Why You Should Understand The Different Stages Of A Relationship

Published: 18th May 2009
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Are you in a new relationship or have you recently gotten back together with an ex? Understanding the different stages of ANY relationship can help you keep the relationship you're in (through thick and thin), find a new relationship, and grow a new relationship to the next level. Youe NEED to think about these things as they are they key to having a happy and healthy relationship.

Of all the stages of a relationship, the first stage is probably the most exciting. This is the romance stage, the beginning, the candles and white table cloth dinners. There's dating and getting to know each other, finding out each others likes and dislikes, and each of you is on your very best behavior because you want to woo the other person.

This stage is often called the honeymoon period, because everything is fresh and new. Everything the other person does probably seems great to you. You laugh at his jokes, and don't mind their person's flaws. In fact, you may even find his flaws endearing. Just like anything new, it can be a great deal of fun and seem adventurous. Your hormones are raging and the "chase" is on!

The next two stages are the make or break stages that many couples never make it through. They account for things like very short relationships and marriages. The second stage is commonly known as the power struggle stage.

This is when the newness starts to wear off, and usually starts somewhere between six months to a year after the relationships starts. It's during this time that things start to get serious. Everything isn't as cute and endearing as it was in the beginning. The fact that he never combs his hair is beginning to wear a little thin for you!

Each person in the relationship is trying to get his or her needs met, and they're starting to notice where the other person falls short in doing that. If you're in this second stage of a relationship, take a step back. Look and listen to your partner. The things you're finding fault with in the other person are very likely flaws that you also have.

If a couple can get through this stage, the relationship has a much better chance of lasting. Unfortunately, many couples try to change each other in the second stage. This leads to break-ups. Honest communication is the key to getting past it. Be understanding, and realize that you have shortcomings, too. Don't try to change your partner unless you're willing to change too!

The third of the stages of a relationship is where you realize that you can't change the other person, and you stop trying. If you came to that realization by talking with your partner and being understanding, then congratulations are in order!

This stage for you will be one of learning to be content with what the other has to offer and learning to take care of yourself. If the power struggle ended badly, then this is the stage where you're likely to end the relationship.

The next stage is that of commitment. You realized you couldn't change each other but you still made it work, and you know you want to be together. Now you can move on to a true partnership, which is the last stage.

Many couples bounce from stage 2 to 3 several times before moving on to commitment. By understanding the stages of a relationship, you're at least aware of what's happening and why. You will be better able to know what is coming next and thus, work through the stepd for the stage you're in - and be successful at it.

Ask any couple that has been married for 50 years and they will tell you that there were times when the relationship was "rocky". They learned from these periods an were able to move on and take their relationship to new levels.

Learning from others is a major step in learning about yourself and your relationships. Don't fail because you didn't understand the stages of a relationship. Learn, apply and move forward in order to make your relationship work.

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