Relationships form a vital part of human existence and come with their own intricacies. All relationships are characterized by a recognizable pattern whose mastery leads to a successful and fulfilling partnership. There are several distinctive phases in which a romantic bond undergoes during its growth and evolution with each stage having its own attributes. Knowledge of these properties makes the individuals in the relationship aware of the stage they are in and hence empowering them to skillfully conduct the relationship at the pace they feel comfortable with.
The five major stages of any relationship are outlined below in their respective order of occurrence.
1. The Honeymoon Phase
Also called the courtship and infatuation phase, romance and passions are at an overdrive. The two love birds have just met and the attraction between them is undeniable. They cannot get enough of each other and are always thinking of each other. The expectations are high and the partners endeavor to make each other happy. Physiologically, their bodies produce copious amount of endorphins that are the all feel good hormones. This explains the blissful state of mind that the lovers usually experience.
Since this is the introductory phase of the relationship, the individuals involved should strive to display their best qualities and avoid any fights at all costs. Serious conversations are usually discouraged while flirting is the norm. You want to make this phase as long as possible since itis considered to be the most enjoyable by most people.
2. The Accommodation Phase
The honeymoon phase cannot go on indefinitely and so reality inevitable sets in and the partners start to realize each others’ faults and weaknesses. Physiologically, the lovers are at a relaxed state and get to interact with each other more honestly learning about each others’ shortcomings which they can easily cast a blind eye to. The most critical skill to exercise at this stage is effective communication and conflict resolution.
3. The Power Struggle Phase
The passion in the relationship has greatly subsided and the arguments from the accommodation phase intensify. Even the smallest things are a cause for argument with most fights geared towards drawing boundaries. Trust becomes an issue and the selfish nature of each partners brought to focus. Most people opt out of a relationship at this phase.
The most important qualities to exercise are patience, tolerance and trust. Effective communication coupled with proper conflict resolution tactics that maintain mutual respect cannot be overemphasized.
4. The Friendship/Stability Phase
In this stage, there is a deeper feeling of love and trust that makes the partners committed to the relationship. The relationship deepens and the partners take ownership of their relationship. This stage can become uneventful and boring making it necessary to find interesting ways to keep the passion alive.
5. The Commitment Phase
The couple now completely understand themselves and their love has achieved maturity. They accept each other and share their aspirations, hopes and dreams. Joint ventures such as living together and taking holidays are encouraged to cement the relationship.
These are the five major stages in any kind of relationship.
Which stage are you in?