Whether we notice it or not, almost everything evolves in stages. The four seasons describe the passage of time from one year to the next. We all grow by moving from infancy, adolescence and into adulthood. As we progress through life we change and relationships are no different. Typically a relationship can be split into 5 stages. Hopefully you’ll recognise where you currently are, where you were and where you’re heading. Take a look.
Just like they say, love is blind. The rose glasses block out any potential problems on the horizon and happiness and adoration rule the day. This means there is little conflict. You may feel like this will last forever.
Also known as the disenchantment stage. The rose spell is broken and you come to realise that your partner is not a perfect human being. They have flaws and make mistakes just like everybody else. Annoying little habits you never noticed before appear out of nowhere. Communication during this time is important – both partners tend to become unsure when the blissfulness begins to wear off.
Life’s disappointments begin to mount and the prospect of commitment doesn’t seem as fun anymore. Instead it feels daunting. Sometimes you start to resent the fact that your partner doesn’t behave like they used to or that they don’t agree. Stress from work, bills and maybe children can feel overwhelming. These changes can lead to doubt about the relationship or threats to leave it entirely.
After surviving stage 3 you typically evolved into a deeper level of love and trust, this all feels much more peaceful and meaningful. This intimacy has formed a solidly bonded friendship where you both feel comfortable at exploring your own dreams – However wild they may be. This newfound independence is important so as to resist the temptation of becoming bored and content with the same routine for long periods of time. Growth is needed at every stage but try not to become so distracted that you lose sight of where your relationships headed.
Acceptance of all your partner’s faults and failings forms a committed team. Neither of you feel as though you are struggling for individuality but instead enjoy spending life together for the long run.
Knowing where you both want to head enables you to work towards it. Doing this prevents the relationship from stalling. An excellent way to do this is through couples counselling. If this applies to you get in touch with Birmingham Counselling Services at: http://birminghamcounsellingservices.co.uk/