What Are the Stages of a Relationship?

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Love is a simple and complicated feeling at the same time. It is possible to distinguish several stages of a relationship in psychology. These are the paths that sustain the whole journey of love. There are many aspects of love and relationships that you need to know before getting madly in love. First of all, you will need to know what different stages of romantic relationships suppose and what your partner expects from you then. Keep on reading to be aware of how to act in various stages of relationship development. 

6 stages of relationships:

1. Dating

According to Sally Connolly, there are 4 stages of dating that denote various periods in the development of a relationship. So what are the stages of dating?

  • Attraction

Attraction is one of the stages of teenage dating. During this stage, partners get interested in each other. Some people call it a ¨spark¨. These people are not deeply in love so far but are not strangers anymore. It is possible to compare this feeling to a well that started to burst step by step. This is the earliest stage of dating that might last for a long time before partners begin to get closer to each other.

  • Infatuation

The early stages of dating a guy suppose partners not to see the flaws of each other. They tend to think ¨Not a big deal¨ or ¨He will change¨, or what is worse ¨I will change him¨. Curiosity is so huge that it is difficult to ignore a person, especially if you both like each other. This is more like a 3 months dating stage that sometimes lasts up to 4 months. 

  • Becoming a couple

At this stage, the connection between partners becomes deeper. They begin to notice the differences and some fights might take place. The couple tries to solve problems together. Women tend to ask their partners questions concerning the further development and direction of their relationships. 

  • Engagement

During the engagement stage, a couple gets to know their partner´s morals and decides whether they want to move on with them. Lovers reveal their future plans and goals for each other and make up their minds regarding further marriage. They stop dating when they realize that they will make the biggest mistake in their life if they marry that person and no one has a right to judge them for changing their mind. 

What to do at the dating stage of a relationship?

In the early stages of a relationship, it is essential to get to know each other well. Of course, you will never really know the person until you live with them. However, it is possible to know what to expect from your crush before you marry them. This is the main reason why dating and relationship coaches offer their services. At the beginning stages of dating, we recommend you not lose rationality and think with your head first. At the final stage of dating, you should ask yourself honestly ¨Do I love him?¨ or ¨Do I love her?¨

2. Honeymoon

The honeymoon is a bonding stage of a relationship. It is the time when you become one physically and spiritually. In other words, you have intimacy and begin to think the same way. During the honeymoon, you begin to understand each other more, get more emotional support, and think more positively. You start to expect more from life and get excited about what the future might bring to you. Communication is a key factor during this and other stages of a love relationship. The more you communicate with your partner, the more you understand their needs and find ways to solve their problems. 

Unfortunately, most of the people who are just dating are too expectant about the honeymoon. They crave to have stable sexual life more than anything else, forgetting about other important things. It is normal to daydream about a honeymoon, but you should not make it the target of all your relationships because as soon as the further intensifying stage of a relationship comes, the unit will not get over it and collapses.

What to do during the honeymoon stage of a relationship?

Of course, you should enjoy the sex life and communicate as much as possible. It would be better not to rush to have kids and wait until you get used to each other. Spend your time with your spouse and enjoy this moment of life. If you wonder ¨What to do in this talking stage of relationships?¨ you should get to know the love language of your partner and use it. According to Gary Chapman, it might be touches, words of appreciation, help, quality time, or gifts - do whatever makes your partner happy. The honeymoon is the best time to learn, practice, and set a habit to love your spouse the way they deserve. 

3. Struggle 

The power struggle stage of a relationship is a phase when partners fight for authority and control. Some of them might act bossy being afraid that they might lose their position and authority. There might be many conflicts during this phase because each party in the conflict wants to get something from their partner. Spouses might seek comfort, so it is important to give it to them. 

During this relationship stage, communication and self-control should be your main choice. Do not let your anger ruin your relationships and instead of screaming and yelling, try to find the best solution to the problem. Try to understand your partner and listen more than you speak. Also, you would better choose to be kind instead of violent. When you talk to your partner, try to look directly into his or her eyes. 

