Knowing and understanding the stages of a healthy relationship will help you to avoid past relationship mistakes and recognise when a relationship is not going anywhere.
There are five stages in a healthy relationship and this post will explain how to navigate through them.
This is the initial stage where you get a chance to show that you are attracted to and get to know your potential partner. You can be infatuated on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. This is the most exciting stage where partners highlight the very best part of themselves. Women usually pay particular attention to appearance during this stage and make sure they are always seen with flawless hair and make-up. Men during this stage show their partners their thoughtfulness and care with romantic gestures and genuine compliments. Women feel more attracted to men who are attentive, give compliments and do thoughtful things at this stage. Men feel more attracted to women who give them space and let them give and do thoughtful gestures. The mistake that women often make during this stage is getting carried away with the euphoria of mutual attraction and thinking that just because a man is paying her attention that he is husband material, with this feeling, women can start expressing inappropriate feelings, saying I love you and making their man run a mile. This stage is also known as the chasing stage for men.
This is the second crucial stage, when we are working out whether this is the right person for us or not. Without understanding this stage we can falsely think that because we have feelings of uncertainty that this is not the right person for us. I work with lots of clients who are ready to give up at this stage; with my help many of them continue with the relationship and end up being very happy. At this stage, it is easy for men and women to drift away and move onto the next conquest. It is a time when we can dismiss potential partners for petty and ridiculous reasons such as the shape of their legs or the socks they wear. There is a danger at this stage of not getting to know the other person better and allowing the relationship to grow.
3. Initial commitment
This is the third stage, where you want to enter into a monogamous relationship and stop dating anyone else, otherwise known as exclusivity. This is the time to drop your guard a little, relax and spend more time with your partner. You have to be careful at this stage not to get too complacent; don’t stop making an effort to make your partner feel special, which can include dressing to impress our partners, romantic gestures and arranging special dates.
This is the stage where you experience true intimacy and you can be more relaxed and let your partner see your best as well as your worst side. This is a time to make sure that you don’t let comfort turn into boredom so you need to make sure that you’re not getting stuck in a routine and make sure you bring variety into your relationship.
5. Lifelong commitment
This is when you feel certain that you are with the person you want to marry or make a lifelong commitment to. The four previous stages prepare you for this stage. Before getting married or making a lifelong commitment, you gather positive experiences to help you through the tough times and learn how to resolve conflict within your relationships.
If you get stuck in one of the first four stages for what feels too long, this is a warning sign that the relationship may not be right for you or heading in the right direction.