You might have wondered what relationship phases are. Every successful relationship has gone through different phases that made it wax stronger and better.
Unfortunately, many do not know the relationship phase they are in at the moment. Some have been stuck in one phase for a very long time without realizing it. When you understand the relationship phases and their significance to the success of your relationship, you will learn that each phase builds upon the previous one. And every stage is an opportunity to work hard to attain the next phase happily.
Whether you have known your partner for a decade or just met doesn’t matter. However, the intensity of love differs. Read this article to the end to learn about these relationship phases and determine the phase best describes your relationship’s circumstances.
7 Relationship Phases You Should Know
Most times, a relationship happens suddenly without any plans. And when it does, it could take a haphazard pattern or scale smoothly as expected. Below are the most common relationship phases you should know.
The Infatuation Phase
This stage kicks off immediately after both parties meet and begin a relationship. It usually starts with an intense feeling of “love”, which might be non-existent at the moment in the relationship. In this stage, both parties typically think they can’t do without each other. As a result, they usually miss each other when they part for a few minutes.
One of the most common characteristics of this phase is that both parties usually focus on the positive attributes of each other while neglecting their flaws or mistakes. Sadly, this stage is typically short-lived, and as reality dawns on one or both parties, they quickly transition to the next step in the relationship.
Most partners get overwhelmed by the infatuation stage, thinking it might last forever, only to be thrown in disarray when the relationship transits into the next phase. Sadly, not all relationships live long enough to move to the next phase.
The Dating Phase
This is one of the relationship phases where both parties put conscious effort into investing their time and resources to know each other. In this stage, it’s common to find lovers talking about each other’s past life, exes, education aspirations, goals and ambitions.
This is one of the relationship phases where you may start creating relationship goals and have some expectations. It’s also common to find partners creating an opinion about each other. Unfortunately, most relationships end at this stage when expectations are repeatedly not met, which causes disappointment.
This relationship phase is also known as the “knowledge phase” because it’s one of the relationship phases where you gain so much knowledge about your partner that could either leave you wondering “, how on earth did I meet this person,” or “thank God I met you.”
Either way, the regrets or joy you feel in this stage could make you take a drastic decision about whether or not to continue the relationship.
In this relationship phase, you both will disagree on almost anything. It is also characterized by fights and throwing abusive words at each other. This stage is usually fueled by the previous stage, where you realize the “real person” you are dating and notice that they didn’t meet your expectations. Then, disappointment and anger breed in and you may find yourself arguing over the simplest issues in the relationship.
But these fights and disagreements are also essential for the relationship’s health. It could reveal hidden traits in your partner and help them notice the kind of person you are and your level of commitment in the relationship.
The problem is that most relationships quickly end at the sight of disagreement because the partners lack the skills needed to resolve these differences amicably. They don’t know how to control issues and prevent them from escalating.
Suppose you have passed through this stage in your relationship. In that case, you will acknowledge that it’s one of the problematic relationship phases, and you may not wish to go back again because it’s horrible for most partners.
The only couple that survives this stage are those that have learnt the essence of forgiveness, trust, honesty, anger management and patience and applied these lessons in every problematic circumstance they find themselves in the relationship.
You must realize that anger never solves anything in this phase. On the contrary, the more you apply it because you fear losing, the more you lose eventually.
If you are currently in this relationship phase, knowing how to control your anger and emotions could help both you and your partner survive the next relationship phase.
For most couples, this relationship phase may seem like the end of the road. Unfortunately, this is the relationship phase where all the power tussles you both swept under the carpet bring out their ugly heads. So, most people wear themselves out of absurd arguments that they begin to turn a deaf ear to these issues or give lesser attention to the extent that they drift apart.
For others, they become perpetually vigilant and ready to fight at the slightest provocation. This is one of the relationship phases that is usually characterized by negative energy and uncertainties. Therefore, it would help if you strengthen your communication skills. This may require you or your partner to speak out politely when they feel something isn’t right.
