Five Stages of Relationships
Relationships always seem to start with a burst of excitement or adrenaline. It’s a drug like experience that gets you hooked on someone. There’s a real danger that when this stage of a relationship starts to change, people mistake this shift and think their relationship is falling flat, lacking the initial excitement. The excitement has waned but the rewards are yet to be had. If you have the desire and patience to work through the stages, you’ll surely reap what you’ve sown.
There are various stages of relationships and depending on the author, there’s differing amounts of stages to go through. Here we’ll go through the five common stages of relationships and identify where most couples go separate ways.
First is the Dream or Romance stage. This stage is often where infatuation strikes. You just can’t get enough of each other or stop talking about them to your friends. All of your conversations are turned around to be made about your new beau. I’m sure you’ve all heard your friends say things like “He’s perfect in every way” or “I can’t wait until I see her again.” When you hear these phrases, your friend is most likely in this stage.
There’s real excitement as you don’t know what to expect. There’s so much to talk about and to learn about each other that keeps you in constant contact with them. It’s quite likely that your friends will notice that you’ve ‘gone missing’ during this stage.
Make sure you savour and really enjoy this period of your time together. This stage won’t last forever but this is where your foundations are built. Even if you don’t get past this first stage, remember to learn and make great memories.
The second stage can be seen as a real Battle or Power Struggle in your relationship. It’s at this stage where things can either be ironed out between the two of you or where one or both give up and go on their separate ways. After the initial stage where excitement and curiosity flow freely, there’s a ‘come down’ to reality. A lot of people think that because the excitement is dimming, the relationship is ending. If there’s no excitement, they often mistakenly think that the love or the spark has gone.
Either way, this is the stage where you probably start to reconnect with your friends. Either because you need them as a shoulder or you just want some time to yourself now that you’ve reached the next stage. To overcome this stage there has to be a lot of mutual understanding and acceptance that you both have different values and ideas and that this is ok in a relationship. You both need to work hard to be ok with these differences and learn to let go of ones which don’t matter as much. Be accepting of their opinions and show respect for each other in decision making in order to navigate successfully through to the next stage.
The third stage is the Steady stage or one of Stability. This is where you have learnt to accept each other for who you are and have found ways to deal with your differences. You’ve realised that you’re wasting your time trying to change each other and you can now spend your energy on moving forward and keeping stage two in the rear view mirror.
The fourth stage is one of Commitment or Bonding with each other. You have accepted that things will never be perfect, that they’re human too and become more of a partnership that butting heads with each other. It can often be said that love is a choice and if you have reached this stage it is because you have chosen to love each other in spite of any differences and imperfections. There’s more trust in this stage and happiness flows through you as you now feel safe in your relationship. A sense of calm and rationality in your thinking is often present with the added security now found. Remember to cherish this stage and do not take your eye off the ball.
The fifth and final stage in this article is the Team, Love or Bliss stage. Maybe you’re now working together in a family business or having shared interests or projects that requires a team effort. You’re totally satisfied with your choice and it’s very hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced this stage exactly how it feels. It’s like a whole different level of love. It may not be as exciting as the first stage or as fiery as stage two, but it’s far more deep and meaningful.
This is why we have gone through all of the struggles with other partners and in this relationship. This level of love and respect is the goal. Your love for each other shines through and is there for everyone to see and admire. Remember to keep doing all the things you do for each other to keep this stage alive.
People may experience some, all or none of these stages, maybe even in a different order. At Qlocherie, we hope that whatever stage you’re in that you are able to find enjoyment and safety with each other.