Every relationship goes through various changes. From emotional twists and turns to sudden variations in attraction levels, a typical relationship mirrors a roller coaster—thrilling and exciting, but it can be scary at the same time. Whether you’re in a new, budding relationship or in an established partnership, it’s quite telling when you’re able to recognize where the two of you may be in your love cycle. Delve into the 5 stages of a relationship below to see where you and your loved one might be right now, and where your relationship might be heading.
The Starry Eyed Stage
You’re infatuated, intrigued — you just can’t take your eyes off of your new love interest. You’re permanently stuck with a smile slapped across your face, but you don’t care what others think because you are truly happy! It’s a sweet stage where hormones go wild, as it is primarily based on sexual desire and interest in the person’s looks. Although fun and invigorating, The Starry Eyed Stage can never be enough to sustain a long-lasting relationship. Telltale signs that show you are in this stage consist of being blindly in love with your significant other and having a strong, and primarily physical, attraction to them.
The Initial Commitment Stage
You’ve settled into the day-to-day realities with your partner and the infatuation and lust have lost their luster. You’ve been intertwined with your partner’s friends and family, and you’re learning how to build a life together. Now you’ve started to see flaws during the accommodation stage, and, yet, you notice behaviors in your partner that are undesirable, but you still believe you can work through them. During The Initial Commitment State, comfort levels increase around one another. Telltale signs that prove you are in the “Reality Sets In” phase include differences emerging, and that idea of perfection is replaced by reality.
The Challenge Stage
You are unsure about where your relationship is headed. You’re each feeling less secure and under-appreciated in the partnership. You start to question your life together and whether you made the right decision to remain a couple. There are thoughts of couples therapy or a potential break-up. All of the reality that set in during Stage 2 has increased to disappointment at this point in The Challenge Stage. Telltale signs that say you are in this power struggle stage include being angered by trivial problems, fantasizing about past loves and having thoughts about breaking up.
The Stability Stage
The excitement of being in love is rekindled and you’ve both learned to accept each other’s flaws. It becomes very clear that there is no other person who is more right for you than your current partner is. You understand that you’ve both moved beyond The Starry Eyed Stage, but you trust that you can tackle arguments with ease while still loving your partner. Telltale signs that show you are in this stage of “settling in” consist of the romance flaring up, acceptance of your partner’s flaws, and genuinely enjoying time with each other.
The Loyalty Stage
You’ve sealed the deal, whether it is with marriage or another form of lasting commitment. You’ve determined you and your partner are right for one another and you could never see yourself with anyone else. You both heal each other’s wounds and work together on almost all projects during the co-creation stage. You’ve reached The Loyalty Stage where love is in its truest form and there is nothing that could tear your relationship apart. The telltale signs that you’re in this blissful stage are that you and your partner are working as a team, you’re consciously choosing each other, and both of you recognizing that compromise is key.
A huge part of being in a healthy relationship is communication. Verbal compliments and words of encouragement remain a powerful communicator of love for many. Whether it be a simple
“Wow, you look great in that dress!” or “You always make me laugh,” phrases and expressions of admiration like these allow people to feel desired by their partner. Along with communication, physical actions help cement your feelings. Whether it is the act of taking out the trash, running errands, or cooking a meal, showing love through acts of service runs deep. Giving your partner your undivided attention is very important; it could be the way to his or her heart. Physical touch and intimacy are among the most appreciated ways of communicating love, for they make individuals feel desired and secure. The act may be as simple as holding hands or a brief kiss when one is leaving the house, but this can go far, as most of us appreciate and respond to small but meaningful displays of emotional attachment. All these are way of communicating love, it is how you show a loved one how much they mean to you.
Relationships can take many forms. But, in order to achieve a successful relationship, all couples experience these 5 crucially important stages. Relationships are far from easy: they demand work from each partner to ensure that the relationship has the support and commitment each partner needs to feel loved and accepted. At the end of the day, being able to identify with and appreciate the different stages of a relationship can be comforting and reassuring for both partners.