No matter how commitment phobic a person is, somewhere deep down inside is a desire to find that special someone that they can spend the rest of their lives with. You might want to find that special someone but it can be a nightmare trying to find the one that you hope and pray is right for you. As you build your relationship you have to navigate a minefield of communication problems, tantrums, feelings and emotions. Once you have found that special someone then the work really begins and you need to commit yourself to working at your relationship for the rest of your life. Whilst the stages of a relationship are relatively simple at least in theory, how the relationship progresses rarely is.
All relationships begin when you meet someone who strikes a chord with you. Many people regard that moment as the point that they fall in love, and I’m sorry to be such a misery but the first stage is not love, it’s infatuation. Although I have to admit that falling in love sounds a lot more romantic that falling in infatuation. Infatuation is where you start to build your first tenuous bond to your potential mate. It’s a very loose connection and it’s there to give you the opportunity to get to know each other better, and whilst it might be a tenuous bond, the passion between you is intense.
After a while you start to get used to each other, it’s no longer an exciting adventure and the initial magic starts to fade. This point is probably the most crucial of all the stages of a relationship because this is there first time that you really discover just how much of a connection you have with each other. If during the infatuation stage you never really connected then this is the first point at which you could break up with each other. On the other hand, if you still feel something for each other and you both want to explore that feeling, then this is where the fun starts.
While you were in the infatuation stage you had an intense passion driving you on and when that goes your relationship can feel a bit empty and if you never really connected you could be struggling to see a way forward. It’s at this point that you see your partner for who they are for the very first time which can come as a shock, because whilst you were in the infatuation stage there might have been things about your partner that you were able to ignore, not any more.
When you start to see faults in your partner or that you see that they are not as perfect as you first thought then you might start wondering how you can change them, for their own good of course. Your partner undoubtedly has some habits that could really do with changing such as excavating and devouring the contents of their nostrils in public. You could end up making your partner a better person if you just get rid of some of their more cosmetic habits, BUT the problem is can you stop there, or will you try to change who they are. If you succeed in changing who your partner is then are they still the person that you fell in love with and will you still be able to love them? And of course if they resist the change then it will probably push you apart. And don’t forget, you could have habits that drive them nuts as well. The odds against you finding a partner who is perfect in every way are astronomical, learn to be happy with whoever you have fallen in love with and don’t try to ruin it.
So long as you are still speaking to each other you learn how to communicate with each other. You will find out what makes your partner tick, their wants and needs, their hopes and dreams. This is the point where you start to grow your friendship which if it is allowed to develop will in time become love. I’m sad to say that far to many couples lose the ability to really with each other which is a pity because communication is what brought you together, what nurtured and developed your relationship, and without communication you have no relationship. A breakdown in communication destroys more marriages and relationship than anything else, so never, ever stop talking with each other.
If there is enough of a connection between you then you will come to accept your partner for who they are, and you will love them for the unique individual that they are. Your bond of love, friendship and caring will be much deeper and if you have not reached that stage just yet you will be approaching the stage of being in a committed relationship. You know that neither of you is perfect, but you accept that because those imperfections are a part of who you are. By now you have realised that your partner cannot fulfil all your needs and you are happy to accept what they offer you. By this point you should also have realised that you are responsible for your own happiness.
Finally you reach the stage where you are a couple which is (hopefully) committed to creating the very best relationship that you can. You share each others live, you are each others best friends, and you are each the first person that your partner turns to in times of need. You are totally committed to each other and you have a shared vision for your future together.
At some point you may or may not have children just as you may or may not get married. The important thing is that you both move forward together because it’s what you both want, and that you are both happy together.
Should you get married make sure that it is for the right reasons, namely because it’s something that you both want! Everything that has led you to this point was a training ground. Once you are married and joined together then the work of building a life long relationship truly begins. You will go through moments where it becomes difficult you might have to face some serious problems along the way, but if you remain committed to each other and your marriage, and if you work at creating the best possible life together then you should be okay.
The stages of a relationship can be a rocky road but if it is meant to be then it will happen. Whatever you do, do not try to develop a relationship if the basics of friendship and caring are not there. When you move forward you have to move together, both of you have to want this relationship to happen, and both of you have to work to make it happen. You will have problems along the way, and some of them may be serious, but as long as you keep working together then you should keep growing together.