A relationship will naturally go through five predictable stages. It is important to know about each stage so that you and your partner will be able to survive it.
The romance stage
Everyone is familiar with this stage of a relationship. This is the stage where the partners get to know each other and fall in love. In this stage emotions are high and even obvious imperfections in our partner are overlooked. Movies and books often times give us a false sense of reality by focusing only on this stage. But the reality is that this stage will come to an end. It is easy 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, get to know the other person and enjoy the time together. It is critical to try to build a strong foundation of communication, trust and love.
The power struggle stage
Now that the romance is over, it is time to face the reality. Unfortunately, this is the time when most relationships end. In this stage, the partners will now be able to see the imperfections that were over looked 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.
As a result, this is stage that generates anger, resent and a lot of arguments. The key to surviving this stage is to understand that everyone, including your partner, is different. 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 stability stage
The great thing about getting pass the power struggle stage is getting to the stability stage. You have embraced the difference, are reminded of why you fell in love and are willing to share power and compromise in the relationship. As a result of this, comes the stability stage. This is the stage where you can both find peace in the relationship and understanding each other is at an high. To survive this stage, continue to do the work of embracing the differences and rekindling the love.
The commitment stage
It is now time for the ring or firm commitment. This is the stage of the relationship where the partners 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 person they want to share their lives with. The mistake that both men and women make at this stage is that they think the work is done. Relationship is continuous work. It is important to continue working at the relationship.
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.
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.