Living and surviving 9 relationship stages
Did you know that there are multiple relationship stages that every couple goes through? And have you ever wondered which relationship stage you’re in with your partner?
Everyone falls in love at least once in life and then comes to a realization that it was easy to fall in love but quite challenging to be in a relationship.
The one thing that we know for sure is that relationships never remain the same as they were in the beginning and not just relationships but people too change over time. The more you nurture your love, the more it grows and it can change from conditional to unconditional, or from casual to true love.
Experts say that you should never fear any changes in your relationship as it’s all part of your journey together as a couple.
Read on to know more about relationship stages. They may not occur in your life in this order but you will surely undergo all these stages in a relationship.
Understanding these phases of your love and relationships help couples move forward successfully into a better long term relationship.
So, without drifting away from the topic, let’s look at the various stages of love that most of you unknowingly undergo in your relationships.
Stage 1: Falling in love
(First crush + Flirting + Courtship + Infatuation + Romance + Excitement Phase)
The best time of a relationship also known as the honeymoon period where romance and attraction make you feel so good that you just can’t stop smiling, thinking about your partner as they are always on your mind! Many people in this stage even think that they’ve finally found their soul mate. It is sometimes a feeling of infatuation or excitement that brings two people together in the first place which is actually very different from the love that emerges months, a year or 10 or 30 years later. The truth is that these romantic feeling does make you feel great while it lasts, but it doesn’t last forever. All of these feelings trigger positive moods, boosts your energy, sometimes changes your personality, emotions, lust or sex drive, and some of you even enter a state of fearlessness.
Stage 2 – Becoming a couple
(In relationship + First Kiss + First Sex + Travel + Friends)
You and your partner get to know each other on an emotional and physical level during this starting phase of a relationship. You see the best in your partner and often ignore their flaws and enjoy spending time together. In this phase, you are still connected by romantic love with your partner as the infatuation has worn off and you fall in love with him/her even more. You hang out together and introduce your partner to your friends. With all the good things that are happening, some people even rush into marriage before actually crossing this phase patiently despite the acknowledgement of each other’s flaws and later regret their decision.
Stage 3 – Reality sets in
(Relationship status is complicated + Fights + Jealousy + Trust Issues + disappointments + heartbreaks)
After a few months of togetherness, this phase is actually a testing period for couples because only those couples cross this phase who are not only physically but emotionally connected to their partners and may want to make this relationship work. This phase is not for everyone as there is a lot of small bickering and fights are seen which is normal in this stage and you learn to confront and resolve conflicts, which helps your relationship mature. After multiple fights, couples still manage everything to make things normal and they become more involved with their daily duties and work after the disturbance and confrontation.
Stage 4 – Expectations
(Emotional acceptance + Compassion + heartbreaks + Disillusionment + disappointments)
After a few hook-ups, couples in this phase still may or may not be serious about each other but not many people enter this stage because there is a lot of expectations from your partner and sometimes at this point of time, there is a power struggle that affects the relationships and sometimes even destroys them if one side dominates the other. Couples who take their partners for granted don’t move forward to the next stage and their relationship ends here. Some couples even break up and move on in this stage thinking that they have made a wrong decision. This scenario especially happens with those people who often like to date quite a lot, but don’t fully commit, or look for love but find disappointment instead.
Here’s the important part. If you have a good understanding and you really committed to your partner than even if there are a few conflicts, you will go through this phase without any conflicts.
Stage 5 – Committed
(True Understanding + Maturity + Compromise + Sharing + Caring + Live-in relations + Purpose)
Not everyone enters here as couples who’ve passed all the above stages have now reached the phase of the serious relationship where you began to understand your partners well. This stage of understanding is more like a commitment where sometimes you have to compromise a lot, as each partner tries to change the other partner to suit his or her needs. Couples know that the ultimate goal of a long term relationship is to determine a shared purpose with your partner to create a life together, feel happy and think about their future to remain blissful with each other. At the same time, they keep making efforts to work on their relationships to make things work by accepting each other for who and what they are. You get so comfortable with each other that it really feels hard now to move on now.
Before you go further, one thing that you have to remember is that all these stages can be a blessing and you can stick with your partner or it can be a warning if you think that your partner is not trustworthy, and can betray you any time. It is not worth it then to stick around.
Stage 6 – Building Relations
(Family Understanding + In-laws + Compromise + Responsibility + Respect)
Couples who have passed all the above stages start to discover more about each other’s family and make efforts to move things forward knowing that they both can fit and work things together. They start to focus on the future, acceptance, compassion with forgiveness, with patience. They work their shit together to convince their family that they really want this and want to get married with their blessings. This way couples move forward with their families, friends and relatives.
Just so you know, the next stage is not easy and perhaps the most important one and it is NOT THE FINAL STAGE. It will really blow your mind off if not handled sensitively.
So, here we go …
Stage 7 – The Wedding & Life After Wedding
After Marriage + Living together + Without Kids
Woah! Congratulation because you made it and it is not as easy as people think. You can say that you have successfully completed half journey of your relationship. Yes, that’s right, half because the next half is still there and that is to make your marriage work which should not be hard as it was before.
Been together and now got married, your relationship took a whole new level so as your roles and responsibilities. You’ll notice soon that things have fallen into a slightly different pattern. You’ll realise that you both have more attention for the world around you again, rather than solely for each other. You’ll start spending more time with family and then friends, developing mutual friendships, or hanging out with other married couples.
This stage requires a lot of patience because you don’t just marry the person when there is a family involved. You are associated with all of them and whether you like it or not, your actions will have a definite reaction. You don’t have to please anyone, but you do have to maintain a respectable image in the family and around your in-laws because if that is affected, it can impact your relationship with your partner. It is a fact that many relationships end because of manipulation or unnecessary involvement from in-laws or from your side.
Stage 8 – Parenting
After Marriage + Living together + With kids + Huge Responsibility
It brings you closer to each other now even more when you are a parent to a beautiful part and soul of yours and also it makes you both stronger and prepares you to face anything that life throws at you. You learn everything about being a good and responsible parent which is way more difficult than being a good husband or a wife. There will be conflicts only because if one of you is neglecting your responsibilities. Don’t let your egos come between because you have a whole new responsibility and you have come all the way here to get to this point, so you have already overcome a lot, and made the right choices and solved problems.
Now, a lot of couples feel blessed because they got what they always wanted in a partner, a child and a family together and they live happily after. But, some people feel like they are trapped in this stage of love and feel obligated to stay together because of their children or prior commitment to one another. It will be helpful in the long run to be always sure about what you actually want from your life.
Stage 9 – You grow old together
The Final stage where you live with your children and grandchildren
The final stage of a relationship. People at this stage were meant for each other and whatever they said in their vows, or to each other after when they got married and after having kids wasn’t just for fun, THEY REALLY MEANT IT.
They meant it when they said those 3 words, “I love you” to each other for the very first time. The concept of happily ever after … until death do us apart was meant for you guys only.
Couples at this stage were successful in their marriage and believe it or not, but such things doesn’t come by or happen with everyone not especially in this 21st century where people cheat others or change partners like anything.
No matter in which stage you find yourself in, once you are fully aware of these above stages, you know what to do and avoid so that you can easily move ahead into a long term relationship.
Make sure to never judge your partner and compare your relationship from others to wonder what your relationship is missing. After all, every relationship is unique right?
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