Today, in honor of Valentine’s Day, Jeff talks with Dr. Tom Habib about the affairs of the heart. An integrally-inspired clinical psychologist specializing in couples therapy, Tom has mapped what he calls the “couple’s line of development,” which describes the predictable stages of growth that a couple can grow through — and where they may get stalled.

The adventure of love generally starts with sexual chemistry and illusions of safety, an intoxicating stage that some people replay through multiple partners. At the next stage a more committed couple seeks to build a life together by assuming roles such as mother/father or provider/supporter. If they are able grow into the third stage, it will be into some form of relational partnership based on a flexible roles and mutual respect.

Tom calls the fourth stage “first love” which is new territory for most couples. “First love” corresponds with integral development and is created by an active appreciation of one’s partner as well as the intentional development of a we-space in which more aspects of each person is mutually embraced.

Tom’s vision is both beautiful and instructive in helping us to grow in mutuality with our intimate partners.

Tom Habib joins us from his home in San Juan Capistrano, California. You can find more of his work at