“Is this relationship going anywhere?” If you’ve heard this cliché (or perhaps thought or said it yourself): welcome to the relationship escalator.
Relationship escalator: The default set of societal expectations for the proper conduct of intimate relationships. Progressive steps with clearly visible markers and a presumed structural goal of permanently monogamous (sexually and romantically exclusive), cohabitating marriage — legally sanctioned if possible. The social standard by which most people gauge whether a developing intimate relationship is significant, “serious,” good, healthy, committed or worth pursuing or continuing.
The steps in the relationship escalator vary by culture and subculture, and they shift a bit over time. Currently in western culture, the escalator that defines “serious” relationships usually involves these steps, in this order:
View original post 1,903 more words