There are many stages of romantic relationships.
We’ve identified 8 in total. Knowing which stage of love you’re in can help you and your man navigate the specific challenges of each.
Below we’ve detailed each stage, along with the drawbacks and downsides of each one.
1: The Honeymoon Stage.
This is the first of the 8 stages of relationships and it can be very addicting.
This stage of is characterized by intense emotions of attraction, happiness, and longing to be with your partner.
It is actually caused by a chemical as your brain releases bonding and feel good chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin.
In this stage, we tend to romanticize our partners. They can do no wrong, and all is well.
- Relationships with friends and family could be slightly strained as you spend most of your time with your new partner.
- Any big commitment like a pregnancy or moving in together during this phase is sure to cause turmoil because between 3-12 months the infatuation phase wears off and the reality of who your partner is sets in.
2: The Bonding Stage.
After some weeks of bubbly hot moments with each other, you enter into the next stage where things start getting real.
During the honeymoon stage, you and your new boo are on your best behavior. You don’t argue and are always willing to sacrifice for one another.
However, as the honeymoon phase dwindles, the bonding stage brings with it some realities.
You begin to discuss more serious matters like families, religious views, exes, outlooks on the future, and secrets.
Even though you might see a few differences, things are looking up.
- The honeymoon phase hasn’t completely worn off yet, so even though you might see a few problem areas, you still view your partner as nearly perfect.
3: The Power Struggle Stage.
This is the stage where most couples begin to question if the relationship is as good as they thought it was and often decide it’s not and breakup.
At this point, you can see the things you don’t like about your partner and have no problem calling them out.
The two of you are no longer on your best behavior. And the chemically induced rose colored glasses you wore for the first few months are long gone.
In this phase what’s happening is both partners are trying to establish their individuality and take their places as the King or Queen of the relationship.
No one skips over this phase. It’s 100% natural. This is where you find out how to resolve disputes, and if your differences as individuals are indeed bearable.
- There will be some pretty intense arguments.
- If you don’t try hard to make it work a breakup will undoubtedly happen.
- It’s easy to forget all the things that initially made you fall for your partner.
4: The Opinion Stage.
The fights and following experiences work their way into your minds, and you form opinions about each other. You have some expectations and views about your man (he too has some about you) and these either bring disappointments or ecstasy. He does something amazing, but you were not expecting it, and this leaves you feeling like a queen. He fails your expectations at times, and you are disappointed. However, it leads you to the next stage.
- In this phase, it’s easy to let the opinions of family and friends influence the opinions you have of your man and your relationship.
5: The Molding Stage.
Owing to your expectations from your partner, you start working towards changing each other in order to fit in with each other well. It is a subtle journey, and both of you enter into a give and take situation. You talk to each other about behavior change for the good of the relationship. If this is handled poorly, it could lead to a breakup especially if you are both domineering.
- Sometimes one partner can become too controlling and drive the other partner away.
- Criticisms begin to come out, and if they are delivered in a way that belittles or demeans the other partner the relationship can be damaged beyond repair.
6: The Blissful Stage.
If your relationship survives the storm, then you enter into a peaceful stage where both of you understand each other’s expectations and work towards meeting them. It is not very hard; of course, you do it for love. You feel like your relationship was made in heaven and decide to be engaged or even get married. The love is intense and the attachment unbreakable.
Drawbacks: None, after a rocky period everything appears to be all good again.
7: The Real Deal Stage.
After years of love and happiness, everything stays a bit normal and unchanged.
Routine sets in and along with it comes doubts. This is where many people fall victim to the “Grass is Greener Syndrome.”
The guy you fell in love with is no longer exciting or new. He’s just well… The person you live and pay bills with.
However, he still remains a friend despite the boredom.
The real question is: Will your love hold?
Can you find ways to bring the spark back into your relationship?
If you can, then you enter the final phase…
- Boredom and routine.
- During this phase, many men and women develop a wandering eye.
8: The Complete Trust Stage.
You’ve made it!
After the storms and ups and downs, you now know you can trust each other. At this stage, it is “better the devil you know than the angel you don’t.”
You develop an unbreakable trust but also you easily take each other for granted. If you are not careful, things could still turn ugly.
You must still continue to work to spice things up and push away the boredom.
You must continue to show your appreciation for each other.
You must be careful not to break each other’s trust.
- You have to continually find new ways to inject a spark in your relationship.
- It’s very easy to take each other for granted.
If you are in a new relationship, it is good to know that real love is messy. Don’t let this worry you. You should not expect a perfect “movie romance” but should look forward to some give and take and a few ups and downs on your journey towards making your relationship a success.
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