3 Gradual Phases of a Relationship and How to Handle Them

Happy couple holding hands looking in the sunset

Happy couple holding hands looking in the sunsetA relationship is made up of two people who often have been brought up in totally different environments. Sometimes, the partners may be from different countries, religions, races, and even economic backgrounds. As such, it is likely that they will hold different beliefs and react in different manners to certain things.

The Perfect Stage

In the first phase, a couple is usually so overwhelmed with their attraction for each other that they consider themselves to be perfect. It is while at this stage that a couple should consider going for counseling in readiness for the phases that follow. There are various relationship counseling clinics in Salt Lake City, Utah, that a couple may subscribe to for purposes of relationship training. Relationship counseling often emphasizes on the need for establishing proper communication, which remains to be the biggest obstacle to achieving a successful relationship. It is only through communication that partners may share their concerns with each other. Since the relationship is still in its perfect phase, couples may take advantage of the great chemistry between them to discuss possible issues that they think might affect them in the future.

The Conflict Stage

Following the end of the perfect phase, couples find themselves in the conflict stage. It is characterized by regular fights between couples. Usually, the endorphin levels in the body tend to have died down. People begin to see the faults and the imperfections of their partners. They may begin to find some habits that they previously did not see as a big deal to be annoying. It is at that point that many couples realize they were not as perfect as they thought. Sometimes, one partner may begin to pull away resulting in frustrations for the other partner. A majority of relationships do not go beyond the conflict stage. For those that survive the hardships of the second stage, half of them tend to be stable enough to last for years to come. There are also those that continue going back and forth between the conflict phase and the negotiable stage. Such relationships risk turning toxic.

happy couple staring at each others eyes

The Negotiating Stage

For those relationships that make it out of the conflict phase, there is a need to come up with a working formula. Couples lay down ground rules with regards to how they expect to relate with each other. Every partner is expected to candidly declare their concerns and worries with the expectation that their partners will take them into account. For instance, in the event that a person is bothered by their partner’s smoking habits, the two may agree that no smoking should take place inside the house or while in the company of each other. Rules may also be laid down with respect to the tones that partners use when addressing each other. This is especially true for people with short tempers.

The stability of a relationship is dependent on how well a couple handles each stage of their relationship. Many couples often handle the conflict stage poorly resulting in breakups. It is on that premise that couples are advised to seek counseling from the early stages of their relationships.