8 Vital Stages Of A Relationship: Tips To Swim Through Them

Vital Stages Of A Relationship

Infatuation, love, courtship, marriage. This is how love progresses. When we are in love, we are so immersed in that feeling that we don’t really care about the stage at which our relationship is. But did you know that a relationship has several stages?

The intensity of love varies depending on whether you have just fallen in love or have been married for 20 years. And that is how the stages are built. When you cross one, the other waits for you to conquer.

Curious to know more? MomJunction tells you about the different stages of a relationship and how you can navigate through them to make your bond a success.

The Eight Stages Of A Relationship

Relationships are not always planned, they just happen. The most successful relationships go through eight predictable stages. And here they are:

1. Infatuation and romance stage

The relationship starts off with an intense infatuation for each other and a feeling of ‘I cannot live without you’.

You are so attracted to each other that you focus only on the positive aspects and tend to overlook each other’s flaws.

You are occupied with your lover’s thoughts, and the only thing you want is to meet them and be with them. Hence, this phase is also called as the ‘addiction’ phase. The feeling of being in love is similar to being on a ‘high’.

You can’t get enough of sex, and get physical the moment you get a chance.

You fantasize a beautiful life together sharing similar dreams and visions and deny all feelings of differences by being dependent on each other.

Infatuation and romance stage

Image: iStock

Tips to survive this phase:

  • Romance is glorified in movies and books, but it’s not all that rosy in real life. The fact is that romance doesn’t last forever; you have to keep it alive by putting in conscious efforts.
  • If you are serious about your relationship, then do not ignore the traits that you dislike in your lover. This is the right stage for you to decide if you can continue to love your partner with those shortcomings.

Turning a blind eye towards them will make it difficult for you to survive the next stage.

[ Read: What Is Relationship Anxiety ]

2. Accommodation stage

You spend hours together talking and understanding each other. You get to know each other’s exes, likes, dislikes, and interests. You begin to see the ‘real side’ of your partner.

You start creating an opinion about your partner and have expectations. You are elated when the expectations are met. But when they are repeatedly not met, you are disappointed.

Gradually, the differences start creeping in and once the high diminishes, you wake up next to an incompatible person, leaving a hangover of ‘how on earth did I love this person’.

Accommodation stage

Image: iStock

Tips to survive this phase:

  • Spend time understanding yours and your partner’s needs.
  • Trying to change your partner is a futile exercise. Instead, focus your energy on changing yourself and strive to become a better partner so that your partner is motivated to change themselves.
  • However, if you think that the differences are too profound to be adjusted with, then reconsider your relationship goals.

Having clarity during the accommodation stage is crucial to meet the challenges in the next stage.

3. Challenge stage

This is the phase when anger, frustration, and disappointment sets in. It’s only when life throws challenges at you that you get to test the strength of your relationship.

During this stage, you try to understand your partner’s needs though you might find it difficult to meet them because you feel your needs are not being met.

You become uncomfortable and annoyed with your partner’s habits, needs, and wants. So both the partners try to change each other’s behavior.

There is a struggle for power and when both partners are dominating, the relationship either suffers or ends. You become vulnerable to attractions outside your relationship and might be tempted to cheat on your partner.

Challenge stage

Image: iStock

In this stage, couples have the risk of doing one of these two undesirable things:

i. They try to find a quick exit and break up. Such people are not committed; they keep looking for love but end up disappointed.

ii. They continue the relationship with pain and frustration and get stagnant instead of growing in their relationship. Such relationships fall flat over a period.

[ Read: Emotionally Abusive Relationship ]

Tips to survive this phase:

  • Think about ways to handle conflicts without disturbing the love between you two.
  • Keeping quiet about your unhappiness won’t solve the problem; therefore, talk to your partner and express your feelings.
  • Do not resort to blame game or yell at them, but make sure they understand your point.

How the couples sail through this stage paves the way to the next phase.

4. Complete trust stage

This is the stage where you are happy with each other and trusts each other completely. You acquire the ability to predict your partner’s behavior and actions. However, this is also the time when you tend to take each other for granted.

Complete trust stage

Image: iStock

Tips to work on this phase:

  • Don’t take your relationship for granted.
  • Invest time and effort in your relationship and continue to love and appreciate your partner.

When everything is going smooth between you both, you will become more vocal about your sexual desires, and that leads to the next stage.

[ Read: Trust In Relationship ]

5. Sexual exploration stage

Your sex life peaks at this stage. You might want to try ways to make it interesting as the passion that you had in the initial stage might come down by now.

However, there is a risk of your libido falling. If there are differences in your sexual life, either of you might start having an affair.

Sexual exploration stage

Image: iStock

Tips to work on this phase:

  • Never ignore the role of sex as an essential ingredient of a successful relationship.
  • The more sexually active you are, the more romantic the relationship becomes. Hence, understand your partner’s sexual needs, express your needs to your partner, and make it work for both of you.

A good sex life, along with understanding and communication, stabilizes your bond with your partner.

6. Stability stage

The very fact that you have reached this stage means that both of you have met each other’s expectations. You have already faced several challenges and dealt with them.

This is a matured and evolved stage where you accept each other’s differences and focus on making peace rather than trying to change each other. You learn from your mistakes instead of wasting your energies in fixing things.

Your love for each other deepens and matures. You accept the fact that your partner is different from you and respect each other’s boundaries. Love and connection are intense at this stage.

Stability stage

Image: iStock

Tips to work on this phase:

This is a comfort zone so don’t get so attached to stability that your relationship suffers.

  • For your relationship to evolve there has to be a change; so step out of your comfort zone and explore your relationship from various angles to attain new heights.
  • Work together on your interests, support each other in your careers, and plan your future.

Such minor improvements will make you and your partner commit to a long-term relationship.

[ Read: Insecurity And Jealousy In Relationship ]

7. Commitment stage

In this stage, you accept and surrender to the reality of your relationship with all its strengths and shortcomings. You love and trust each other accepting all the good and bad things.

You don’t worry about losing your partner as there is trust, safety, and love. You remain committed to your relationship. However, it doesn’t mean you can simply ignore each others’ expectations.

Commitment stage

Image: iStock

Tips to work on this phase:

  • Your partner might love you with all your shortcomings but it doesn’t mean they do not want you to change.
  • Make an effort to bring in changes in your life to please your partner.
  • Surprise them with something that they wouldn’t have expected of you.

Such things will spice up your relationship and cement it forever.

8. Co-creation stage

In this stage, you choose to move ahead in your relationship as a team. You appreciate and love each other in more ways than one. You work together in projects and contribute to the society.

The trap in this stage is that you might spend too much time in contributing to the world and forget to give time to your relationship.

Co-creation stage

Image: iStock

Tips to work on this phase:

  • Relationships are like plants; if you don’t nurture them they die. So take time to nurture your bond.
  • Make sure to go on a date regularly, buy some gifts for each other, and be generous with your compliments for each other.

[ Read: Arguments In Relationship ]

Your relationship with your partner strengthens as you pass from one stage to the next. However, there is no timeframe for each stage, and also these stages might run simultaneously or overlap. Therefore, do not worry if you are unable to relate to a few of these stages. As long as you and your partner are in love with each other, and secure about the relationship, nothing else should matter.

Relationships are work in progress. You need to constantly invest time and effort to make it stand the tests of times and be resilient.

Which relationship stage are you in right now? Do share your experience by commenting below.

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