Relationships will go through different stages such as merge, doubt, denial, disillusionment and decision and then wholehearted love. All relationships will go through theses multiple times.
These stages can decide the ending of how the relationship works and it will be different times but the cycle that lasts forever.
- Cyclical Stages
Some people think that being in an intimate relationship means that you will have feelings for someone and then you will face little things here and there and then out of nowhere you will reach the stage where you are forever happy.
This is something we see on television, but the truth is, you will have to overcome huge obstacles to stay in a relationship and when one comes, another one is there to come next.
Stages of a relationship are cyclical not linear. People that get to the final stage will sometimes even go back to stage 1 or stage 2. These cycles have been looked at by therapists for years and years and they can identify patterns with them.
Stage 1 is the merging stage. This is the stage where you are happy and blissful, and it is the honeymoon phase. This is when you first get with the person, and you want to spend all of your time with your partner and the sex is great.
People feel that this is the stage where they know that they have met the perfect partner. This can cause them sometimes to forget to set boundaries and to be irrational. The hormones cause infatuation and feel-good feelings that make you forget to look at things like red flags or to ignore the fact that you might not be compatible.
- During the Merging Stage
This is the time that you should love the relationship the most. You need to be aware though that your emotions are strong at this time and take time to look at your relationship and the emotions and see if this person is meant for you.
Notice red flags and notice the differences that you have. Doing this can help you to be in a relationship that is healthy for a longer period of time. Don’t make decisions about love during this time because this is the stage that things can change and fade.
- Doubt and Denial
This is stage 2, and this is when you start to notice that you have differences with your partner. You find that the same things that you loved earlier might not be so great and they might start to be annoying. Their generosity might seem fake, and their adventures might seem risky.
During this stage there can be power struggles and even though there will be love, there will also be annoyances that make you feel that they might not be perfect for you after all.
Disappointment might set in, and it might be your personality that you are trying to fight. You might feel that you need to defend what you believe in, and you might need to stick up for what you value. You aren’t doing everything on your own and you might wonder why they aren’t more like you like you thought.
- Dealing with Doubt and Denial
This is a time in your relationship where you need to figure out how to manage the relationship. When you are facing problems, you need to love and care for each other. The power struggle is there in every relationship, and it doesn’t mean that you can’t make the relationship work out.
You have to know the difference between having a disagreement and having something that is unhealthy. You can work through disagreements but not through unhealthy issues, which should lead to a breakup.
This is the stage where you will notice your differences and it is a time for you to learn your love language and theirs so that you can know what they want to give to show love and what you need to receive in return.
The 3rd stage of the relationship might feel that the relationship is over. This is where the power struggles really come to a head. The issues that you have that you ignored before are now more obvious than ever. You will be ready to fight at the drop of a hat and you feel that you are using all of your energy to invest in things other than the relationship.
This can make the love that you had at first seem like it was never there. You might even question if you want to be committed to this person or if you need to make changes.
- Dealing with Disillusionment
You need to create a space and not hide the problems. You need to go over them, talk about them and deal with any negative energies that are showing up. If you feel angry, you need to know what makes you feel that way.
When you are in the first stage, merging, the brain only sees the good things and, in this stage, the brain sees the things wrong in the relationship that you previously ignored.
The 4th stage is the decision stage. You need to know if you want to be together or not. You might want to be away from them for hours so that you don’t have to deal with them, and you might see that you are protecting yourself from hurt.
You know that the relationship is there and that it was once good but now you are deciding if you want to leave them or not. You feel that you never knew this person and you have to make a decision if you are going to stay or if you are going to leave the relationship.
- Dealing with Decision
Couples in this stage need to work on the relationship before they put it to an end. They need to learn to communicate better, and they need to learn to understand each other. This can take time and it will be many lessons. You will see that the relationship can actually grow better during this stage.
If you do decide to leave the relationship, then you can do this in a way that is happy and peaceful and not hard and hurtful.
- Wholehearted Love
This is the 5th and final stage. This stage is when you will be most rewarded for staying in the relationship. This will be a time that you worked through all of the stages, and you decided to work hard to get the relationship to work.
You realize at this stage that no one is going to be perfect and that there will be times that the relationship is hard. You will learn how to have conversations that are hard without feeling attacked and you will learn to relax with each other and to even learn to enjoy each other in a deep way.
This will be a time that you merge together as a couple, and you remember why you feel in love with them in the first place.
- Dealing with Wholehearted Love
Take time in this stage to really see what has made you love this person. Do you love their humor, how their thoughts work and do you have self-care and boundaries? You need to find your purpose and the meaning of your life and your relationship during this time.
People that are able to stay through this stage and set goals together and continue to grow can see that they can have a good relationship and they can build a life together even when new challenges come.
Even when this stage comes to an end, know that you might have to experience the same stages over and over. If you love someone though, you will figure out how to work through these stages to better your lives together.