When you first start dating someone all you think about if having fun, making a good impression and getting to know the person. The last thing on your mind is the future stages of a relationship. You go on the first date not even know if it will proceed to a second so you just concentrate on the moment and not on the future.
Once you move past the first date onto the second you can then think that possibly there may be a future with this person. Then when you move past the first few days and get to know the person a little more then you will get an idea whether you think you have a potential future with them. It’s at this point that understanding the different stages of a relationship can help you see where you are and where you are heading and you will get to know what to expect next.
The first stage of a relationship is the honeymoon stage and this is the stage that many couples try to recapture at some point later in the relationship. Some people are addicted to the honeymoon stage and when it’s over they will break up with their partner and move on to find someone else so they can have that honeymoon stage over and over again.
The honeymoon stage is exciting and fun. You tend to go out a lot together, complement each other, learn all about each other. You are two new people that have a lot to learn about one another and you will have a lot of fun doing so.
During the honeymoon stage you like everything about the other person and you think they can do no wrong. The honeymoon stage can last up to a year, a year full of fun, exciting moments that you will remember forever.
Then the honeymoon stage is over and the next stage may see a struggle for who has the most control or power in the relationship. During this power battle many relationships can fall apart, but those who get through this stage will come out strong. The things that you once thought were cute about your partner may now start to annoy you and you no longer find everything they do so perfect.
You may even try to change your partner to some extent to be more like what you really want in a partner, or vice versa. You will begin to notice each other’s flaws and try to change them. To get through this stage of the relationship you need to recognize each other’s flaws and accept them for what they are.
Then we have the understanding and acceptance stage. You will reach a point where you either accept the person for who they are or you realize this is not the person you want to be with. You have made it through the power struggle and you have resigned yourself to the fact that you cannot change the other person, so now you need to decide whether you can accept them as they are. If you can’t accept the other person with their flaws then you may need to end the relationship and move on.
If you decide to end the relationship and move on you will find that a break up at this stage of the relationship is usually very amicable because there is no power struggle going on. You are simply deciding whether you are with the right person or not and you can accept that decision.
The last stage of the relationship is commitment. Once you realize that the person you are with does have flaws and you have given up trying to change them you can then accept them and be happy. Once you make that decision to understand the other person and accept them for who they are you can then commit to them. There may be times during the relationship that you revisit the power struggle stage for some reason, but if you have reached the commitment stage then you can usually work through the power struggle again.