Starting a love relationship with someone you care about can be an amazing experience. However, just like all other relationships, love requires dedication for it to work. As the relationship matures, you will start to notice subtle changes. While some of the changes may be uncomfortable, they show that the relationship is growing. A relationship goes through several stages as it matures.
Different Stages of a Relationship
The Honeymoon Phase
This is the stage where all relationships start. It is controlled by an intense attraction. This is when passion, romance and everything sweet and nice takes place. The intimacy is great and both of you cannot get enough of each other. While the butterflies and fireworks may not happen for you, this is the stage where you want to be with your loved one all the time. During this stage, each sees the other as a flawless being. They are perfect since you are only focusing on the aspects about them that you’re most attracted to.
After the first stage, you get into a phase where suddenly reality starts to dawn on you. Some relationships don’t pass this stage. Actually, this is the stage where most first marriage divorces happen. This is where you see some of your partner’s flaws. You will suddenly start to notice they chew too loud, he leaves his clothes everywhere, she is not too tidy and other irritating habits.
Tip to overcome this hurdle: learn to appreciate your partner, even with their flaws. Remember that you too are not perfect and that your partner has noticed a few things about you that are not a turn on. Accept that the two of you are different and focus more on their strengths and the reason you fell in love with them.
Of all the stages of a relationship, this is the most challenging one. It is said that you do not know how strong you are as a couple until your relationship is put to the test. The test mostly comes in the form of life struggles. If you are lucky, you won’t have to deal with issues such as unemployment of a spouse, starting a new job, distance or illness. These are the most challenging changes for any relationship. This is when you know what to expect from your spouse in the event of a tragedy.
On the flip side, this is the stage where all conversations start revolving around bills, house chores and the children if any. Sometimes things become so intense that you forget that love was the reason you came together, and that everything else is secondary.
Tip to overcome this hurdle: it is important to remember why you are together. Take each other on a date, create your alone time away from the kids and all the responsibility, take that vacation, rekindle your intimacy. Take the time to go and do all the crazy things that you once enjoyed doing together. This is a sure way to rekindle the flame of love and strengthen your relationship.
This is the stage where you are finally complacent with your spouse. You have undergone changes and challenges that have strengthened you as a couple. You have had the chance to see the worst in your partner and still choose to stay by their side. This is the stage where most affairs take place. This is because you have become too used to your spouse. There is little or no intimacy and you can easily get attracted to other people. You stop putting effort to make the relationship work and probably take each other for granted. Emotional withdrawal happens, and most couples will agree to have a divorce at this stage, citing irreconcilable differences. This is because they no longer see the reason to be together. This is one of the most depressing stages of a relationship.
Tip to overcome this hurdle: if you notice that your relationship is stuck in this stage, the first thing you should do is start to get yourself involved in your relationship again. Start doing little things with love for your partner. Show them compassion and care. Your partner will pick up on your vibes and will also work to rekindle your love flame. Soon enough, you will feel like teenagers again and keep that affair and divorce at bay.
This is the stage where your relationship has gone through fire and come out stronger. This is when you look back over the years, and realize how blessed you are to have your partner by your side. You start seeing them as you did when you first met. This is the stage where you know this is for life, divorce is not an option and that indeed you two can overcome anything together. This is the stage when intimacy gets better than before. You are fully accepting of your spouse and all their shortcomings. This is the stage where unconditional love is redefined. It is definitely the best stage of any relationship.
Tips for a Healthy Relationship
For you to successfully go through all the stages of a relationship and come out stronger, you need to learn of a few tips for a healthy relationship:
Always focus on the positive attributes of your spouse.
Give your partner the benefit of doubt. This is especially important when addressing a conflict.
Accept and acknowledge that disappointments, hurt and frustration are part of the package. It won’t always be rainbows and sunshine.
Agree to disagree. Remember relationships are about compromise and that sometimes your spouse won’t see things from your point of view.
Always keep your line of communication open. Speak openly about the things that you dislike without being disrespectful or hurtful.
Always work to resolve conflict as soon as possible. Learn to be forgiving.
Constantly find things to appreciate your spouse for.
Create time for each other away from the busy life.