7 relationship stages every long-term couple goes through
While no two relationships are the same, many couples experience similar stages that correspond to the age of their relationship and its challenges.
For many couples, things are rosy keen in the earlier stages but take a turn for the worse as the initial euphoria wears off. If one thing is for sure, it’s that relationship take work.
Just because you’re going through a difficult stage doesn’t mean the relationship is over, but conversely, these stages come and go, so the good ones aren’t meant to last forever either.
What determines the success of your relationship is how you navigate each of the stages together.
1. The awkward stage
You know that stage when you both like each other but are too scared to make a move? Yep, that’s the awkward sage. It doesn’t look the same for every couple. Some duos may have already hooked up, whereas others have barely said a few words to each other. But what’s memorable about this stage is it’s when you’re both figuring out the other person’s feelings and what you’ll do about it.
2. The ‘are we dating?’ stage
After it’s been confirmed that both of you like one another comes the awkward phase in which you’ll question your official relationship status. As the two of you get to know each other better and spend more time together, it’ll bring you closer together and also closer to that uncomfortable conversation when you question the exclusivity of your relationship. We’ve all been there!
3. The honeymoon stage
This phase comes around the time the two of you decide that, yes, it’s official. You’ll be head over heels for your significant other, so much so you’ll question whether it’s possible to ever feel this way about another person. You’ll crave spending all your time with your lover and will miss them terribly when you’re apart.
4. The first fight stage
Whether you fought over something big or small, most couples can remember the moment their honeymoon phase was shattered by their first fight. Even if the subject of the argument was inconsequential, nothing compares to the gut-wrenching feeling of realizing your relationship, and more specifically, your significant other isn’t perfect.
5. The partnership stage
While you may no longer get butterflies in the pit of your stomach when hanging out one-on-one, the partnership stage is special in and of itself. It’s when you begin to see how compatible you are with your significant other. You no longer see each other as just boyfriend and girlfriend. Rather, you’ve found a life partner. You’re no longer lovers but are a team.
6. The crisis stage
What goes up must come down, as they say. This phase comes after your relationship has been on a high for what seems like forever. Between the honeymoon stage, partnering up, and navigating your first fight together, your bond likely feels unbreakable… until it doesn’t anymore. The crisis stage comes when you first begin questioning if the relationship is made to last.
7. The deep affection stage
You can enter this stage ever after going through what feels like a crisis in your relationship. As much as the highs have brought you closer together, so have the low points. You’ve likely been together for years, but even after all of the dark times you’ve weathered together, you’ll begin to see everything you’ve overcome as a testament to your love.
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