All of Human Courtship (Romance) is Worked Out


A quick guide to the nine established steps of Romantic Dynamics® and its Substack are a compendium of human courtship with research citations comprising and envisioning human courtship as composed of three phases and nine large “steps.”

The psychology research literature out there was essentially nonexistent before the 1990s. Still, then somewhere in that decade, for the first time, the number of marrieds became smaller than singles for the first time in US history.

From there, research exploded in various subfields of psychology, with cognitive scientists versus evolutionary psychologists, evolutionary psychologists versus, in some cases, feminists, and, in most cases, sociologists versus psychologists and biologists in any subfield. Meanwhile, the Jungian Analysts just lay in wait since they surprisingly knew more than anyone and since, in some ways, love is as much art as science.

I think art and literature joining science is the special philosophic gift of the Jungians.

I’m writing you here because it’s important that after about twenty years, this system and are essentially done and ready for you to use. Even an AI-style “Virtual Advisor” on love targets you only to the content that, if it doesn’t solve your problem outright, will prove fodder for thought that eventually leads you to answers.

I wanted you to be aware and to share with you this common sense approach in terms of what the three phases and nine steps accomplish for organizing our understanding of love and romance.

Here is where to get involved:

In brief, I can share with you why we have divided courtship into three “phases” making nine total “steps.”

The three phases of courtship are based on the evolutionary psychology model originated by Dr Paul MacLean, called the “triune brain theory.” In it, he postulates that there are three separate functioning areas of the brain, which today we view more as areas of the function of the “mind,” not unlike “software packages.”

These are the “reptilian brain” as well as the “mammalian brain” and then the “higher brain” which is the “top” of the human brain and the largest—the cerebral cortex area.

The “reptilian brain” is about instincts and reflexes that control the body but are also originating in the brain and mind and are responsible for automatic and, by definition, unconscious processes. It is ruled by the survival mechanisms described originally by Darwin in terms of having just two objectives: a creature surviving long enough to reproduce.

The “reptilian brain” then “houses” the “software” of our very first “phase” of courtship, which we call Sexual Attraction. What is in there amounts to the circuitry of none other than masculinity, femininity, and masculine and feminine instincts, all as biological epiphenomenae rippling into the psychology so studied today by evolutionary psychologists.

This area of the mind—the unconscious—is very well-known to Jungian Psychologists, too, although they rely on combing human history, art, and literature for clues to its operations. (Anyone who has seen masterpiece paintings at museums also knows of the power of art to bring out unconscious ideas and principles in us.)

This “phase” of courtship is defined by passion and desire, not love and not partnership. It is about the unconscious and instinctual nature of people getting together in the first place in physical attraction, body language, fantasy, and how our imaginations go to work when we first have that reptilian-brained, instinctual, bodily response to another person.

The “mammalian brain” then “houses” the “software” of our second (middle) phase of human courtship, which we call Emotional Attraction. What is there is the Limbic System and its circuitry of emotions since mammals were the first species on the evolutionary scene to find a way to “bond” with each other enough to work together in finding food, waging war with other tribes or groups, and to nurture the young. It is synonymous with the friendship bond couples make and the happiness and elevated self-esteem they naturally provide for each other as they become exclusive in dating or “pair-bonded” in a new relationship.

In this phase, the couple will encounter the opposite of love, which is the negative emotion of stress, the main two of which we call “hurt” and “loss,” which may cause anger and anxiety. Sadness is the flipside of anger, and as such, all three can be defeating of the friendship and love that has formed. The couple will need to find a way to transcend those stresses and their resultant negative emotions.

This phase is neither fully unconscious nor fully conscious, as it is all about the emotions as a bridge between the two. It is not at all responsible for physical attraction, passion, or sex (that is, the reptilian brain), nor is it responsible for partnership or commitment, just as friendships may come and go.

The “higher brain” houses the “software” of our third and final phase of courtship, which is conscious and purposeful partnership. It is what we callIntellectual Attraction. It is awake and aware of the teamwork collaboration needed for the couple to pursue their goals, both individually and in service of the coupled relationship itself.

