Are Your Burning the Relationship Out in the “Hot or Cooking Stage”

Fu-Kiau (1994), in Time in the Black Experience, explains that for Africans everything—institutions, systems, and processes—follow a time process, which is the “unlimited and ongoing process of events throughout the universe through the power and energy of Kalunga, the supreme force. Planets undergo cosmic time, earthly beings undergo vital time, and nature undergoes natural time; and even social systems and institutions undergo a time process that consists of four stages. As shown in the figure above,  these four stages include conception, birth, maturity, and transformation and death.


Just as everything goes through the four stage time process, so too does dating and mating.

Conception–“Cooking or Hot Stage”

This is the stage when two individuals meet. After meeting the person, conception is the thought that “I would like to get to know this person better.” If one already knows the individual, conception is the thought of the person as someone that one would like to get to know for possibilities as a potential partner. It is at this stage that one might consider starting to date.


The birth of the relationship is the stage at which individuals make a commitment to explore each other at deeper levels for the possibility of a permanent relationships or marriage.


This is the period when the relationship is maturing and individuals decide to become engaged for marriage.


At this stage the individuals are now undergoing a transformation. It is at this period that the individuals decide to move the relationship to a higher level, which may mean marriage. If both individuals do not seek permanency, then it can mean the death of the relationship—at least an intimate one. If the individuals decide to marry, although the relationship continues to mature, it begins a new  process, that also goes through the four-stage time processes with different challenges, many of which evolve around how to coexist under marriage.

Many through the stages too quickly–going through all the stages in the “hot” stage. What tends to happen is that we move into physical intimacy without emotional, mental and spiritual intimacy. Because we do not allow for the natural unfolding of getting to know the person, it kills the possibility for a relationship to develop.

Are you moving though the stages too fast?

Source: African American Relationships, Marriages and Families: An Introduction, Patricia Dixon, Ph.D.