Your are going through a break down in your relationship and you just about had it with relationships you cannot understand why they can be so difficult at times, you remember when you first met and things were all fine and dandy so what is happening now. The answer to this is understanding a relationship timeline, more than likely you have moved from the first stage and gone into the next.
All relationships do go through change over time. The reason for this is the relationship timeline and many people do not understand it’s existence. Most relationships will experience these stages in a particular order and before they can move on successfully to the next one. There are some exceptions to this rule, but for the most part you can not avoid the stages of the timeline in order to achieve a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
The order of a relationship timeline is as follows. Every couple will go through the stages at different speeds and many will experience each stage more than once the reason for this is that it is common to experience fluctuations i.e. from one stage to another.
Stage 1 -“ROMANCE”
Also known as the courtship phase or such as the fantasy stage, this can last from 2 months to up to 2 years. This is the phase where you have just met your partner and everything is just so great. You cannot get enough of each other, and see each other as much as possible. Neither can do no wrong in the eyes of each other, you also find that you have many interests in common. Your partner sees the best part of you and you both go out of your way to please each other. Conflicts are avoided at this stage of the relationship.
You also think to yourself that you cannot live without this person, and you spend every moment you can with each other, at this stage defences are down which leaves the door open for love. This is also the stage where a foundation is being built so your relationship can grow. On top of this a biological process is experienced, as your body is producing enormous amounts of endorphins, this will make you feel unusually happy, positive and excited about everything in your life the “head over heels in love” sensation. Basically you are so happy in this stage of the relationship.
Stage 2 – DISILLUSIONMENT
This is also called the Adjusting to Reality Phase or Familiarization Stage. Realization dawns upon you that your partner has faults and flaws, the more you get to know each other the more obvious it all becomes. What you find is that their habits are no longer so cute or appealing to you anymore, and other things will start to niggle away at you, as things start to seep in slowly you really start to see your partner for who they really are. For some it can happen suddenly this usually happens when you could experience some deceit or dishonesty.
You could find this stage of the relationship discouraging and possibly confusing as you had experienced so much connection and openness in the romance stage. What is important at this stage, is to learn how to communicate effectively to resolve any conflicts that arise and this is a skill that you need to acquire if you want your relationship to continue.
Stage 3 – THE STRUGGLE FOR POWER
This stage is also known as the Distress Stage or Disappointment Phase. Any characteristics from the Disillusionment Phase begin to intensify, they also become much harder to deal with. This is the stage where you could possibly start to pull away from each other.
Arguments will erupt as you both argue with each other to draw boundaries within the relationship this is where even small issues can become big issues. This is where you will also not put up with unacceptable behavior, and this is where many couples will have thoughts more often on leaving the relationship. You will start to think more often that your partner is self centered, possibly uncaring and not to be trusted.
If you are unable to resolve conflicts respectfully and in agreeable ways this is where deep resentment can set in. A lot of people become stuck in this phase of a relationship as it becomes the norm. Therefore it is vital that you both learn to interact effectively with each other and work as a team. If you are able to work the relationship through in this stage you will be able to move on to the next stage.
Stage 4 – STABILITY
At this stage it becomes restful and peaceful in the relationship in comparison with the last stage. This stage is also known as the Reconciliation Stage or Friendship Phase. There are many couples that do not make it to this stage, but the ones who do will experience deeper feelings of love, connection and trust with their partner. You have created a history together, and many people with rely on the predictability of the relationship. When you do enter into this stage of the relationship you do begin to realize that your partner will never be perfect, also any personal differences are not quite as threatening as they used to be. Differences are resolved to a point of mutual satisfaction and you become more confident in the relationship.
Some people feel a sense of loss in this stage as they learn to accept their partner for who they truly are, since this means they have to let go of the fantasy that was established early on in the relationship.
The ever deepening sense of friendship and commitment is a great trade off for those early day feelings of butterflies and excitement. This is the stage where you do go about and re-establish any of your own outside interests and friendships, which you gave up in the Romance Phase.
The only danger at this stage of the relationship is where you could drift apart or you become bored with your partner, so this is where it is important for you to keep the connection that was created in the Romance Phase. In all essence this is the stage of the relationship where you do begin to feel comfortable and happy with your deepening relationship.
Stage 5 – COMMITMENT
Also known as the Transformation Stage or the Acceptance Phase or the Real Love Phase. It has been shown that fewer than 5% of couples actually do make it to this stage of a relationship . This is the stage where a couple will have been able to accept faults, foibles and weaknesses and still make a conscious choice to still be with the person in spite of all those things and in some cases it is because of those things.
You are no longer with your partner because you need them, but it is because you have chosen them, this means the level of resentment that was experienced in the Power Struggle Phase have decreased if not disappeared. If you have made it to this stage, this is where you and your partner become a team.
You know that you are real in your feelings of love for your partner, and you do look out for their best interests just as much as you will look out for your own. You see your partner as your best friend. You have overcome many challenges together and you have grown to the point where you are able to accept and support each other without any restrictions.
The vision for the relationship is the same as you both want the same vision. You also have discussed a future together and your life goals are very similar and you feel even more encouraged to define the relationship even further. Many couples at this stage decide to make it a formal commitment and demonstrate their intention to continue their relationship. This is where your relationship becomes a true partnership.
For a relationship to succeed it must go through the relationship timeline, where many trials and tribulations are experienced, getting to know each other, accepting each others faults and flaws, and loving and appreciating your partner are all ways in establishing a relationship that will last the journey.
The key to any good relationship is RESPECT, CARE, TRUST AND LOVE!