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The 5 Phases of a Relationship every couple goes through

The 5 Phases of a Relationship every couple goes through

Relationship therapists often refer to the stages or phases of a relationship. There are 5 phases of a relationship: the Excitement phase, the Doubt phase, the Challenging phase, the Personal phase, and the Trustworthy phase. Let us look at how they seamlessly integrate into a relationship journey and what they do to the couple involved.
Relationships are the most beautiful means to understand life. You learn to love, live, and thrive through relationships. Every relationship has a starting point. They are sometimes most exciting and sometimes most unnoticed, but every relationship has something to offer. Especially when it comes to couple relationships, this knowledge helps a lot.

The Excitement Phase

A couple who has just entered into a relationship is initially in a phase of great excitement and attraction, which is the first phase of a relationship. The partners often see each other through all-great rose-tinted glasses. Everything about the partner looks perfect. The simple thought of having your partner beside you makes the butterflies in your stomach dance wildly. Just a few moments of imagination would increase your heartbeat. In this relationship phase, you are more inclined to daydreaming. You would crazily wait for those moments to be together. Outsiders can easily identify this behaviour in couples, which they can’t control because of their hormones. The Serotonin hormone gets released, making you fall into a euphoric state of happiness, and dopamine shoots up, rewarding this. Unfortunately, during this phase, both partners are blind to the other person’s weaknesses. This initial excitement phase usually lasts between 3 and 18 months, varying in length and intensity in different couples.

An engaged couple holding hands
An engaged couple holding hands

If you are newly in love, enjoy those flirty sensations, tingling butterflies, lovely feelings, exciting moments and ecstatic sex! Because, inevitably, this phase will soon come to an end. Yes, as harsh as it may sound, it will. Those rose-tinted glasses would fade away, and those butterflies would just disappear. But of course, though the excitement cools down, the second stage can help you build the roots of your relationship.

The Doubt Phase

Slowly, day by day, as the rosy tint wears off, you will get to see each other’s personalities. You would understand that there is more to know about your partner and everything is not as perfect as it sounds. It is common for every couple in this stage that all the peculiarities, weaknesses, worries, flaws, and fears of the partner come into the picture. You both need to talk to each other and understand your differences. It helps in dealing with the upcoming issues between you both. During this process, you would know if love can develop between you both.
When does this happen? During this stage, disillusionment sets in, making you realize how different the partner is from you. After the initial stage, you will slowly feel that petting is not your type and that cuddling for warmth has been more than enough. One of the partners will start having this feeling, and slowly the other also tends to have the same. You will start caring about your own life again. The partners notice with astonishment that the other has strengths and sides that the prince charming or the dream woman should not have. Suppose the differences and issues are not addressed smoothly. In that case, chances are there for separation, just as many couples do. Hence the doubt phase throws a doubtful thought about the future of this relationship.

The Challenging phase

Though you manage to pass the second stage, the third is sure to throw a Googly at you, which could lead to a crack in your relationship. Every relationship needs clearly defined boundaries to have it run smoothly and long. You would have recently discovered your partner’s habits and activities of daily living. Hence it is understood that everyone has their mindset and idiosyncrasies, which can sometimes get on your nerves in everyday life. You will now start to wonder if you would be fit to be together.

Are you having couple issues?
Are you having couple issues?

Your conversations would turn into arguments, and accusations like, “You never listen” and “You are always like this” would become common. It happens because we are preoccupied thought that all our values and habits are universal and secretly think that our partner is not binding to the rules. We think that they are challenging our patience. A wet towel on the bed, an unfolded blanket, a half-opened cupboard, or maybe some half-eaten evening snack scattered on the floor can annoy you. Any optimistic partner thinks that they can educate and remodel their partner. Unfortunately, in most cases, it is proven a myth! If you have a future with your partner, accept all the imperfections, too, to fit in your dream.
So, if you want to challenge the oddities by accepting everything as it is, here’s some good news for you. The couples who get through this phase are more likely to find themselves in calmer waters later. As said earlier, both partners must learn to respect each other’s differences and accept them as they are for a long-lasting relationship.

The Personal phase

After knowing this much, the focus shifted from the “we” concept to the “I”. As you have been thinking about what you both would love to do together to get along, now just comes to an end. You feel more need to focus on your personal development. Instead of looking for the things and activities that are good for you both, you now concentrate on what makes you calmer and more peaceful.
The need for personality development in all areas is clearly seen, and you would start to work on that. Starting from your hobbies, career, health, finances, and physical and emotional health, you give a rain check. It is good that both partners would reflect on themselves during this personal phase to focus on their personality development individually.

The Trustworthy phase

Coming to the final stage of your relationship, you can give yourself a pat on the back that you had been through all the difficult phases to witness this day. Your relationship can now turn out to be a trustworthy one. You both now understand that you both enrich each other and can support each other. You have been through a lot together, overcoming small and large crises. Now, after all this, you know each other very well and are ready to accept all the imperfections which have actually welded both of you together. After the personal phase, as you take care of yourself more, you understand what everyone needs. You, both being good partners, can give each other freedom and trust in this final phase and call it a lifelong relationship. Now you both can live together and independently, harmoniously, without either partner feeling neglected. With this phase, you reach a point where there are no more unrealistic expectations, no masquerade, and you don’t project anything onto your partner that they can’t fulfil.

Meet your relationship counsellor
Meet your relationship counsellor

A realization that every relationship includes similarities and differences has now prevailed, and hence the conflicts are resolved more constructively than before. As you understand the reality of relationships, you are ready for a life-long relationship that has a high chance of a “lived happily ever after.”