Relationships are complicated, beautiful, fun, heartbreaking and amazing. Every relationship you will ever be in throughout your life will teach you something not only about what you are looking for in the opposite sex, but every relationship will teach you something about yourself. Although every relationship is different, there are certain phases that, no matter who you are dating, will unavoidably occur. The following are ten phases that every relationship will inescapably go through. That is, if you make it through all of them.
Relationships are difficult. I don’t think our generation realizes the amount of work previous generations put into their marriages in order to make them last so long. These stages are not all good, but if you and your partner are able to get through them, it will only make your bond stronger. When you find someone special, you need to be able to compromise, open up and truly understand one another. Life is hard, but with the right partner by your side it can become a lot easier.
10 The “Honeymoon” Stage
This is the first and, to many, the best stage of any relationship. It usually starts with an attraction or an uncontrollable urge to be part of each other’s lives. The two of you share a connection and it is the time of the relationship where you get to explore your feelings for one another. Throughout this stage, the two of you will overlook any flaws the other has, focusing on the good. This is a great stage of the relationship because everything is new and exciting. However, it is a superficial phase. Many people wish this phase would last forever, but the honeymoon must come to an end.
9 The “In Between” Stage
This is when the relationship starts getting real, but the two of you are still not comfortable enough to be 100% yourselves at all times around one another. Neither of you want to let go of the infatuation stage, however it really is inevitable. This stage is a little awkward because you are not sure exactly how comfortable you can make yourself. Sleepovers are still uncomfortable and you begin to notice little things the other person does that annoy you, but you are not sure how to approach it yet. This is not one of the longest lasting phases but it is definitely inevitable in every relationship.
8 The “Adjustment” Stage
This stage creeps up on you, and it begins the moment you guys have your first fight and both realize neither of you are perfect. This is also the beginning of the two of you actually voicing your opinions and confronting each other. Many think this stage is the beginning of the end, however it is totally not. This stage allows you both to see how the other deals with conflict, which is a very telling of a person. This is called an adjustment stage because it is when you begin to realize that if you want to make the relationship work, you are going to need to learn how to adjust and compromise.
7 The “Understanding” Stage
This is the stage where things begin to get “real.” The two of you begin to get to know each other better, begin to share memories with one another and begin to truly understand each other’s points of view. This is the stage where you open up to one another, have long conversations and truly get to know each other’s core. Everyone is different and often times, you fall in love with someone unexpectedly and they may come from a different upbringing from you. Throughout this stage you learn to not only understand the one you love, but you begin to accept them- flaws and all.
6 The “I Love You” Stage
This stage is awesome because it is when you not only realize, but vocalize that you are in love with one another. Love is a term that gets thrown around quite lightly with our generation, but most people know when someone truly means it. You can feel it when someone loves you. "I love you," to many, is something sacred that should only be said to a selected few people throughout your lifetime. Once the words are out there, they are out there for good, which is why there should be no rush to say them. However, once it is said, it brings you and your significant other significantly closer to one another both emotionally and physically.
5 The “Molding” Stage
Once you guys pass the “I love you” hurdle, you unintentionally begin to mold into each other. This is the stage where “I” turns into “we.” It can be a tricky stage because no one wants their significant other changing too much; then they wont be the person they fell in love with. However, this stage really is inevitable. If your man likes baseball, you find yourself super into baseball. If your man likes foreign films, chances you are going to start to find things you like about foreign film. This is completely normal, just make sure you keep your own interests alive because there is nothing worse for a relationship than losing sight of yourself.
4 The “Happy Couple” Stage
This stage is when you look like you have all your shit together when it comes to this relationship. Your friends come to you for advice, people constantly tell you what a great couple you are and together you guys are genuinely happy. This is by far one of the best and most rewarding stages of a relationship because this is when you begin to really be able to picture a future with this person. For many couples, this stage can last for a long time. There is something fulfilling about being perfectly content with where you are in your relationship, that is what is amazing about this phase.
3 The “Rut” Stage
This stage sucks, and one of the reasons why it sucks so much is because it creeps up on you. It's like suddenly you wake up one day and discover you are living the same day over and over. Although not all couples experience the same kind of “rut,” it is something that every couple that lasts long enough goes through in some way. Routine is good in many ways, however in relationships there needs to be a twist once in a while. If you keep your relationship active, chances are the “rut” won't be so bad and the two of you will be able to get out of it stronger than ever.
2 The “Sexperiment” Stage
This stage can also help get you out of the “rut” stage. Sex is an important part of a relationship and usually at the start of a relationship the sex is great. This is because everything is new, the two of you are only beginning to understand each other's bodies and their wants and needs and the longer the two of you sleep together the better the sex gets. However, there comes a point when the sex starts becoming routine and sometimes a little boring. This is when it is fun to start experimenting or “sexperimenting.” There are countless ways of spicing up your sex life, from role playing to having a third party join. The sky is the limit. Communicate with your partner and find out what they have always fantasized about, then turn that fantasy into one sexy reality.
1 The “I Do or I Don’t” Stage
This is by far the hardest stage of any relationship. This stage is inevitable because a relationship can only turn out one of two ways - you either break up and call it quits, or you stay together forever. That is the reality. There is no in between, which is why this stage is inescapable. Relationships are filled with so many ups and downs and sometimes, as hard as it is, the best thing to do is call it quits. However, when your heart belongs to someone, you should never give up easily. Relationships are about the fight for love and when you find that special person, you are never going to stop fighting.