Have you ever noticed how your relationship seems to change and morph on a regular basis? Trust me, you are not alone! All relationships go through various phases. Below I’ve outlined the 6 most common relationship phases, what they look like and how they impact your relationship moving forward. What phase do you find your relationship in today?
- Phase 1 – Getting To Know You
- Phase 2 – Passion, Love and Lust
- Phase 3 – Settled In To A Daily Routine
- Phase 4 – How Did We Grow So Far Apart? or Who The Heck Are You and What Did You Do With The Person I Fell In Love With?
- Phase 5 – Renewed Intimacy (or The Slow Burn)
- Phase 6 – Good-bye
Getting to know you
The starting phase for all relationships is focused on getting to know each other. This phase is critical to the future success and longevity of your relationship, whether the relationship is focused on romance, friendship, or business. The more time you spend here and the more you get to know the other person the greater your chances of a long lasting and healthy relationship.
If fundamental differences are identified at this stage of the relationship, it’s easy to walk away without hurt or discomfort being experienced by either party. Clearly, you just weren’t meant to go forward. However, if we ignore our differences early on, we may be setting ourselves up for hurt and heartache down the road. It’s critical that we trust our instincts during this phase and don’t delude ourselves into seeing only those things we want to see.
How many times have you heard someone say, or maybe said it yourself, “Oh, John is such a wonderful person in so many ways, I just wish he wouldn’t do this one thing that drives me crazy? I’m sure that over time he’ll come to see how much it bothers me and stop. And if not, hey, I’m sure I can get used to it”.
Guess what? John isn’t going to change and you won’t get used to it! If something about that person drives you crazy now, it’s only going to get worse over time. Soon, you’ll resent that this behavior hasn’t changed and what was possibly a minor annoyance or flaw will become a constant source of anger and frustration. Had you listened to yourself early on, you could have avoided these feelings and devoted your time to someone that didn’t drive you crazy, or to self-development.
Passion, Love and Lust
In our romantic relationships, getting to know someone often turns to Passion, Love and Lust. This is a natural evolution. You find that you share so much in common with the person, you feel a sense of trust and camaraderie. Before you know it, that quirky looking guy starts to become quite handsome in your eyes and you feel that tingle in your stomach whenever he’s around, or if he brushes against you, or touches your arm or shoulder during a conversation.