There are five basic relationship stages, and everyone goes through them in different ways. The interesting – or perhaps difficult – thing about these relationship stages is that they are not always predictable. While every relationship has the same stages, all relationship stages are not created equal. Relationship stages vary with every person and every relationship.
Basic Relationship Stages #1 – The Honeymoon
Every relationship begins in the honeymoon phase, when it’s all romance and flowers. This is when you are first getting to know one another, so both partners are on their best behavior and doing their best to impress. This can only last so long, however, because eventually the newness wears off, you become more familiar with each other and take the next step in your relationship.
Basic Relationship Stages #2 – The Reality Check
As the honeymoon starts to fade, reality settles in and the relationship begins to evolve. Both parties are now being exposed to a flaw here and there, and little idiosyncrasies now start to emerge. This is when you realize that the love of your life can actually get on your nerves every now and then. This stage can sort of sneak up on you, but you still have enough remnants left over from the honeymoon phase to hold off big problems.
Basic Relationship Stages #3 – The Power Struggle
In the next stage, the differences between you begin to be more problematic. This is when you are likely to have your first major disagreement, which can develop into a full- blown argument. The honeymoon is over, baby, and now it’s time to establish the way things will be as you go forward.
When a relationship enters this stage, it is important to use problem solving techniques that will help both partners get past any differences: • always be honest with one another • practice good listening skills • support your partner • learn how to compromise so you can meet in the middle
Basic Relationship Stages #4 – The Mid-Relationship Evaluation
Once you have been through a few disagreements, you have a true idea of what your relationship is really made of. Now it’s time to evaluate the status of your relationship and determine the likelihood for success.
If your partnership has developed into a fight-filled routine where neither party is happy most of the time, that may be a sign that this relationship is not destined to work out. On the other hand, if both parties feel that they really love one another and are willing to work on any rough spots, the relationship has a good chance for survival.
Basic Relationship Stages #5 – The Commitment
Once you determine that your relationship is strong enough to make the long haul, it is time to take the giant step toward commitment. This means that both parties agree to work on making the relationship work and then set out every day to do just that.
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