THE RELATIONSHIP STAGES
Love is beautiful. It makes the world a much better place to live in. A relationship is the key to guide such intense love to a sustainable end, a beautiful end. It is nothing but a bond where two people who don’t know anything thing about each other except the fact that they are willing to figure it out ‘together’. Taking pride in their bond and celebrating that companionship, is what a relationship is.
Relationships are unique.
You may have been in several relationships in your life, and all of them may have been very different from the each other. Love and relationships are not rigid but quite like us humans, i.e., each one different yet somehow similar
There are a few traits about every single relationship that binds all of them along a similar path.
Relationships, just like life, have their own stages. It starts off with infatuation and goes through several stages along the way.
It doesn’t matter how long your relationship has lasted, because all the relationships will fit snugly in one of these relationship stages.
“Oh my god, where did you come from, the most perfect person I have ever met?!”
This is the first stage in every relationship; Infatuation. It almost always starts with an intense attraction and an uncontrollable urge to be with each other. All-day and late-night texting and dying to hear from one’s partner serves as the cherry on the top of any relationship. We start to overlook each others’ flaws in a hope to establish a bond stronger than ever before.
This is a stage where words like, ‘no one is perfect’, seems perfect.
“I’ll be only able to talk to you after 10 post vacations and also just a little as I’ll be hell tired due to work”, he said.
“Just drop me a text whenever you’ll be free. A Goodnight call after 10 would just be perfect. We still have weekends”. She replied.
This is the next stage in your new world filled with love. The Understanding, where anything and everything about your partner fascinates and interests you, where you make sure to comfort each other and synchronize your routines.
“He was ready to rape me but never to love me”, with wet eyes and shivering hands she found solace in his arms.
The next stage that follows is the Opening Up. You tend to develop that trust in each other which is the foundation of any relationship. You talk about everything, your exes, your family, the untold secrets, the suppressed emotions, your ambitions and your dreams. The trust so developed further strengthens your bond.
“Everyone has an addiction, mine just happens to be you.”
The next stage that follows is the ‘sexual exploration or Intimacy’. This is when your sex life starts to play a pivotal role. Both of your sex drives may change or one of you may get disinterested in sex.
If sexual interests start differing here, problems might arise, including but not limited to an affair.
However, the conclusion depends totally on the nature and mindset of those involved. Humans are indeed in need of intimacy and sexual pleasure. Hence, it serves as a great means to build a strong relationship. However, it totally depends on the nature and mindset of the people involved, whether any and if any, how much effect a positive or negative sex life has on their relationship.
Next comes the, ‘you fit me better than my favorite sweater’, stage.
Everyone has their own expectations from an ideal partner. Now, both the partners try hard to mold each other to fit their own desires, i.e. somewhat perfect, if not completely. It is a lot about giving and takes, and both the partners constantly try to convince each other, by various means, to change not only their behavior towards the relationship but their very nature, at times. This is a power struggle, one that can end a relationship if both partners are domineering and stubborn.
The transformation from attraction to love settles down with a sense of contentment. The bond for which so much had been done is now ‘established’.
It is the ‘happy stage’.
At this stage, you begin to realize that you are made for each other. You may even decide to get engaged or get married. This joy is also the stage of attachment when both of you truly feel connected to each other and love each other intensely.
Now you enter your ‘love hangover’ stage.
This is such a painful time for most couples as the illusion that ‘romantic love will last forever’ fades away and is replaced with feelings of disappointment and anger.
Instead of seeing your similarities, you begin focusing on your differences and your partner’s flaws. At this stage, either you BREAK UP or you SURVIVE. They take the nearest exit and break up or else they continue along their journey together, surviving through the pain and frustration of a relationship.
The goal of this stage of a relationship is to establish your autonomy inside your relationship, without destroying the love connection between you.
Once you’ve learned how to fight in a way that both of you win, you move to the ‘Stability stage’.
The thrill of being in love returns, in an even deeper, more mature form than before.
In this stage, it finally becomes very clear that you’re never ever going to succeed in changing your partner and you’ve given up the desire to.
You accept that everyone is different and you adapt yourself to those differences happily.
These relationship stages are not a linear process; they are more like spiral, circling upwards.
You retain the lessons you learned at each stage and bring them forward as you grow – you are in one stage or another at any given time with bits of the others thrown in for good measure.
There’s no rule-book for a perfect relationship. You live it and you grow with it. Love has its own ways and you won’t even get to know how it will evolve you as a person. Nobody is perfect. Relationships are all about accepting each other with those flaws, flawlessly.
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