Have you ever wondered: Why is our relationship so difficult? Things were so perfect when we met, what happened? Most likely, the answer is that you left the first stage of your relationship and moved to another. But could it really be that easy?

Yes! Most people understand that relationships grow and change over time … but what many people do not know is that they tend to evolve in the same way. There are specific and defined stages of long-term relationships that offer new feelings, new challenges to overcome and new opportunities for growth. And if you want your relationship to become one of mutual respect, love and intimacy, you may have to experience all of the following stages of relationship at some time or another. Take a look at the description of each phase: Does it sound familiar?

Before starting, you should know that most people experience these stages in this order, and they must solve the challenges at each stage before they can successfully move on to the next. Of course there are always exceptions to this rule. But for the most part, you can not stop experiencing all these stages if you want a healthy and satisfying relationship. Each pair will move through these stages at different speeds, and most people will experience each stage more than once; It is common to fluctuate from one stage to another. *

Well, now that I’ve given you the basic information, let’s dig a little deeper …

Stage 1 – The romantic stage

This is also known as the courtship phase or fantasy stage, and can last from 2 months to 2 years. This is when you and your partner have just met, and everything is absolutely incredible. You can not get tired of each other. Neither can do anything bad in the eyes of the other … mainly because both are still in their best behavior. The focus in this stage is on the common points: you have so many common interests, you can practically be the same person! You show your partner your absolute best self and try to please each other as much as possible. The conflict is seen as “bad” at this stage, and is avoided at all costs. You can not imagine living without this person, so you start spending as much time together as possible. This is the stage in which our defenses are lower, which allows you to be open and fall in love. You and your partner are building an important foundation at this stage, so that your relationship can grow. There are also biological effects. When you are in this stage, your body is producing huge amounts of endorphins, which makes you feel unusually happy, positive and excited about everything in your life (that’s the feeling of “head on heels in love” !). This is the stage most often depicted in movies and romantic novels, for obvious reasons. In short: you are happier than you have ever been, and you can not imagine feeling ever different.

Stage 2 – The stage of disappointment

This stage is also known as the familiarization stage, or the adjustment phase to reality. This is where you begin to realize that your partner is really a human being (horror of horrors!). They get to know each other more and more and, as a result, they begin to recognize their various shortcomings and deficiencies. You see your partner in relaxed situations and you feel more relaxed too. As your body can not continue to produce the same levels of endorphins you had at the beginning, the feelings of being on top of the world begin to diminish. Your partner’s little habits are no longer as cute as they used to be, but there is still enough goodwill from Romance Stage so you can ignore them. This stage can begin to flow in your relationship slowly, as you begin to see your partner for who he really is. Or sometimes it happens suddenly, when there has been some kind of dishonesty or deception. This phase can be confusing and discouraging, as you have just experienced a lot of openness and connection in the Romance Stage. However, at this stage, your main job is to learn how to communicate and resolve conflicts with this person effectively, which is an important skill if you want your relationship to continue.

Stage 3 – The power struggle stage

This stage is also known as the phase of disappointment or relief stage. As the characteristics of the disillusion phase intensify, they become increasingly difficult to deal with. Most likely they start to move away from each other at this stage. At this point, both continue to believe that conflict is something “bad”, but they are increasingly aware of their many differences. Struggles to draw limits in the relationship and, as a result, even small discomforts become big problems. This is the stage at which unacceptable behavior is defined, and most couples have occasional or frequent thoughts of leaving the relationship. More and more often, you begin to feel that your partner is self-centered or carefree, or even worse, that you simply can not trust them. Deep resentments start to grow if you can not solve your problems in a respectful and mutually acceptable way. Many couples are stuck at this stage, because this way of interacting becomes normal in their relationship. This is when it is absolutely necessary to learn to manage your differences effectively, to communicate and work as a team, although it is tempting to believe that the only purpose of your partner on Earth is to make your life difficult. It is not surprising that this is the stage in which most couples find themselves when they decide to separate or request a divorce. However, if they are able to negotiate all landmines during this phase, they will move to …

Stage 4 – The stability stage

This is a quiet and peaceful time, compared to the last stage. This stage is also known as the friendship phase or the reconciliation stage. Some couples never reach this stage, but those that do find that they have deeper feelings of love, connection and trust with their partner. Now they have history together, and most people begin to trust in the predictability of the relationship. When you enter this stage, you begin to realize that your partner is not perfect, but your personal differences are no longer as threatening as they used to be. You can solve most of your differences, at least to some extent, and you become more secure in the relationship. Some people feel a sense of loss at this stage as they learn to accept their partner for what they really are, since this means that they must abandon the fantasy that was established from the beginning in the relationship. But for the most part, the deep sense of friendship and commitment is a good compensation for those early feelings of butterflies and emotion. This is also when you start to reestablish your own interests and external friendships, which were abandoned in the Romance Phase. There is a danger that you will begin to distance yourself or be bored with your partner in this phase, so you should try to maintain the connection that was created in the Romance Phase. In general, this is the stage where you finally begin to feel comfortable and happy with your deepening relationship.

Stage 5 – The commitment stage

This stage is also known as the acceptance phase, the transformation stage or the actual love phase. It is estimated that less than 5% of couples reach this stage, according to The Relationship Institute. This is the stage in which both couples have a clear idea of who their partner is, faults, weaknesses and weaknesses in abundance … however, they make a conscious decision to be with this person despite all these things (and in some cases). cases, for those things). You are no longer with your partner because you need them, but because you have chosen them, which means that the level of resentment that you felt in the Struggle for Power Phase has diminished, if it has not disappeared. If you have reached this stage, you and your partner are a team. You genuinely love your partner and take care of their best interests as well as taking care of yours. Your partner is your best friend. There are few surprises about your partner’s habits or character in this phase. They have collaborated to overcome many challenges together and have grown to accept and support each other without restrictions. Your vision for your relationship is in congruence with who you are and what you both really want. They have discussed their future together: they have similar life goals and are encouraged to define their relationship even more. Many couples decide to make a formal or public commitment to each other at this stage (such as marriage) to demonstrate their intention to continue their relationship. This is the stage in which your relationship becomes a true association.