Because relationships are based on individuals no two are ever the same. There will be dynamics unique to each. But there are clearly definable stages that can be applied to every relationship: referred to as vital stages. Here are four of these vital stages, with tips about swimming through them.
This is the most intense stage of a relationship, when the partners are in the first throes of falling for each other. Your moments together will be focused on the here and now, as hormones spark throughout your body and you are overwhelmed with physical desire. Everything seems rosy, and if there are ever any misgivings these are swiftly cast to one side.
Because this is such an idyllic period it might seem as if there shouldn’t really be any need to swim through it at all. But there most certainly is. Unlike the movies, those lustful feelings associated with any partnership’s early days will inevitably fade with familiarity. They key to swimming through this phase is to make a conscious effort to keep that spark alive with spontaneous demonstrations of love.
At this stage you will have moved way past the point where your public shows of affection led to friends demanding you ‘get a room.’ Your relationship has evolved, becoming more introspective. You are finding out all about each other in greater detail, having long and earnest conversations about your ambitions and aspirations. The trouble with this is that it’s only natural you will also be revealing aspects of your nature your partner hadn’t appreciated before. You are establishing a solid connection, but the problem is that this is with ‘warts and all.’
In order to swim past this point it’s important to be able to accept every aspect of your partner, including their negative character traits. You might have to make a mature decision that your paths are too divergent to be reconciled, and you’ll need to have a serious think about the longer-term implications. But in most cases you can consider accommodating their needs rather than seeing disagreements as barriers.
Reaching this next stage implies you have conquered all the previous stages, each undoubtedly having made you feel all the stronger for having swum through to the other side. You will feel confident about the durability of your partnership, especially when it comes to implicitly trusting your other half. When they reveal they are planning a weekend break with the girls/guys that will most definitely not involve spouses, you are not phased in the slightest because you trust them.
Like infatuation, this seems less of a barrier for swimming through, but trust in itself can raise issues. What you have to swim by here is taking your partner for granted. Always dedicate time to improving your love life and letting your other half know how appreciated they are.
Whether it began with a search for real girls online that evolved into love, or a liaison in some other social situation, every successful relationship will reach the stability stage. When you have become completely attuned to one another’s needs the final barrier you will face is complacency.
You need to swim past stagnation by supporting one another at all times, and regularly making plans for your future together.