Identifying the stages in a relationship and understanding their importance in the process of living life together, should help foster the relationship. Every relationship goes through a certain set of stages, no matter how turbulent or harmonious it appears to be. It is necessary to stay prepared and have knowledge about how a relationship works.
Stages of Committed Relationships
Any relationship can be roughly broken down into 5 stages. A couple that stays together for a lifetime goes through all these stages.
The focus is on impressing one another and keeping each other happy. A person starts finding commonalities and common interests in the partner. One tends to avoid conflict to keep the relationship intact. There is tinge of insecurity about losing the partner with such behavior. Excitement and positive energy are characteristics of this stage of relationship.
The dust of illusion settles down and one is encountered with shortcomings in the partner. The struggle which arises in this stage is the result of ego problems.
Emotional outbursts and turning a deaf ear to the partner are commonly observed behavioral problems in this stage; in short, there is a great amount of friction between the couple in this stage; owing to the power struggle this phase can lead to abusive relationships. Holding onto the relationship during this phase is of utmost importance.
In this stage, the couple holds no illusions or doubts about what they can expect in their partner's behavior. It is more of an acceptance phase for both partners. There is also a kind of lull in this phase of relationship.
The couple is now much more grounded and aware of reality; it is the best time for reconnecting with your spouse. This even-headed state allows to make, both positive and negative changes to the relationship. It is in this stage that healthy relationships can be shaped up.
Relationship is more platonic in nature, though, physical attraction doesn't completely subside. Both the partners, owing to the ups and downs experienced in earlier relationship stages become mature. The couple is now ready to be committed for a long term relationship.
The couple works more like a team and complements each others' weaknesses, strengths and all the behavior without any expectations. Interaction with the outer world increases. But, in the process the relationship may get sidelined owing to the family needs. Balancing all the needs and aspects in this phase of relationship is the key to stay together forever.
Long distance relationships can survive for a certain period of time when it is not at all possible for the couple to spend time together. Such kind of relationships are the outcome of today's fast-paced society. Partners can stay together in a long distance relationship, given that they understand each other's ambitions and goals.
Stages in long distance relationship cannot be segregated or categorized separately from those mentioned earlier. However, the advantage of physical proximity cannot be enjoyed in a long distance relationship.
Problems in life can be discussed and shared by means of communication. This kind of relationship makes the partners mature and less dependent on each other. They can also give enough time to understand each other better.
The different relationship phases teach the couple a lot about living life in harmony. Impulsive behavior (i.e. lack of patience) is the common cause of relationship break ups/strained relationships in today's world.
The problem worsens when it takes form of a dysfunctional family. Keeping your head, accepting the partner with all the shortcomings, and having loads of patience is the key to a healthy relationship.