In every romantic relationship, no doubt a couple will have to go through a number of phases before being strong enough to get into marriage. Honeymoon phase will not go on forever so, face it – when two people spent a considerable time with each other, the reality dawns upon them and this is when they have to become practical and work together to sort things out. Either they remain together forever if they manage to make things work out or they break up.
Initial Stage: Romance
This stage is when two individuals have just come together. You love everything about your partner and he or she seems to be the perfect person in the world. The whole world revolves around him or her and that you hardly have time for anyone else be it your best friend, friends or family. At this point of time, your partner seems important. When the effects of this stage seem to wear off, you know you have shifted to the next stage.
Eye-opener Stage: Reality
As time passes by, you realise that your partner is not so perfect after all. The negative aspects of his or her personality eventually start surfacing slowly and gradually. Both individuals start behaving more like themselves. In this stage, you do not like to spend the entire time with your partner. In fact, you feel the need for space and freedom. You concentrate more on correcting the bad habits of your partner – constant nagging. This is the most crucial phase of a relationship which can either lead to a strong and mature relationship or a break up.
Stability Stage: Maturity
In this stage, both the partners understand that their partner is a normal individual. A person with positive as well as negative aspects. The idea of perfection slowly dissolve and acceptance starts gaining around. Both the partners start thinking practically and learn that adjustment is the key to a successful relationship. Nevertheless, the transition is not so easy and the slightest slip can make them go back to the second stage.
Commitment Stage: Totally Practical
If the maturity stage is able to be maintained for a considerable time without slipping to the previous stage, commitment is the most obvious result. By this time, they have totally accepted each other, without any efforts at bringing about any change in each other. You realise that partners complement each other and not complete each other. Minor tiffs are common. In fact, they are necessary for keeping the spice in the relationship alive. However, the ‘we break off’, ‘you don’t care for me’, etc. phrases do not form a part of the relationship. This is the time when you love your partner for who he or she actually is and not for what you think he or she is.
Marriage Stage: Romance once again..
All successful relationships end in marriage. The partners have gone through all the ups and downs and no longer live in the world of fairytale romance. They know that life is not picture-perfect and they find love in each other’s company. Marriage brings about the honeymoon phase; when all the romance of the first stage comes back once again – the only difference is that this time the partners are mature. Though there might be slight problems because of the added responsibilities and living together, none of this will be too big to handle. It is the time to enjoy the results of the efforts that both of you have taken to bring the relationship to this stage.
Nevertheless, every married couple feels that, after the initial whirlwind years of carefree romance, the fire seems to fade away as they grow old together. Both of them fear a loss of value in each other’s life, fear the fact that their own beauty and sex appeal is fading and before we know it, many marriages spiral out of control and the spouses are waiting for each of them to make the first move out of the door, never to come back again.
In my next post, I will share some tips to keep the spark alive in your relationship.