10 stages of a relationship and how to deal with them

Are you wondering what might be the next step of your relationship or are you and your partner on the same page?

Well, there is a way to answer that question by simply understanding the different stages of any relationship.

Being aware of what phase your relationship is at helps you understand what you need to do to fix it when problems occur.  As per Dr. Carol Morgan, a dating & relationship coach, there are 10 main stages that wrap up most relationships from beginning to an end.

The stages are divided into two different phases:

Coming together

The first steps of a relationship, the new beginning for both partners, it all needs to start somewhere. Here are the 5 stages of the Coming together phase:

1. Initiation

The initiation stage occurs when you first glance at someone and the two of you engage in a conversation. In other words, it’s the ‘getting to know you’ time when you present yourself in the best way possible to make a good first impression.

2. Experimentation

The second stage of any relationship is the time when you dig deeper into each other’s interests, passions, and dreams. It’s similar to the ‘get to know you’ period, but things here happen on another, more serious level. Although the experimentation stage is just the second one, many people don’t make it this far. That’s because they usually find something about the other one that they don’t fancy.

3. Intensifying

That’s when things are beginning to develop as a more serious and intense relationship. The intensifying stage marks the period when the partners are finally ready to dive deep into each other’s lives and be vulnerable with one another. It’s also the time when your feelings become more powerful. Maybe that’s why some call this the ‘bliss’ stage.

4. Integration

Congratulations, you’re officially a couple! You have strong feelings for each other and your lives are now going in the same direction. You develop a ‘couple habits’ you never had before. The integration stage is the period when you go from ‘me and you’ to ‘us’.

5. Bonding

The bonding stage is when you become fully committed to one another. That’s because you are now certain of the strong feelings you have for each other and the deep bond you share. It’s usually followed by some form of a formal commitment in the eyes of society.

Coming apart

Happily ever after is in everyone’s dreams. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen to many couples, as sooner or later, they go from ‘us’ to ‘me and you’ and then to strangers. Here are the 5 stages of the Coming apart phase:

6. Differentiating

Reaching the differentiating stage is the first sign of a possible breakup in the future. Things you used to love about your partner turn into bad habits you can’t stand. You start to see all the incompatibilities and issues in your relationship, and this bugs you to the core.

7. Circumscribing

This stage is often the natural continuation of the differentiating. You and your partner start pulling away from each other, and you start feeling uncomfortable sharing intimate facts you once were happy to discuss with them. Defensiveness, blaming, and resentment are typical for this stage of a relationship.

8. Stagnation

You’re now at a standstill. Apathy has replaced all of the emotions you once had for one another. In this stage, you are no longer going anywhere in the relationship.

9. Avoidance

Avoidance can be both physically and mentally. One of you may decide to move out or simply stop engaging in conversations with the other one. Even though you once had thousands of things in common, they are all now a faded memory. All that’s left is pure indifference.

10. Termination

That’s the end of a relationship. You both go your separate ways. Your bond has no longer the strength to survive through the challenges before you. So you decide to call it a day and move on away from each other.

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