I recently read a book, 'The 1000 most important questions you will ever ask yourself', by Alyss Thomas. I thought the part about 'Stages of a Relationship' was quite true, so I posted a bit of it on my blog!! Happy Valentines Day !!!
Stage 1 - Falling in Love
This relationship stage involves lots of phone calls, gifts, sms, email forwards and dating. The couple cannot get enough of each other and hold hands everywhere they go. Neither makes any demands on the other person or displays behaviour that may not be accepted. Similarities are emphasized. The main purpose of this stage is to make a firm bond or attachment and build a foundation for the relationship.
Stage 2 - Learning About Differences
This stage of the relationship happens when a person realises that thier lover is quite different from them. They may also start disliking some of these differences. It can be dissappointing and depressing. If the relationship is to succeed, the couple needs to start discussing things and decide who needs to do what. Many relationships don't survive this stage, as the differences between the couple may seem too big. The main purpose of this relationship stage is for each individual to find themselves again and reestablish themselves as an independent person.
Stage 3 - Independence
During this stage of the relationship, a person starts rediscovering themselves as separate people. They engage in separate activities and develop exciting new interests and opportunities. This may be confusing because each partner is fighting for freedom but at the same time wants the other to be there when things go bad and they need them. A person needs space and may be unconciously giving off the message - I don't need you. The main purpose of this stage of a relationship is for each person to achieve more things than they could have achieved alone. The couple learns the values of trust, forgiveness and tolerance.
Stage 4 - Coming Back Together
After each person establishes thier personal identity in the world, the couple comes back together again with more appreciation and understanding for each others individual differences and needs. The couple fluctuates between periods of great intimacy and separation for independence. The partners may test out whether the other person will really be there for them in times of trouble. The main purpose of this stage of a relationship is to find out whether the other person can be trusted for a lifetime. Lots of conflicting issues relating to a person's childhood and past may develop. If these issues are successfully discussed, over time, the relationship will become more deep and stronger.
Stage 5 - Maturity and Compromise
The couple is now in a stronger relationship, knowing that they love each other and have individual lives and interests too. They are equally committed to both. The partners become realistic and let's go of thier hope for an ideal perfect person who fulfills all thier needs. A lot of patience is needed during this stage. Each person encourages thier partner to grow and openness increases. They recognize the value of the relationship and stop feeling resentment about the compromises involved. The couple is now in a solidly strong relationship and is ready to meet the future together.
Have you gone through these stages in your relationship? If you are in a relationship, which stage are you in now??