Finally, this is the time that the couple starts to have serious conversations about the future.Here they talk about priorities, whether to have kids or not or how many, whether to focus on careers or whether a job is just a job and they rather raise chickens as a hobby.Here Kara loses her job or Sam's grandmother dies and he is devastated, or Chris has a medical crisis.The couple is challenged to respond as a unit – to be supportive about the job, to come or not to the funeral, to face the medical issues together -- all a testing of the strength of the relationship and each partner's ability to deal with crises and anxiety.
Chris and Kara are more open about what bothers them, especially if they are living together and can’t use distance to water down their irritations.
This is where commit-a-phobia sets in: One partner wants to move forward, the other may say slow down, give me more time.
The pink clouds of the first stage are fading; reality is rearing its head.
While the first 6 months were great, it seems lately that things are beginning to slide.
The sex life has taken a downturn, it feels like they talk past each other at times, her moodiness is irritating him more, and she is complaining about the weekends he sometimes needs to work for his job.