Updated: Jan 22
Relationships like everything on earth, have stages too. Like a metamorphosis, its stages is a cycle that develops into the next.
Relationships take work and a lot more to survive, falling in love with someone is easy but staying in love with them is another, but having an understanding of relationships and its stages helps you have a better control of how your relationships might pan out. It’s no lie every relationship has two destinations; down the aisle or out on the exes lane. Understanding the stages of every relationship will give you an insight of a relationship that will last or that which won’t survive or even how to make it survive if both of you truly wish it to.
The Four stages of a relationship built to last
1. The Attraction Stage
2. The Interest Stage
3. The Crisis and Stability Stage
4. The Commitment Stage
The Attraction Stage
Also known as the falling in love or flirting stage, in my opinion this stage starts from the1st day to about 4-5 weeks. Every relationship has to start somewhere and for most people, if not all, this is the very first stage. The stage where both of you first meet or starting to notice each other, or vibe with one another, give side glances, flirty looks or outright flirt with one another unapologetically, it’s the coy stage. According to the research fellow, Lucy Brown “in the early part of a relationship ‘the falling in love stage’ the other person becomes the center of your life. You forgive everything in these early stages. The other person’s faults, and you see them and it doesn’t matter”. And there’s no lie there!
At this stage, that person is all you can think about, you find everything they do funny and cute, and you can’t stay mad at them even when they do things that normally would get you pissed. You’re basically high on dopamine and serotonin and at this stage, we all do crazy and stupid stuff, we even go as far to convince ourselves that they are our soul mates.
The Interest Stage
Also known as the getting to know each other stage or the curious stage. Depending on the speed of your relationship, it could be intertwined with the attraction stage but it's total estimate would be, 2 to 4 months.
At this stage the feelings are more pronounced. You both want to know more about each other, you want to see each other often, hang out or go on dates, do activities the other loves, and you want to be involved in each other’s lives. At this stage you both try to be understanding of the other person because you are just getting to know them so you try not make everything a big deal, your crazy love is no longer on the high as before but you’re still equally attracted to that person, you make excuses by yourself for that person.
At this stage, you discover your likes and dislikes and if the both of you are compatible, you discover that which you can tolerate and that which you can’t. It’s mostly at this stage that couples make their relationship official, they believe that they now know all they need to know, it’s no longer just flirting, and they believe that they know each other enough to proceed forward.
The Crisis and Stability Stage
This stage tests out your compatibility, a lot of misunderstanding occur at this stage. This stage is also known as the conflict or power struggle stage. At this stage all that you have learnt about the other starts to manifest, both that which they told you and the ones you noticed but dismissed, the crisis stage occur because the both of you are spending more time together, even living together, and as usual when humans cohabitate they are bound to clash, this stage tests your companionship and compatibility, how you’re able to deal with it, obviously, the dopamine and serotonin has dispersed so every decision taken at this stage is not induced by hormones but by the actual you, couples who survive the crisis stage are able to cross over to stability instantly. These stages are connected like peas to a pod in order to fully identify as a couple, this stage is like a trial stage that you both need to pass, most couples call quits at the half part of this stage “the crisis stage” the couples who cross over to the second half of these stage are truly couples because at these stage, they don’t just know each other, they understand each other and have become accustomed to one another. At this stage you must have achieved some kind of rhythm or harmony to your relationship in making it work. This stage takes 3-4 months into the relationship and lasts until it is resolved either overcoming the stage and moving to the next or breaking up.
The Commitment Stage
Also known as the engagement stage, it takes 10 months to a year or more to get to this stage.
Like I said earlier on this post, every relationship are headed two ways, either marriage or exes, now at this stage you both are certain with what you want, you are certain you are what you need in each other’s lives. You both have good understanding of one another; your values, lifestyle, goals. You have achieved a certain level of communication and trust, you have accepted one another as they are; your pasts and mistakes, your differences and you have been working together to handle your differences and you’re both ready to commit to one another. This is the last stage before the final destination “a walk down the aisle” marriage, a lot of people get past the crisis stage and achieve stability only to realize that they are not ready to commit wholly to one person for a long time and they end up breaking it off even though they are fully aware of how they love the other person. Commitment is a scary thing especially when its forever but when you have the right person a t your side and you’re at the right state of mind, it’s something you begin to yearn. So look at your relationship and ask yourselves “What stage am I at?” “Are we both willing to commit?” “Do we have a rhythm or some kind of harmony?” It’s advisable to help yourself realize what stage you are at and if the both are willing to make it work because at the end of the day, what makes a lasting relationship are the individuals involved!