane Pauley

Diane Pauley is the PostGrad Coach.Always a lover people, she finally learned how to harness her art and do it for a living. She is now on a mission to help other millennials do the same -- build up their art and be their own boss full-time -- at

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“I love you…but I love me more.” Besides ‘Sex & the City,’ how many times have you personally used that line? It’s what happens when someone, other than Samantha Jones, realizes that she’s gotten herself in way too deep. It’s when it suddenly dawns on you that you’ve gotten yourself into a relationship that you’re not ready to commit to because you’re still getting to know you.

So let’s rewind to the beginning and go over some important ‘should’s’ before you get in over your head. The first and most crucial relationship is the one that you’re in for life: the ‘I’ relationship.

With this dynamic your basic lingo revolves around terms like ‘my free time,’ ‘girl time,’ or anything that pertains to singular terms only. And this just makes it all the more complicated when you get around to meeting a potential ‘someone’ because your verbiage is gonna be altered.

Let’s go over some tips and tricks so that you’re in-the-know when it comes to the often bumpy transition from ‘me’ to ‘we.’  Let’s make it a smooth ride, shall we?

Talkin’ Phase:

Could take anywhere from 2 days to 4 months; subject to personality and sexual frustration. You’re so comfortable with ‘I’ and ‘my’ that it’s almost as if this new person is invading ‘your’ space.  Yet you want them there, so you’re learning how to cope and compromise…slightly. You’re nowhere near the ‘Carrie/Aidan’ move-in stage, so hang on to your heels and don’t go fleeing for Starbucks just yet!

Chillin’ Phase (Note: Pants Still On):

Again, anywhere from days to weeks to months dependent upon your sexual prowess (ladies I know you have some patience in those groin muscles!). Remember, he’s more than a center-fold, and you wanna get to know him for his other attributes. This is the time where you bring out the whip & crack open your mental list: humor, chivalry, familia-closeness, smart yet humble…

Let’s ‘Dance’ Phase:

OK, you’ve waited long enough. Minor strip-teases are allowed in Phase 3. But more importantly, at this point, you’ve unknowingly become comfortable with him hangin’ around you and your gal pals. He’s made a good enough impression with you to have lasted this long and your singular verbiage is starting to wane.

Jumpin’ Ship (you’ve gone overboard!):

Head over heels perhaps? Oh my, the butterflies have intensified and you are teeter-tottering on sanity because you’ve fallen for the potential ‘someone.’ But the real clincher’s gonna be the first time you say ‘we.’ You know it, it’s almost as monumental as ‘I love you,’ but when you go from ‘I use my oven to hold my magazines’ to ‘We love to host dinner parties’ you know something has shifted on the inside of you and now it’s time for the magic to happen.

Make sense?  When you are aware of the process that ensues when you go from singlehood to mingle-hood, you’re that much more prepared for the transition.  I’m talking about the transition that takes place internally when you mentally, spiritually and emotionally shift your independent language to one of co-dependence.  It takes some time to get used to but if he’s worth it, you’ll know, and it’ll be smooth sailing.  Bon voyage chicas!

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  • Jewels

    I love this article, Diane. I used to jump straight from ‘me’ to ‘we’ without even blinking. Now I’m pretty sure it would be a much slower transition. I’m so busy, so dedicated to the life I am leading right now, that making time for a man and committing to a ‘we’ seems nearly impossible. I do have anxiety about whether or not I could even do it if I wanted to. This article helped though. It’s not about losing yourself in somebody else, it’s just allowing somebody else into your already established life plan. That idea helps me breathe a bit about the whole thing. ;)

  • Chiara Mazzucco

    Would you believe me if I said I’m still hanging on to the ‘me’ relationship? I actually STILL, married and mother, have trouble going from me to we. Some people experience the opposite problem, jumping to we and forgetting the me. I think at the end of the day, it’s a constant, never ending process. Every day that passes we deal with being ‘we’ and being ‘me’s’ … You gotta keep communicating through it all!

    • Chiara Mazzucco

      PS – So happy you finally got something up on our site, Diane!

  • Diane Pauley

    Love it Jewels & Chiara!! I’m fascinated on the difference in both of your responses, but to each her own. I know I’ve experienced both stages of this ‘who am I’ right now syndrome & there’s always a teeter-tottering motion between the ‘me’ & the ‘we.’ I agree that a slow transition and communication are great ways to keep in check.
    PS – Thx Chiara – I’m thrilled to have a post up too! All thx to Jewels:)