As Revealed by India’s Eminent Marriage Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo
You have perhaps fallen in love at least once in your life. As you grow older, you come to the realization that falling in love is actually the easiest part. It is being in a relationship that can be quite challenging.
Marriage counselor Shivani Sadhoo says, relationships are not always easy. In fact, it takes a lot of work to cultivate them.
But this is the way love grows and lasts. So how do you make sure that you start your romantic relationships on the right note?
While each relationship is unique in its own way, there are generally 5 stages every couple goes through. It does not matter how you met or what your goals in the relationship are.
You will pass through each of these stages.
And how you manage them will define the shape — or the end result — of your relationship.
Understanding these stages as they occur can help you better navigate your way into a long-lasting and loving partnership as explained by India’s top marriage counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo in this blog.
The 5 stages of a relationship
· Attraction and romance
· Crisis stage
· Working stage
· Commitment stage
· True love/bliss stage
Every stage is a challenge on its own. Actually, the first two stages mostly prove to be the most challenging to every couple.
Let’s dive deeper into the 5 stages of a relationship.
The attraction and romance stage
This is what movies are all made of. In the initial stage of a relationship, you are in complete euphoria.
You are falling in love, and nothing could go wrong. Everything is just perfect – right from your first kiss to that energy you feel around them. They cannot do anything wrong, and you can never find any flaw in them. In fact, you go around your day in continuous high thinking about this person. And in a manner, you are actually high. Strong levels of dopamine, norepinephrine and even oxytocin are all released into your brain when you are attracted to someone. These chemicals force you to feel giddy and euphoric.
Your loss in appetite, and insomnia, all side effects of this little chemical haywire. This feeling can last from a couple of months to a couple of years. You better enjoy this phase while you can, because the next stages are where things turn real.
As it has been mentioned before, couples have a difficult time going through the first two stages of a relationship. This is because of the difference between the Attraction Stage and the Crisis Stage.
In the first few months of a relationship, everything appears to be going exceptionally well. However, the dopamine in our system eventually trickles out, and one begins seeing things more clearly. Your love glasses are removed. You begin becoming comfortable with each other, and things are becoming all too real. You see the toilet seat up one too many times, or they said something improper to your friends. The crisis stage is where your first arguments and relationship anxiety takes place.
Most couples will go through this stage and sadly, will actually break up. Suddenly, the other person seems too annoying or it’s a one-sided relationship. And one of you may be having cold feet. Are you truly compatible? The crisis stage is where your mettle as a couple will get tested. You are suddenly struggling for power and searching for harmony at the same time.
So you eventually conquered the crisis stage. Whoa!
You have clawed your way out of the hole, and now you find yourself in perfect harmony. You have formed a routine as a couple. Someone cooks and the other partner does the dishes. Everything is calm, and you see yourself in love with this person — in the manner that counts.
You decide to be together. Even when the going gets tough. Even when it may be difficult sometimes. You recognize that your partner is a completely other person with their own set of flaws, dreams, goals, desires, and needs. But you choose them anyway. This is what the commitment stage is all about. It is all about consciously deciding that this individual is the one for you. You may think the working stage was good, but the commitment stage is where you genuinely feel like you belong to this person.
This is generally, when couples take big steps in committing to each other – moving in, marriage, or having kids.
Real love/bliss stage
This is it. This is what everything you did was for. All the sweat, hard work, blood, and tears have brought you here. Finally, you are a team. Your relationship is no more the center of your world. Rather, you go outside of your relationship and make something beautiful. The real love or bliss stage is where couples work together on an ultimate goal or project.
This could be anything creative that means a lot to both of you, or something practical such as your dream home. But to several couples, it is about starting a family. And although there are continuous challenges that will test you, you have all the things you need to make it through. You have learned from your past mistakes. You remember the good times fondly and the bad times make you realize it was all worth it after all.
Relationships are a journey. But so is anything else in our life. True love is not something that simply gets handed to you. And these 5 stages prove just that.
It is important to know which stage you are in so that you will know how to get through it. If you see yourselves in a loop, repeatedly arguing about the same things, then you are probably still in the crisis Stage.
Concentrate on communicating better. If you are feeling stagnant, where everything looks fine, but it feels like you are not moving anywhere, then you are most likely in the working stage. Find out your next goals as a couple.
Eventually, being aware of where you are as a couple is the key to moving ahead.