Apr 22, 2012
Truthfully, I was going to do an article about how you each need to define what you consider to be a committed relationship so there is no misunderstanding and hurt, but after reading the other article I wanted to explore some of that information with you since I thought it was very eye opening.
The article basically said that there are 5 distinct stages in most relationships, 4 stages you and your partner need to get through in order to even reach the commitment stage.
So, I guess it's about more than just defining whether or not you and your partner can see other people!
Here is a synopsis of the 5 stages of a relationship:
1. I'm sure you can guess this stage: the romance stage. This is what many of us think about when we think about being in love. This is the fireworks part of the relationship the part where we can't stand to be apart from each other.
The part where we can't even imagine that our partner may have any flaws let alone actually acknowledge those flaws. To a degree, this is the fun part.
2. Next, we start moving from the "honeymoon" stage more into a reality stage. The transition from one stage to another can be fast or slow depending on the couple and the circumstances.
In a lot of cases moving from stage one to stage two will happen fairly slowly and there will still be a lot of the "warm, fuzzy" that you had in stage one. But, now you may start to realize your partner is capable of having flaws and those flaws may not be quite so cute and disarming as they were in stage one.
3. Now you have the power struggle stage. At this stage not only have you fully acknowledged your partner isn't perfect, you are starting to get ticked off at their behavior. Resentments are starting to grow. This is the stage where it feels like your partner is deliberately trying to make you mad or unhappy.
This is the point where you and your partner must learn to deal with your differences in a constructive way. If you don't, you are setting the rules and dynamics for the rest of your relationship... and it won't be pretty.
4. The next stage is when the pendulum begins to swing back closer to where it was in stage one. You may not have the fireworks, but you will have found common ground and the two of you will have learned how to effectively communicate and work through your issues.
Usually, in this stage, there is a lot of peace and you feel like a true partnership or team.
Unfortunately, most couples will never make it to this stage, or beyond.
5. And finally, the commitment stage. This is the stage where you both realize that your partner isn't perfect, but you love them and have learned to accept them, warts and all. This is the stage where the real, long lasting magic happens!
Wow, who knew there was so much to a committed relationship? It's kind of neat, though rather un-sexy, to have it all spelled out like this. What stage are you and your partner in right now?
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