Each relationship is different, yet some stages can be recognized in each of them. In fact, a survey conducted by the popular dating site eHarmony has revealed that there are typically five stages of a relationship.
But, learning how to survive the different stages of a relationship is a matter of major concern here.
There are instances when we think we are unable to stretch the relationship further. Giving up on the same seems a lot easier to us than making efforts to restore the connection to what it was initially.
Do you realize why all the initial excitement wears out after some time? Why do couples switch from the ‘mushy-mushy’ stage into the irritational mode? Why separate from one another when things were perfect in the initial stages? Do you ever wonder how things turn south and how to survive a relationship after multiple breakups?
This happens due to many factors, among others not recognizing the stage we are in and the expectations that come with it. Instead, we are ignorant of the existence of different stages of a relationship.
As mentioned earlier, there are five stages of a relationship. Understanding the importance of each stage is crucial to navigating the different relationship dynamics and winning the chance at better surviving relationships.
Five stages of a relationship
Here we are elaborating on the different stages of marriage and understanding how to survive in a relationship.
1. The romance stage
One of the most initial stages of a relationship is the romance stage. Everyone is familiar with this phase in a relationship and most likely, so are you.
Do you feel butterflies fluttering inside your stomach? Can you hear the loud thumping of your heartbeat each time you catch a glimpse of that person? Do you experience sweaty palms and face blush, or you just mumble while speaking to that special one?
These are the visible signs you are in love and have just stepped onto the very first phase of a relationship. This is one stage where the partners get to know each other and fall in love. Emotions are high, and even obvious imperfections in our partner are overlooked.
You are literally flying high and are entirely ignorant of reality, which can likely show you a completely different picture. Often, movies and books are responsible for giving us a false sense of reality by focusing only on this stage.
The reality is that this stage will come to an end!
But it is a lot easier to survive the romance stage because this is the time when we are madly in love and will do everything to please our significant other. During this time, we get to know the other person, explore each other, and enjoy the moments we get to spend together.
But, this is also the time when partners try to build a strong foundation of communication, trust, and love, based on which the following stages of a relationship have a chance to survive and thrive. After all, relationships can never be a bed of roses only.
The long-term survival and sustenance of the relationship depend primarily on how strong your foundation is, which you have laid down during the initial stage of the relationship or worked on improving later on.
If you wonder how to survive in a relationship, then pay attention to this stage where partners work together towards a shared future.
2. The power struggle stage
Now, some of us do not even consider the possibility of a shared future while we are in the first stage. , For some relationships, this is the time when they will come to an end, tragic or otherwise.
In the second stage, the initial sweetheart romance is already over. You are back from your dreamland and trying to figure out your expectations out of this very relationship.
Time for a reality check!
Now is the time to face the harsh and cruel truth about love, life, and relationship. Partners are now able to see the imperfections that were once overlooked in the romance stage.
The natural response is to accuse the other of changing, and there are expectations from each partner to try to get back the person they knew in the romance stage. You have to understand that this is one of the challenging stages of a relationship where a sudden shift in life’s events and circumstances generates anger, resentment, and a lot of arguments.
The key to surviving this stage is to understand that everyone, including your partner, is different and imperfect. Additionally, we all have flaws, which, coupled with our good qualities, make us who we are. This is the time to embrace the difference and remember the love foundation that was built before.
The video below discusses the dismissive avoidants in the power stage of the relationship.
3. The stability stage
The great thing about getting past the power struggle stage is getting to the stability stage. This can also be counted as one of the most important stages of a relationship.
If you stayed together, it means you have learned to accept the differences and imperfections.
As a result of this comes the stability stage. Ideally, you are reminded of why you fell in love and are willing to share power and compromise in the relationship. This is the stage where you can find peace in the relationship and understand each other is at a high.
To survive this stage and have a thriving lasting relationship, continue to do the work of embracing the differences and rekindling the love.
4. The commitment stage
This is the stage of the ring or firm commitment.
Fourth in the list of five stages of the relationship, this stage promises a better and brighter future for both the partners. The dark clouds of doubts have cleared. Both have survived the previous phases of a relationship and have accepted each other for who they are.
Both the good and the bad are on the table, and they feel sure that this is the very person they want to share their lives with.
However, the mistake that both men and women make at this stage is that they think the work is done.
A relationship is continuous work. It is important to continue working on the relationship.
And, you have one last stage to cover!
5. The bliss stage
This is where the relationship is more than just about the two persons in it.
The couple is now ready to create together, and this can include a family or business together. As you start to embrace the world and bring outside elements into the relationship, it is important to take time to nurture the relationship.
Here we are at the end of the five stages of a relationship.
Remember! Relationships have their ups and downs. If each person is willing to do the work, understanding the various stages, the couple can see the long term benefits.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.