This area in the cerebral cortex is this “higher brain” as a software that is discussed in many “packages” by evolutionists and found in cognitive science studies. It is fully conscious and logic-based but also creative (accounted for by “left-brained” and “right-brained” cognitive processing.) It is not responsible for desire, passion, or sex at all, and is not responsible for emotions or the friendship bond.

Instead, it may be something seen in business partnerships, work relationships, and other collaborations where achieving goals is the objective.

Just as in MacLean’s model, these three “phases” of courtship “stack” upon each other, with the reptilian brain being the lowest or most “primitive,” the mammalian brain being more advanced and connected to what is underneath it, and connecting “upward” to the most advanced software, which is the “higher brain” and its conscious, logical, creative mind.

Likewise, the three “phases” connect without taking over the tasks of each other and the operative principles that we cover in nine total steps are also different between these three phases of romantic development, or courtship.

The steps operate on the principle made known by Conrad Lorenz, called “imprinting.”

Imprinting is like a biological instinct “turning on” to produce behavior but only in the right conditions and timing; otherwise, it doesn’t “turn on.”

Courtship works this way throughout the rest of the animal kingdom, where if a dance or a step or a resource or movement is not presented properly, one or the other of the potential pair may eject from the whole process, and courtship (and for them, mating) are off, and will not occur.

Why would humans be any more exempt from such a courtship functionality?

We live these principles every day when someone decides “something wasn’t right about being with them,” or “I’ve changed,” or “we just grew apart.”

All such phrases just mean that one or more courtship steps were not successfully participated in or maintained, out of the nine total, which fit into these three “brains” or “phases”—three steps in each.

The details of this system are displayed in the nine extensive steps, three of which exist in each phase but have extensive principles and behaviors displayed in them, unique from every other.

The names of the steps will perhaps make sense to you, although there is too much to write about them in one article here.

I call this model, Romantic Dynamics® and it is available on and at

Phase One of Courtship: Sexual Attraction (Desire and Passion)

Step 1: Boy Meets Girl (Beauty and Mystery) – where a spark is ignited, appearance and nonverbal experience of each other matters.

Step 2: Ladies and Gentlemen – where they let each other know they are liked and start treating each other as special.

Step 3: Winning and Losing – where the woman tests the man in masculinity and character virtue, and he must rise to the occasion.

Phase Two of Courtship: Emotional Attraction (Friendship and Love)

Step 4: Finding Value in Each Other – where they discover not only passion and desire but that the other makes them consistently happy, elevated in self-esteem, and feeling what has been called love.

Step 5: Finding Stress in Each Other – where they encounter sadness and anger-provoking stresses and hurts, as well as anxiety-provoking losses, and need to figure out how to support each other through those.

Step 6: Finding Completion in Each Other – where personality style matters, the only thing about ourselves we can’t change or develop. Friendship, love, and desire have been enjoyable, but if we are to cross into true and lasting partnership, we need to evaluate whether we are best friends now and forever. Personality style counts for that.

Phase Three of Courtship: Intellectual Attraction (Partnership and Commitment)

Step 7: Who I Am (in character virtue and maturity) – where the exploration of the self must occur, one’s needs and desires, dreams and goals explored, as well as the core principles of character virtue and development to maturity must be learned from one’s past and present life’s events.

Step 8: Who We Are (in character “compatibility”) – where we must align in the 4 Commonalities of Commitment and learn the 4 Skills of Partnership together, which combined form 16 “cardinal virtues” for us to focus on as a successful couple that gets to its goals.

Step 9: Where We Are Going (which may be nowhere or it may be a lasting marriage) – where the man finally tests the woman in femininity and character virtue and maturity, as well as the couple aligning their mutual and especially personal life’s goals to see if all can be met in a lasting relationship.

These fascinating steps are filled with every growing research from academia and it all neatly fits into one of the nine steps or categories of new psychology knowledge.

The last step doubles back to the very first, should the couple marry and partner long term. In this sense, courtship in humans is a never-ending loop that may go for life as we evolve personally and as a couple.

If you were to really dig into by becoming a Romantipedia Upgraded member, you would be able to see all the details and use the AI style “Virtual Advisor” to guide you.

Thanks for checking this out, and I’m glad I let you know it’s all complete now.