The truth is that most relationships never make it past the third stage. But if you manage to make to make to number 5, then you will last a lifetime.
To quote Lao Tzu: “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
New relationships can feel overwhelming with all the excitement, adventure, and passion. There are five stages that every relationship will go through. Stage three is usually when relationships venture off course.
If your love gets through stage three, on into stages four and five, you will come out with a relationship that is honest, secure, and stable. Knowing these stages are expected and normal can help you get through them.
1. EVERYTHING IS EXCITING AND NEW
You’ve met someone and your heart seems to be running the show. This is the dating stage where each touch is electric and the kisses are filled with possibility, excitement, and passion.
You think about him all through the day and are constantly checking your phone to see if he is thinking of you. You count down the seconds until you see them again.
You might try different parts of your personality to find out how you two interact together. The experience is a game of flirting, turns, and twists.
This person might bring out your sense of humor and you are laughing more than you normally do. They might charge your sense of adventure and you are doing things you wouldn’t normally do. You feel like you are floating when you are near them and you never want it to end.
2. SETTLING DOWN
In this stage, you have officially established a relationship. You know this is the person you love and have committed yourself to them.
Intimacy is still frequent, but just like life, it has become a bit routine. It is still profound and meaningful.
Marriage and then children usually happen in this stage. Routines begin to get in the way of spontaneity. Your walls have come down and are your true selves with each other. Responsibilities take hold as your try to figure out your roles.
3. LIFE GRABS HOLD
This is sadly the stage that many relationships fall apart. You might still love who you are with, things just feel different.
Life has rooted out romance. Work commitments and parenthood have taken center stage. You are wondering what happened to what you used to have.
It might have been ages since a date has been anything other than watching TV or eating dessert in bed. You might feel resentment for chances that you have missed and you feel like they will never happen now.
The annoying things you normally tolerate now feel intrusive and huge. You may dream about things you should be doing and feel trapped and tied down.
During this stage, you may wonder if you made the correct decision. This stage is when most couples split.
4. UNDERSTANDING DEEPER
If you have made it through stage three, you begin to see your significant other as they really are. You may not be exactly the way you were in stage two because so much has happened like moves, children, career changes, or other events.
You don’t expect the world from each other and are better at communicating wants and needs. This stage lets you acknowledge all the unhappiness you felt during stage three. You find ways to move forward with each other.
5. MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER
You realize that no one is perfect and want to rediscover what you loved about them.
Sometimes the resentment in the marriage isn’t about who you are with, but you are frustrated with yourself because you didn’t follow through on things you promised yourself when you were young.
Let your significant other know about your desires. You never know where life may lead you. There might be passions that you both share you haven’t explored yet.
You might make a commitment to travel more or prioritize more time together. Find way to grow individually plus spending time together, is a great way to rekindle your romance.