There are stages of relationships that every couple goes through on their journey. The five stages of relationships that we’ll be discussing today can help you pinpoint exactly where you and your partner are. Read on and see how these stages apply to you.
Stages Of Relationships | Knowing Where You’re At
1. The Romantic Stage
Of all the stages of relationships, this one is the most fun. The romantic stage is when your brain pumps you full of chemicals that make you feel in love. That’s just how nature works — you find a potential mate, and you feel happy. You start showering your partner with love and gifts. However, nature has a funny way of matching you with an incredibly incompatible mate. They are the people least likely to supplement your needs, but more likely to drive you nuts.
But of course, during this relationship stage, you don’t know that. All you know is that you love this person. Your brain does this so you don’t run away from this person, no matter how wildly incompatible you may seem to be. There is, however, a reason why you feel this: nature mismatches us with our partners because they are what make you adapt and grow to what you need to be as a person. If you think you’re at this stage, enjoy it while it lasts. What comes next may not be as fun…
2. The Hangover Stage
As with all good benders, a hangover usually follows when you wake up. Your brain is done pumping you with oxytocin and dopamine, and your vision is a lot clearer now. This stage usually occurs around 3-4 years into the relationship.
You and your partner might find yourselves getting angrier at each other. You will feel the disappointment growing. You focus on the differences, rather than the similarities. One of you grows distant, while the other gets increasingly more needy. However, there’s still a good reason why nature decided this as a necessary part in the stages of relationships.
The Hangover Stage is designed to help both of you become more autonomous in the relationship. Despite what your wedding vows might say, the two of you are not one person. The power struggle that occurs in this stage helps both of you grow as different people inside a relationship. Work hard enough and the love won’t die. Always remember that this is a necessary stage you both have to go through. If you want to last forever, tough this stage out.
3. The Stability Stage
You’ve gone through the worst the Hangover Stage had to throw at you. Growth is apparent in both of you. You both learned how to have a deeper understanding of how you are as individuals. The fire of love blazes anew, and you both start to realize that you’re in this for the long haul.
Compared to the Romantic Stage, your love likely has grown deeper this time. After doing away with the idea of trying to change each other, you adopt a different tactic: acceptance. There are just some things that won’t change about your partner, and you have made peace with that. You are totally okay that you won’t agree on everything. There is now mutual respect between you and your partner. You even start to appreciate each other’s grooming. This stage is all about maturity and is one of the most blissful stages of relationships.
4. The Commitment Stage
A year or so after the Stability Stage comes the Commitment Stage. Here, you start to realize the humanity inherent in both parties. You realize that your shortcomings are complementary. You are able to supplement whatever they lack. Compared to the Romantic Stage, where your brain dictated what you felt, this time you choose to be in love with them.
There is a bigger sense of love from both parties. A sense of belonging, power, freedom, and fun begin to well up inside both of you. The Commitment Stage is a phase of acceptance, wherein you’ve seen the best and worst of your partner. Despite knowing their deepest, darkest secrets, you choose to stick around for the long haul. You’ve given up all desire to find another mate, and you’re here to stay. But this isn’t it. There’s one last stage you have to go through…
5. The Co-Creation Stage
You have become a team. Not one person, not one entity, but a team. You’ve gone through all imaginable stages of relationships, and now you’re ready to do more with your partner. The partnership starts to branch out towards a common goal. These goals differ from couple-to-couple, but one thing in common is that it is always a shared project.
Most people want to leave a legacy. This is when you see some couples going into business together. Some choose to leave a work of art that they jointly built. Some start a charity. And some partner up to create the ultimate legacy: children. At the co-creation stage, you’ve already proven your love to each other. At this point, you start pouring that love and passion into something else apart from each other. If there is true bliss, it is in this stage of the relationship.
Here’s Dan Bacon’s take on the stages of relationships in this video:
These stages of relationships are more or less just a template of what you and your partner will go through the longer you stay together. Most couples only get to the second stage and break up. If you manage to get over the power struggle and start to accept each other, you know you’ve found the one.
What are your thoughts on the stages of every relationship? Let us know in the comments section.