STAGE 1: COURTSHIP
In the beginning, everything is beautiful and wonderful. You love so many things about him! He seems to adore you. You are falling in love, and it feels like nothing else on earth. This stage is one of the most exciting moments of your life. You are starting a new journey with someone who is happy to be along for the ride. It’s a new beginning! Here’s a secret. It can help you keep your relationship fresh through all five of the stages. Don’t let this stage slip away! The happiest couples are the ones who revisit their courtship throughout their
relationship. They remember the things that turned them on in the first place. They work to keep those memories alive. Enjoy this stage – it’s a beautiful time!
STAGE 2: GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER
This is where we start to see our partners for who they really are. It can actually be very exciting, because you are now seeing parts of him that were hidden during your courtship. This stage of your relationship is marked by those long nights of talking about anything and nothing at all. This is the time when you learn about all his little quirks and habits, and he learns the same about you. Take this opportunity to learn more.
This is when he is comfortable enough to let his guard down! Now is the time to ask questions. Tell him more about you. Watch how he interacts with other people. Notice all his little habits, like the fact that he leaves clothes on the floor or that he is obsessive about brushing his teeth.(HOPEFULLY)Everything you are learning now will set you up for what comes next.
STAGE 3: LEARNING TO GET ALONG–THE DEALBREAKER
Be warned: This is the stage where some couples call it quits. Why? This is the point where the serious issues – and serious differences – can come to light. This part of the relationship is when you begin to feel a little friction. Maybe you don’t agree on something,and instead of becoming an interesting
discussion, it turns into a fight. Have you ever felt like an argument came out of the blue? Have you ever wondered where that wonderful man disappeared to? (ALL THE TIME)! You’ve been in this stage! (TOO OFTEN) This is the stage when you are comfortable enough with each other to disagree. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because you now have a chance to figure out how to disagree the RIGHT way. You can take the time to work things out. How you work things out
now will be a good indication of how well the rest of your relationship will go. It’s a bad thing because it takes away
a bit of that happy, falling-in-love glow. You are seeing things you might not like. Some of those things might feel like dealbreakers. But if you can make it through this stage, you’re set up for something great!
STAGE 4: FINDING FRIENDSHIP
One of the most important parts of a long-term relationship is the short-term foundation. That foundation is built on friendship. It might seem strange to find friendship
after the courtship, but trust me – that’s how most successful couples work! Let’s face it: The excitement won’t last forever. When the newness of the first stages of a relationship starts to wear off, you need something strong to
hold you together. Friendship is a big part of that bond. You are finding common ground. You are becoming more stable. This is the point where you begin to trust your partner with many things that you might not have let him see before. You have the freedom to be yourself. you will learn more about him, too. You
learn the things that make him who he is. He becomes more comfortable with you, and you can share so much more than you did before. This is where it starts to get REALLY good! But there is a darker side to this part of your relationship: You might be getting bored. It isn’t that you don’t love your partner. It isn’t that you don’t want to be with them. But the spark is gone! The fire has gone out! You know him so well – almost TOO well. This is where you really have to work hard to keep things moving. Remember when I said that the best of couples remember their courtship? They keep those memories alive? This is where it happens! Remember the romance. Go back to the little things that you stopped doing along the way. Send him a love letter. Wear his favorite dress. Ask him new questions about new things. Rediscover him! (DO IT OR ELSE HE WILL DISCOVER SOMEONE ELSE)! The more you focus on your partner, the deeper your friendship will become. The stronger that foundation, the easier it will be to move into the next stage. (REMEMBER, IT HAS TO ALWAYS BE ALL ABOUT HIM)
STAGE 5: TRUE COMMITMENT
This is where the magic happens. At this point, you have both learned the good and bad about each other. You have argued – maybe you have had a few really rough disagreements. You got through it. This is the point where it all pays off. You are happy together. You can see a future with him. He is talking about buying that new house or getting married or starting a family. But it is still VERY important to remember the first stage, when you were falling so deeply in love. You have to work hard to recapture those moments and keep the romance alive! When it comes to relationships, you never stop working. You never stop trying! Even a marriage that has lasted for fifty years has rough days. Those are the days when that successful couple remembers what it was like to fall in
love, and they try to do it all over again.
WHAT STAGE IS HE IN?
Is he still falling in love? Is he finding out more about you?
Have you had your first argument? Are you learning to be friends as well as lovers? Is he talking about rings and kids and forever? Figure out where you are, and then take steps to get to the next level!