Relationships are full of ups and downs. There are moments where you feel like your partner is the best thing in the world, and moments where you may have to be content with them being just another person. But by understanding what some of these stages are called, you can better identify what stage your relationship may be in, and prepare accordingly for either success or failure. All relationships go through these stages; it’s up to you to work through them together, or fall apart alone.
There’s a lot that goes into a relationship: fighting, cuddling, breakups, makeups. One thing that can be rather overlooked is the fluidity of your relationship. It’s something that’s talked about more with dating, but just like a high school relationship doesn’t last forever, so does a long-term relationship not go through a set number of stages.
And although we may want to feel like our relationships must fall into neat little boxes or stage-like categories, it doesn’t work that way; each person and each relationship is different. There are some general commonalities, though, so this article will attempt to explain what those things are and how you can use this knowledge to your benefit in the future.
The Stages of A Relationship
1. Initiating the Relationship
At the beginning of the relationship, you both may feel a bit awkward. Nerves and butterflies are common with any new relationship; you’re both trying to figure out what the other person is like, and how you feel about them. But after this phase has passed, things start to become more natural. There’s definitely an energy between you two that feels like it could last for a while – maybe not forever, but at least well enough into your future together that it could be a hindrance if you tried to end it.
2. The Hot and Heavy Stage
After the awkward stage of the relationship, you’ve made it past the hard part, and are now in the ‘hot and heavy’ stage. This is where you’ll be spending most of your time together. You’ll continue to get along just fine, though there may be some problems that arise from time to time as a result of getting too comfortable with each other. These problems will more than likely work themselves out in a couple days; however, more serious issues can crop up later on down the road if they aren’t resolved properly.
3. The Breakup
Yes, this can be a stage that a relationship progresses through. That’s right; not all relationships are meant to last forever, and sometimes it is better to end it now before someone gets hurt. If you break up with them here and things go smoothly, you may even stay friends with each other afterwards. But if you break up at this stage and the breakup isn’t handled in the proper manner, the next stage of your relationship will be worse than if you had stayed together.
4. The Post-Breakup Phase
This is usually where people run into trouble after a breakup. After your breakup, you tend to feel the need to get out of your head and move on with your life. And sometimes, this means finding someone else to move on with. If you move on from this stage too quickly, however, there’s a good chance that you’ll find yourself in a downward spiral of misery so until you can work through these feelings and desire for companionship again, don’t jump right into another relationship if the one that ended is still fresh in your mind.
5. The Making-Up Stage
The making-up stage is definitely an important one in any relationship; if you’re not going through the making-up stage then chances are there’s something wrong with your relationship. The worst thing you can do after a breakup, or even a fight, is to go cold turkey on the relationship. Make sure that while you’re working through your issues with each other and with yourself, for that matter that you’re also continually showing affection towards one another.