We’ve covered how important self love is, but we can’t help but move onto the next important topic of love, relationships. You may be in a relationship right now, you may not, or you may have just gotten out of one. Regardless of your “status” this blog is for you. This blog is for the worrierers, the romantics, the wall builders, and everyone in between.
There are four stages of a relationship you need to know and prepare for. Once you have a basic understanding of these stages, you’ll be able to recognize these in your own relationships, manage your emotions, and communicate better your needs.
Stage One: Romantic Love AKA Honeymoon Stage
When you find your unconscious match, a chemical reaction occurs and love ignites, and you fall in love. When we feel alive and whole with our mate, we feel blissfully happy and whole.
It was never intended to last forever. It was designed to provide a taste of the potential of marriage. The romantic love stage often functions like an anesthesia to blind you sufficiently to the weaknesses of your partner and interest you in the relationship.
Stage Two: The Power Struggle
Once we’re married, the anesthetic of romantic love wears off and a power struggle begins as our family patterns, values, expectations, and weaknesses collide. We begin to see the painful reality that all our needs aren’t going to be met by a “perfect” spouse, because there’s no such thing.
At this point, many couples either divorce or shift into a “parallel” marriage—a relationship where there’s an emotional divorce, but a physical marriage.
Stage Three: The Awakening
Once couples become aware that the success of their marriage depends upon personal growth and healing, and they determine to be willing to endure to the end with each other—the awakening begins. This stage provides the realization that we need to make some fundamental personal changes if we are to become whole.
Stage Four: Transformation
Occurs as couples grow individually (completing stage 3) and become whole—making it possible for them to become unified in their relationship. During this transformation stage, new information and skills are enjoyed. But mostly, all stages collide to bring a fullness of joy.
Relationship Tip: Establish healthy boundaries.
It is vital to establish healthy boundaries in the beginning of any relationship. Setting boundaries and communicating your goals will help you both be on the same page, even if you’re just on page one.
We all need limits to maintain healthy relationships and happy lives. When we uphold appropriate and positive boundaries, we have better self-esteem; we find we are kinder to others and ourselves; and, we create and sustain unconscious expectations where others know that we expect them to be kind to us. Without healthy boundaries and appropriate limits, relationships fall apart, no matter what stage you're at.