This relationship phase may be the hardest to reach for most couples, but it’s worth it. It shows you both have survived some significant challenges in your relationship and dealt with them for the sake of the relationship’s longevity.
This relationship phase is also known as the “maturity phase”, where you have both accepted your differences, shortcomings, strengths and weaknesses. Your love for each other has deepened and grown to a stage where you are now fond of each other in a unique way. The sexual fantasies and erotic thoughts may have also waned off at this stage. If you are in this relationship phase, you will now see your partner for who they are and treat them with love and respect, whether they deserve it or not.
In this phase, you will realize the importance of respecting each other’s boundaries, trusting your partner and staying committed to the relationship. this will intensify your love and connection drastically.
The best way to know if you and your partner have attained this stage is that you both can now openly talk to each other about anything that borders you without withholding information that shouldn’t be kept a secret.
But what if you aren’t there yet? It’s not the end of the road; you can achieve this if you and your partner work on closing communication gaps in the relationship. Then, strive to build trust and demonstrate acts of loyalty towards one another.
The Commitment Phase
Among the relationship phases, this is the phase where you and your partner decide to sacrifice time and resources for the relationship’s success. In other words, you have decided to stay faithful despite the odds.
Staying committed is not a matter of words. It’s a matter of action. So, when you promise your partner to remain with them no matter what happens, you have to back it up with acts of faithfulness. In this phase, you have accepted your partner’s shortcomings, but that doesn’t mean you have no expectations or you don’t wish they could change for the better.
One of the keys to success in this stage is to dish away excuses and work to get the results you need. This may require you to understand conflict triggers in the relationship and avoid it. When you learn to deal with issues even before they arise, you will not just strengthen the relationship but also help it last into the next relationship phase.
This is the relationship phase most people wish for when they first meet their partner. But sadly, only a few reach this phase of bliss in their relationship because a mere wish doesn’t achieve it. Rather, it takes years of hard work and patience.
To avoid stagnation in this relationship phase, it’s important that you and your partner keep an eye on opportunities for advancement. Go on a vacation together, try out new stuff in bed, cook dinner and go on shopping together. Also, avoid using your past life against each other. Since you now understand each other’s flaws, chances are you may want to exploit them to your advantage. But this mustn’t be your focus at this stage. Rather, you should work for the sustainability of the relationship.
This will not just help strengthen the bond you both share, but it will also help reunite you and your partner when things go into disarray later. So even though this blissful stage is characterized by happy moments, you must keep reminding yourself why you trust and love your partner and how meeting them has changed your life forever.
Among the relationship phases, this is the one where you feel special the most. You know how important you are to your partner and realize they could do anything to keep you beside them. That is the bliss we refer to in this phase, “the feeling of being loved and respected beyond measure.”
Which Relationship Phase Do You Belong To?
Now that you have learned the different relationship phases, which one do you belong to? Are you at the infatuation phase or commitment phase? The best way to determine your relationship phase is to evaluate your past and present circumstances in your relationship.
Do you still gush at the sight of your partner and wish they never leave you? Or do you get irritated each time you see their missed calls on your phone?
If you no longer conclude about your partner’s activities at work or in the restaurant, it demonstrates you are beginning to trust your partner. This may also demonstrate stability (stability phase).
Everyone deserves to live a fulfilled life and enjoy their relationship to the fullest regardless of circumstance. Understanding the various relationship phases is the first step to attaining such fulfilment.
Now you have to get to work. Many couples desire the blissful relationship stage with all their hearts, but only a few are willing to work hard for it. In life, success is not free! You have to work hard for it amidst self-doubts, challenges and denial.
The same goes for every relationship. a successful relationship doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a product of hard work, self-denial, and learning to trust your partner despite their shortcomings.
So, are you ready to fight for what you want? Are you willing to put ego and pride aside for the health of your relationship? If you fail to cater to the needs of your relationship now, you might not attain those relationship goals you penned down long ago. Therefore, you and your partner must be ready to make sacrifices now and enjoy the bliss of a successful relationship later on.
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