Knowing about the five stages in a relationship can help you understand your feelings about your partner and your relationship. Know it is natural to lose those early romantic feelings, but something much deeper awaits you in a later stage. You can however, consciously and effortlessly recreate the first stage of a relationship and keep it steaming hot because you are always applying the principles of love.
STAGE ONE: ATTRACTION AND ROMANCE (HONEYMOON STAGE )
All couples experience this phase. It occurs when you are beginning to get to know each other; it's a main dating step to go through. It might also be called the fantasy phase or honeymoon stage because your partner can seem perfect during this time. How long this phase lasts varies, but it can be anywhere from a few months to about two years. On the average, phase one lasts about three months. This stage is a lot of fun but is not sustainable. People who are constantly changing partners are often trying to remain in this stage.
STILL IN STAGE ONE
HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS STAGE OF LOVE INCLUDE:
Focusing on your similarities and ignoring flaws - Biological forces take over causing you to only see the good and being blind to faults (redflags)
SPENDING A LOT OF TIME TOGETHER - You are in love and you can't imagine being apart from your lover. Staying overly close also makes you deeply involved in each other and clouds your judgement.
CONFLICT AVOIDANCE - Conflict is not only avoided in this stage but seems like it will never happen at all. You just want to please your partner meanwhile conflicts in real relationships are inevitable
STAGE TWO: REALITY
This stage often will begin to creep in slowly during your relationship, but will sometimes happen all at once. The reality phase typically lasts about six months, or as long as it takes for both of you to decide you want to stay together. This is often where relationships end because the hangover of the fantasy dies off you begin to analyse well. Here one may realise they've made a selection mistake.
However, it is a stage to know your real selves being together and finding out ways you both can live together happily. If you can accept each other's flaws, you can progress to the next level. In this stage of healthy relationships.
STAGE THREE: DISAPPOINTMENT
What began as reality setting in during stage two often turns to disappointment in stage three. Couples at this stage spend about a year working out their differences in an effort to get to a place of stability. If you're able to communicate in healthy ways and see positive progress, you're likely to move to the next phase.
THE PROBLEMS PRESENTED HERE ARE:
As a couple you believe that arguments are bad, but you are angry at each other anyway. Some of the anger can be over trivial things such as not giving attention from one, not answering calls on time, friends etc.
Since you don't realize that conflict can be healthy, you wonder if this relationship is doomed. In fact, you likely have thoughts of breaking up or getting divorced. Without strong communication, trust, and the ability to work as a team, couples are unlikely to advance past this stage. Do not feel bad about arguments, it gives you the chance to know your partner's true self. Learn to communicate respectfully and be solution minded to be able to get to the next stage.
STAGE FOUR: STABILITY
If a couple can navigate through the unstable waters of stage three, they will find stage four offers much rest and enjoyment. Couples spend roughly two years. As a couple, you now have history together, and you have been able to work through some differences.
The fantasy of stage one is completely gone, but you have accepted this. Yes, you have differences and you sometimes fight, but you love your partner, feel connected to him or her, and you trust you can work through any future conflicts.
You may, however, feel a little bored at times as the chase is definitely over.
You may also miss the stage one feelings and wonder if those feelings can be found in someone else (No, it won't last forever).
feeling stable before progressing into the final stage of commitment. Make efforts to spice up your standard life together to keep the spark alive.
Decide to look out for the good in your partner. Make their happiness your duty and always look for ways to achieve that. Be sure to add value to them and don't focus on only having them for yourself
Leave room healthy separation in case all efforts to stay happily together fails.
STAGE FIVE: COMMITMENT
Few couples make it this far, even couples who are married. In this stage, you are truly a team and have progressed through the five stages of love.
If dating, this is the stage where you can get married and feel comfortable with that decision. It is a stage of mature and sustainable love that lasts forever in an ideal world for happy couples.
You have chosen to be with your partner's flaws and all. You no longer miss the romance stage because that would mean being with a new person and you don't want that. You have a vision for the future together as a couple.
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