Getting into a relationship is easy but maintaining that relationship despite the highs and lows is what tells us about the reality of that relationship. Even though every Bollywood or Hollywood movie has us wrapped around the idea that there is always a happy ending, they do not show us that there are bad chapters in those happy endings. And the real test of any relationship is moving past the bad chapters with deep love and compassion.
But is that possible in every love relationship? Well, there is no guarantee. Like growing up has no instruction manual, there is no instruction manual when it comes to love too. So when you get pushed to go out there and live a happy life, that is what happens with love too—you choose the other person every day and try to make the most of it while going through the good and bad days together. However, not all of them are able to make it through because of a thousand different reasons.
To put things in perspective and get a better understanding of love, experts have given 5 stages of love to showcase how couples pass through each stage and level up as they keep growing together. Let’s see what these 5 stages of a relationship are, shall we?
Stage 1 – Honeymoon Phase
In the first stage of love, we talk about the honeymoon phase, which is basically described as the early days of a relationship when the love feels all young and passionate. The energy is new, exciting, and eccentric, where you view the person as your everything and talk all day long without worrying about the other things in life.
During this stage, the thought of your person or the relationship brings a huge smile to your face and you feel all giddy and child-like from the inside. The relationship feels deeply intoxicating and the excitement of it being all new makes you feel more in love with the other person. The honeymoon phase can be simply put as two kids falling in love, not noticing the quirks or flaws of each other but just all in love with each other without any complaints or judgments.
Stage 2 – Uncertainty Stage
As you spend more and more time with your partner, the infatuation of the relationship starts to fade away, and in comes the uncertainty stage. In this stage of love, you start seeing your partner for who they really are and what makes up their personality the way it is.
This stage is quite important to know and understand parts of your partner you never saw and to make a genuine connection with them. This stage sets the entire tone of the relationship and you start to realise if the relationship or the person is really the one for you or not. Moreover, this stage builds the foundation of your relationship as you get to know each other’s fears, insecurities, childhood patterns, and true selves out in the open.
Stage 3 – Adjustment Stage
Every relationship goes through the struggling phase, which is a test for the couple to see how willing and committed they are to be in the relationship. However, it is quite normal to doubt the relationship or get negative thoughts when you see the real side of your partner, which isn’t all rainbows and sunshine but also comes up with fears, insecurities, and human complexities of its own. It might get hard to navigate through the relationship from here, which may lead to taking breaks, getting distant, or avoiding each other.
However, it is all about taking this up as a path of learning and growing in the relationship. If you and your partner are sure that you both wish to make it work, even after the distance and breaks, you both will come back stronger and work on saving the relationship and adjusting to the personalities of each other. This stage builds on your resilience and proves to be a true testament to the love and commitment you and your partner have for each other.
Stage 4 – Commitment Stage
This stage of love comes when you and your partner have understood each other’s personalities and are choosing to spend the rest of your life together, no matter what the situation may be. After the adjustment stage, couples most often come at a crossroads—whether to continue the relationship or break apart as they are not compatible with each other.
If the couple decides to stick together, it shows that they have weathered the deepest of storms, which means accepting their partner even in their lows and being willing to adjust in times of crisis. This stage of love comes to show how partners have learned to be vulnerable with each other and look forward to spending the rest of their lives together.
The commitment stage doesn’t mean there won’t be any hardships in the future, but it does mean that whatever hardship comes their way, the couple won’t give up on each other and will tackle the problem together. Commitment in a relationship simply means choosing each other every day, even if there are obstacles and challenges along the way.
Stage 5 – Acceptance Stage
If you and your partner have reached this stage of love, then kudos to you because you both have reached the full and final stage, which is acceptance. When you and your partner reach this stage, it means that you both have decided to stay with each other through thick and thin and have accepted each other wholeheartedly and without any complaints.
This stage of love also showcases how you are ready to take this relationship to the next level, which is planning for the future, committing to marriage plans, or having children in the future. Moreover, this also shows that you are ready to make each other’s family and friends yours and promise each other a lifelong commitment.
However, it is important to note that acceptance doesn't mean that there won’t be hardships or that your mind won’t mess up with you. The acceptance stage simply means that you and your partner have accepted each other, and whatever obstacles, good times, or hard times come, you will always stick together.
Navigate Your Relationship With Couples Therapy
If you are at a stage where you and your partner are not able to navigate properly in the relationship or are having differences that are hard to solve, it is best to consult a couples therapist, Couple therapy isn’t only for times when there has been a major blunder in couples; it can also be used in times like these where you wish to understand how relationship stages work and where you both are trying to figure out each other.
With the help of couples therapy, you and your partner will not only come out of conflicting situations but you will also learn new things about each other and the stages of love you have experienced. Sign up on the Now&Me app and relish all 5 stages of relationship with your partner wholeheartedly with the help of Now&Me experts.
If you do not feel ready to talk to a therapist, you can become a part of the Now&Me community and chat with like-minded people about the stages of love and get an understanding from their experiences about how relationship stages have shaped them.
When you give importance to someone who deeply matters to you and makes you happy, the universe will help you through every relationship phase you come into for many years to come.
The 5 Stages of a Relationship Broken Down. Published 2019. https://www.talkspace.com/blog/stages-relationship-dating-love/
Navigating the 5 Stages of Love. published 2023. https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/love/how-to-last-through-the-5-stages-of-love/
Navigating the 4 Stages of a Relationship. Published 2023. https://www.verywellmind.com/the-four-stages-of-relationships-4163472
Now&Me articles are written by experienced mental health contributors and are purely based on scientific research and evidence-based practices, which are thoroughly reviewed by experts, including therapists and psychologists with various specialties, to ensure accuracy and alignment with current industry standards.
However, it is important to note that the information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Individual circumstances vary, and it is advisable to consult with a qualified mental health professional for personalized advice and guidance.