10 Stages of a Relationship Every Couple Goes Through

Have you ever heard an older couple say, “They’re in the newlywed stage!” Maybe they’re even talking about you and your husband / boyfriend. Yes, every couple does go through the “newlywed stage” and seem to love, coo, groom and flirt like lovebirds. It’s easy to identify newlyweds whenever you see them, they have a certain glow about them, don’t they?

Of course, this is only the first stage in the couple’s relationship and there are about 10 other stages that are going to come later with marriage and family. The real question is, can you identify ALL of these stages? It will definitely help to learn these stages now and understand a little bit about the roller coaster ride that comes from Love. Not just being in love, but staying in love, and loving each other for the rest of your lives.

Knowing these stages in advance could help you to stay patient, be wise, and not be so surprised when love throws you a few curveballs.

1. The Courtship Stage

This is the stage where you go crazy trying to figure out what you both want in a relationship. Some mind games, some push, and pull, but mostly an irresistible attraction to each other!

2. The Newlywed or Lust Stage

After courtship, the newlyweds are head over heels in love. They’re not only very compatible together, they’re also still basking in lust. They have an almost unrealistic “fantasy” view of each other and are addicted to that wonderful oxytocin (love chemical) that flows whenever they kiss. Fun stage to be in, for sure!

3. The Talking Stage

This stage is still pretty sexy and all, but by now the novelty of sex has worn off. Now you find joy in each other’s conversation. You may talk long hours into the night. You still keep a lot of that infatuation, a lot of “I am so happy!” and “This is so perfect!” And yes, bonding with someone completely is a wonderful feeling!

4. The First Fight Stage

You may have cute and quirky fights in the beginning but eventually, the first “real fight” happens and it causes a disturbance in the force, or at least that’s what Obi-Wan would call it. This will be a test because it means you’re going to have to get rid of that infatuation-stage view of your partner. You may love him but you are going to disagree on some matters. Most couples pass this stage. (With the exception of celebrity couples who get married in Vegas)

5. The Figuring Each Other Out Stage

By now, you’ve been through quite a few fights but have learned to get along with each other by talking things out. Now you’re starting to form opinions about your significant other, recognizing that he has some great positives AND some negatives that get on your nerves. You may tend to assume things about him. The way he is, and why he’ll probably never change. Whenever he proves you wrong in good ways, you’re very happy. When he disappoints you, you accept it. But you may frequently become depressed.

6. The He Can Change! Stage

Some women learn early on that they have a great power over men. During courtship, you’re amused at what a man will do to please you. By this stage, you really think you can change him via a little “punishment” and “reward” training. You start to see that he can be manipulated into doing what you want…and maybe that means with a little prodding he can change!

Hint: No, he won’t change.

But this is the stage marked by a lot of convincing and some power struggle. If both partners are headstrong and cannot learn to compromise, this could be the final stage.

7. The Happy Again! Stage

After some years trying to change your partner’s habits, you will learn that people rarely ever change. But you still love him anyway, don’t you? By now you accept what he is and what he cannot be for you. But you love him and you love when he really tries to make you happy. This is a new stage of happiness. It’s not as blindly loving as the infatuation stage, but it still gives you a boost of happiness to know you made the right choice.

8. The Doubt Stage

By now, you’ve been together a long while and perhaps have ever married because of the previous Happy Again stage. Now you start to experience a second wave of doubt. It’s not that you’re always fighting…you’re just growing older and are wondering about all the decisions you’ve made in life. If you’re not entirely happy in the relationship, serious doubts will rise to the surface. Even if you are happy, you may think back to your ex, your childhood, and whether or not you made the right choice. You may even compare your relationship with other people you know, wondering if you made the right choice.

9. The Sexual Exploration Stage

The notorious midlife crisis affects both men and women, though you could say that half of it is plagued with Doubt, as we just discussed, and the other half is riddled with lust. Sexual exploration is what characterizes this stage and oftentimes because you experience what is called desire discrepancy. In that one of you wants more sexual adventures and the other partner doesn’t. In fact, one partner may lose all interest in sex, making it all the more difficult for the other to stay faithful. The key is in communicating honestly and trying to negotiate a way to make sex more appealing for both of you. The desire to stay faithful to each other and think up additional creative outlets may help you survive this stage. Hopefully, you will explore sexual adventures with each other and discover a new awakening and even deeper bond.

10. The Absolute Trust Stage

Finally, after a lifetime of learning each other, tolerating each other, and occasionally fighting each other, you discover a new place of peace. This is the complete trust stage, another Happy peak! By now, you’ve survived trial and temptation and only feel closer to your mate because of it. You’re so happy to be together in these golden years (usually when you’re both advanced in age) that you just learn to enjoy the moments. Your trust is restored. You might bicker occasionally but by now, you know you’ve made a life choice and you’re happy with who you are and who your partner is. Congratulations, now your love will truly live on and become great stories for your grandchildren!

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Talk soon,

Matthew Coast

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About The Author

Matthew Coast

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