Many couples call it quits when things become difficult because they think that great relationships shouldn’t have those difficult moments.
This is completely untrue! All relationships hit rough spots and if you are familiar with the natural stages of relationships you will know when to hang in there and wait for brighter days.
5 Stages of Relationship
Stage 1: The Falling Stage
Falling in love and admiring one another in an idealistic manner is the first stage all relationships go through. It starts with a shared experience, one moment where your eyes lock together, or perhaps an uncomfortable evening on a blind date.
Before you know it you find yourself enjoying the company of this other person and you can’t stop thinking about them.
They give you goosebumps when they hold your hand and make your stomach turn flip flops when they look in your eyes.
Welcome to the first of all stages of a relationship. This is often called the “honeymoon” stage, hinting that it only lasts a short while…and it does!
Stage 2: The Coming Down Stage
Eventually, all relationships experience some type of conflict. Things may stay blissfully happy for a few months or maybe even a couple years if you are lucky, but eventually, the natural stages of relationships progress and you find yourself butting heads over something.
This is when you start to see that you have idealized one another and you start to see the human flaws.
I call this the “coming down” stage because it’s like coming down from a high and realizing things aren’t as rosy as you thought. Many couples will work out power struggles in this phase and roles will be defined.
Stage 3: The Questioning Stage
Once you come down from that high of the initial romance and start to confront the reality of who you are individually and together, there are a lot of questions that will start to surface.
Can you live with the things you don’t like about this person? Can you be happy for a long period of time with this person? Can you be yourself in this relationship?
This is a time when you are questioning the future of the relationship and many relationships stop right here.
Stage 4: The Connecting Stage
If you answer those questions positively and decide that you want to stick with the relationship, you will enter the connecting stage.
This is where you rekindle a lot of the spark that was felt in the initial stage, but now the idealism is gone and reality has set in.
You are reconnecting but with a deeper understanding of who you are connecting with and your role in the relationship.
Some conflict will continue to surface during this stage and you may have moments when you still question your decision to stay in the relationship.
Hopefully, no deal breakers will surface and you will graduate to the final stage of relationships.
Stage 5: The Comfort Stage
If you are lucky, you will eventually reach the stage of complete comfort. This is the final stage of relationships and it is where you have decided to stay together, that you love one another, and that you want to make a life together.
You have looked the ugly side of one another in the face and come out in love regardless.
The Bottom Line!
Note that you won’t always move through these stages of relationships in the same time frame that your loved one does. That’s what makes relationships so darn complicated and difficult to maneuver!