When you’re dating someone, the last thing you are thinking about is understanding the four different stages of a relationship. Especially if the relationship is new or you are reuniting after a break up, you will be thinking about other things. However, understanding the four different stages of a relationship will help you realize where you are today and what there is to follow.
The most exciting of all four stages is the first or romantic stage. You go out together and get to know each other. You try to behave as well as you can because you want to impress your partner.
This is often referred to as the honeymoon period of the relationship. Everything is so wonderful and new to you that any mistakes your new partner makes pass unnoticed to you. It a period of a lot of fun and adventure.
The second and the third stages are the two that many couples flounder on. They are the make and break stages and they often result in short lived relationships and marriages. The second stage is often referred to as the power struggle.
After the first few months the novelty of the affair stats to wear thin. The partners begin to treat matters between themselves more seriously; everything is not framed in pink as it seemed to be at the start of the relationship.
Each of the partners is looking to get their needs met and they realize that their partner, who seemed so infallible at the start, is today not as perfect as they previously thought. When you get to this point you should stop and think matters over. The faults that you suddenly discover in your partner may be the same that you also have
Once the couple succeeds in getting through this stage, the relationship has a good chance of lasting. The trouble comes when one of the parties tries to change their partner. People cannot be change fundamentally and this is what often leads to a break up. You have to learn how to communicate honestly and regularly with your partner and understand that nobody, you include, is perfect.
The third stage of a relationship is where you come to terms with the reality that you cannot change your partner and you stop trying. You are doing very well when you can talk with your partner and are trying to be understanding. You have to learn to be happy with what your partner can offer you, as well as how to look after your own needs. Where the power struggle has terminated with problems, this is often the point when the relationship falls apart and ends.
The final stage is that of commitment as you now know that, you even though you cannot change your partner, you can still make the relationship work and you both know that you want to stay with each other. This is where you move on to being a real partnership.
It often happens that the couple may move several times through the second and third stages getting down to the commitment. When you are understanding the four different stages of a relationship you can follow them to know what is going on and why it is happening.
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