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A Life-Cycle Approach to Treating Couples by Anne K. Fishel

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CHAPTER 2

Transition to Being a Couple

Dating, Partner Selection, and Making a Long-Term Commitment

Marriage begins as a psychotherapy project. We all get married hoping that our partner will be to us all the things our parents weren’t.

Whitaker & Napier (1977)

Love is an act of the imagination. For some of us, it will be the greatest creative triumph of our lives.

—Person (1989)

Becoming a couple is one of the most complicated transitions in the life cycle. The process that begins with dating and courtship, then progresses to the decision to cohabitate, marry or to make a long-term commitment, often moves on to the navigation of wedding plans, and finally traverses to the first years of serious commitment or marriage presents multiple challenges ...

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