What to do during the struggle stage of a relationship?

The most important thing to do during this phase is to be able to hear your partner. Try not to get offended by their behavior and show empathy to them. They must feel that you really love and care. Besides, when you ended up your day screaming and fighting, you would better go to bed saying you are sorry. Do not forget to forgive your spouse before you fall asleep so that the next day you wake up, you will not be mad at him or her and begin to be happy with each other again.

4. Stability

This is actually a two-year relationship stage when partners feel harmony and security. It seems like they managed to build trust and understand each other´s core values, morals, principles, and ways of thinking. In other words, they are compatible with each other. Spouses get each other like no other people and feel they are in a safe place when they are in their home. Peace of mind is the term that best describes this stage of relationships. 

What to do during the stability stage of a relationship?

First of all, you need to try to build your relationships on solid ground based on trust and common values. You would better try to balance your relationships if you feel like he or she does not understand your beliefs and morals. For example, if you are a religious person, but your spouse is not, you would better try to convert them to your religion instead of divorcing. Pray for them and invite them to your meetings in order to have more similarities and topics to discuss in your family life. 

5. Commitment

It is possible to call this phase ¨the decision to be faithful despite the challenges¨. Your relationships might be tested from time to time for you to make sure that you based it on a firm foundation. When you undergo certain challenges, you should not complain and divorce, but try to understand what is wrong and fix it. It is time to work on your relationships if you feel that there are some holes in the boat of your family. This is how your faithfulness and loyalty are tested as well as the vows you said during the wedding ceremony. Life might not be easy and there will always be tragedies, calamities, collapses, and many other negative things. However, it is you who decides whether to keep going with the same partner and fight for your love and trust till the end or lose everything you gained so hardly. 

What to do during the commitment stage of the relationship?

It is your time to prove that you keep your word and promises and are a responsible and reliable person. Ask yourself whether you lust for other women or men or whether you want to be with him or her only. If you want to keep your relationships, you should make sure your actions align with your words. Being loyal is the main proof that you are in a stage of commitment. 

6. Reward

Some people call this phase a blissful one. At this stage, you managed to prove to each other that you love and trust them. So it is your time to get rewarded for being so faithful and committed. Many people decide to give birth to babies and start a new page of their relationships. The rewarding stage of relationships is one of the happiest periods of family life because all your relationship goals are already reached and it is time to move on and set new goals. For example, it might be journeys, children, jobs, habits, etc. 

During the bliss of your relationships, your love is mature and you are successful. However, sometimes one of the partners begins to think that it is only his or her achievement that they went so far together. 

What to do during the rewarding stage of the relationship?

Do not think that you are too old to stay curious about life. Even if it seems like you have reached all your life goals, there is always room for more. Being adventurous is a good quality that you will need to adapt. Just fall in love with life once again and try to find new meaning in it. For example, you may start to search for the sense of life and look for the answers to the questions that you have always wanted to find. If you are young and you managed to reach the rewarding phase of relationships, you may adopt a baby and start to help the needy. 

General tips at different stages of relationships:

  • Listen more than you talk

Trying to understand your partner is an essential feature of all healthy relationships. By doing this, you will reach compatibility and have fewer fights.

  • Control your anger

Calm down and think twice or thrice before you are going to say something to your partner. Do not use anger as a weapon and never abuse your spouse when you fight.

  • Stay loyal

No matter whether you are at the talking relationship stage or the rewarding one, you should always remain faithful to your partner. When you married then you will need to keep your word. 

  • Do not give up on him or her

There might be various challenges and obstacles on your way, but the most important thing is to keep going and working on your relationships. Even if you are in stages of an abusive relationship, you should understand whether you truly love him and whether it is worth doing. If the answer is positive, fight for your love and happiness. 

Final thoughts

Summing up, there are several stages of a healthy relationship and there is a purpose at each phase of them. Search for peace, compassion, loyalty, trust, understanding, and care, and prove to your partner that you truly love them. If it is real love then it is worth fighting for despite the fact that your relationships might undergo crises. 

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