A Guide to the 7 Relationship Stages

A Guide to the 7 Relationship Stages
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Understand the stages of a relationship

Long-term relationships can be intimidating, and even between the best of couples, the road to love has its ups and downs. Such growing pains are reflected in a phenomenon known as “the seven stages of love.” These seven stages of relationship development are a challenging but necessary part of any long-term romantic connection.

Being able to identify your current phase, understand what it means broadly, and what you need to do to move to the next level gives you the tools you need to complete your Making your relationship a success — or deciding when to end it quits. Either way, the seven relationship stages are key to finding and building a healthy, happy romantic connection.

Stage 1: infatuation

That’s what most people think of when they picture young love. The birds are chirping, the glass is half full, and the “love” chemicals (like dopamine and phenylethylamine) are flowing freely, leaving you feeling happy, invincible, and on top of the world. This phase often starts on the first date and ends on the day you see your interesting person for who they really are (good or bad). To get through this honeymoon phase, don’t let the “high” cloud your judgment of the person you’re dating. That said, don’t be lured into staying with an incompatible partner. Many broken hearts have their roots in a dysfunction from this phase that belongs to lovers who have overlooked or ignored the writing on the wall.

Stage 2: Discovery

In certain circumstances, such as when you’ve found a romantic soulmate, the discovery phase can be a wonderful experience (although even with a soulmate, that’s not always the case). Most of the time, however, this will be a daunting time. As relationships wear off, the love chemicals in the brain begin to dry up—along with your perfect perception of the person you were with. A person you once thought was flawless is actually a human being, complete with odd quirks, bad habits, and views different from your own. The key to getting past this stage is figuring out what you really need from your partner while learning to let go of all the little fussy things that don’t matter. If you find that one of you cannot fulfill what the other really needs, it may be time to move on. But if you can and learn to accept each other for who you really are, you will move on to the next phase.

Stage 3: Monogamy

When you decide to move beyond the second phase of a relationship, you will emerge with a new understanding of your partner. This stage provides reassurance and confidence that you are with the right person and you will settle into a committed relationship. This sense of exclusivity or trust is a wonderful change from the jealousy and insecurity of the first two stages, but you now have a new enemy: monotony and boredom. Many couples become so relaxed that they forget to keep the spark alive with regular doses of romance and surprise. The most effective way to get through this stage is to learn how to communicate effectively with each other.

Stage 4: Conflict

Occasionally, when a couple is truly committed to each other, they may eventually lapse into conflict. They may even get into a power struggle. In stage three you work on your partnership. In phase four, however, everyone involved will rediscover their individuality and ability to control the relationship.

The goal here is for each partner to have roughly equal “impact” on the relationship. For example, maybe you started fishing because your partner enjoys it, but now you want them to do some of the things you love. Or maybe you want the kitchen to be blue, but you’d much rather be red. Will you insist on getting your way, or will you find a middle ground – perhaps by weighing who chooses the colors for each room, or finding another color that you both like? The key to working through these arguments is that each acknowledge and respect each other’s individuality, and the best way to do that is through compromise.

Stage 5: Growth & Stability

The fifth stage consists of a “growth spurt” of intimacy coupled with a sense of new stability. They say that shared trauma can bring unhappy lovers together, and in phase five, a relationship that was once in turmoil was reconnected through a common goal: to help each other grow both as individuals and as partners. Here you may learn how you have sabotaged relationships in the past and how you can change these behaviors. This is a phase that you and a partner can work through at your own pace. Just be careful not to fall victim to the resentment that can arise when people compromise too much to meet a partner’s needs or dreams without communicating their own expectations. To get through this phase, find a balance where you both feel supported and content with the balance you have achieved.

Stage 6: Mature love

If you thought young love was wonderful, wait until you experience mature love. Couples who have been together long enough to get through the first five stages of a relationship know the difference between amorous love and mature love. Infatuation is built on obsession, sexual desire, and jealousy—while mature love is built on comfort, communication, sexual chemistry, and safety. The hardest part of this stage is the nurturing that is required for such a deep level of communication and intimacy. It is easy to fall back to a lower stage once a crisis has developed, so constant effort and attention is required.

Phase 7: Crisis & Recovery

This phase can technically occur at any time or during any other phase. However, due to its advanced nature, this is generally considered the final phase of any relationship. A crisis can involve illness, job loss, death in the family, or even an affair. Recovery lies in resisting the urge to take frustrations and problems out on each other and instead taking on the roles of both caregiver and patient. A crisis can be stressful for everyone involved, so it’s important that you are willing to give and accept support.

The truth is, sometimes a crisis spells the end of a relationship—whether it’s through damaged trust or simply a change in the needs of one or both people. That’s okay and doesn’t take away from all the love that came before. The good news, however, is that when you recover, you’ll have gained valuable team-building experience and can return to one of the other phases with the confidence of being better prepared for other crises.

Why the different phases of a relationship are important

Dealing with the seven relationship stages may seem like quite a struggle. However, every serious relationship moves through them, whether they mean it or not. Understanding what these stages are and how to go through them – and when it’s impossible for you to take the next step – will prepare you to find the partner who is the best fit for you. At the end, you’ll be able to look back at your progress through these stages and see how they’ve impacted your relationship with your significant other, and you may find that it makes you a stronger team.

If you are unsure which relationship stage you are in or would like some insight into how to take advantage of the seven relationship stages, consider contacting a love mediator for advice and support.

There’s nothing worse than romantic insecurity, but you don’t have to navigate the ups and downs of love on your own. A love medium is always available to help and a Psychic Love Reading is just what you need to set your relationship on the path to eternity. Learn more about our psychics from real testimonials. For more insight into love and your astrological chart, get yours free birth horoscope report or look at yours Weekly love horoscope.

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