10 Stages Of a Relationship You Should Know
Regardless of what happens in movies, people don't fall in love and marry immediately. Every relationship has stages it must undergo before it becomes a long-lasting union.
Although the stages of dating can vary, they remain the same across most relationships. We have compiled the stages of a relationship that you must know.
Attraction and declaration of interest
Before dating starts, both individuals must find each other attractive. The attraction is established during the first meeting, which can be online or in person.
At this stage, the two individuals will express interest in each other. The relationship moves to the next level and starts to deepen.
As your relationship intensifies, contact between you and your partner will increase. You'll start hanging out more, texting frequently, and calling each other often.
The increased contact is a sign that both parties are interested in knowing more about themselves. You may start to reveal your interests, ideas, values, and so on to your significant other.
Defining the relationship
Going out on dates, texting, visiting places together, or even having sex doesn't automatically confer "couple" status.
You have to "make things official" and agree on the definition of your relationship. Is it a romantic relationship or a friends-with-benefits arrangement?
If you have agreed to a romantic relationship, then exclusivity is necessary. No partner should be dating or having sex outside the relationship.
Those who watch romantic films will recognize this stage. During the honeymoon phase, the romance between both partners peaks.
You'll feel the need to be around your partner every minute and may feel terrible when he/she is absent.
Couples at this stage tend to see each other in the best light and avoid pointing out personal flaws.
The post-honeymoon phase is where romance begins to wane and reality dawns. You discover that your partner isn't as perfect and has personal flaws and quirks.
The post-honeymoon phase is significant because it forces partners to be more realistic. You may have to recognize your partner's differences and accept them.
The rough patch
Almost every relationship goes through a rough patch. It connotes a period where relationship difficulties start to surface, and disputes occur frequently.
This is the most difficult stage of dating, and tensions can run high. You or your partner may start to question their choice and wonder if the relationship is a mistake.
The "make or break" stage
As the name implies, this stage is where couples decide to stick together or call it quits.
This is, perhaps, the most difficult stage of dating — which is why most relationships end here.
Getting through this stage requires extensive dialogue between you and your partner. You have to recognize each other's flaws, differences, quirks and work with them.
Couples who navigate this stage successfully have higher chances of achieving a long-lasting relationship.
This stage is where the relationship becomes more secure. An understanding between both partners grows during this phase, which reduces disputes in the relationship.
We must note that the kind of love experienced at this stage isn't anything like that of the honeymoon phase. Rather, the love is more stable and steadfast.
As the relationship progresses, your role in your partner's life begins to grow and vice-versa. You may move in together and start sharing belongings.
Besides, you'll start meeting with each other's family, friends, and acquaintances. Showing off on social media is another marker of a relationship passing through its integration phase.
This is often the final stage of dating and, more often than not, leads to marriage.
At this stage, both partners are well aware of personal flaws and differences and have committed to solving them — together.
Also, you may start having discussions about the future, including goals, finances, marriage, and so on. It is advisable to be open and honest during such discussions.
The commitment stage is when you decide to stick with your partner regardless of any issues.
However, it is important to think carefully before committing to a relationship. You have to be sure of the relationship's prospects before agreeing to a long-term arrangement.
This is just a guide to the stages of dating you'll likely encounter. However, it could be different in your case.
Nonetheless, you must endeavor to remain committed throughout these phases of the relationship to blossom.
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