Relationship stages. what they are and how to deal with each of them
Starting a relationship is like riding a gun. before we sit down, we feel butterflies in our stomach because we don’t know what awaits us. The cart climbs over the rails and there, at the first drop, we experience an adrenaline rush as intense as what we feel when we fall in love. It’s an almost transcendent experience (for those who like to feel high emotions, of course).
Over time, we get used to the ride until that fun phase comes to its inevitable end (but we still have to explore the whole amusement park). to explore the entire amusement park). In love relationships, the story is very similar. A peak of emotion and anticipation ensues until it’s time to loosen your belts, calm your heart, and explore other possibilities.
This is called transition from infatuation to love. “The first is the most intense stage, because it includes sensations of excitement and novelty. The second is building intimacy and calmness. And calmness in love is not synonymous with monotony, but with going deeper into reality,” he says. Barbara Menesespsychologist, sexologist and lecturer.
And here is the problem. for many, the end of the “honeymoon” period is a sentence that things will never be so glamorous, and therefore the only viable option will be termination. In this game, some spend their entire lives jumping from relationship to relationship, bent on reliving the magic of new romance; love high.
For Barbara, this fear of going deeper is closely related to the current state of our society; “We are living in a moment of superficiality in relationships because we are increasingly short-sighted. Hardly anyone has the patience to resolve conflicts, sit down, listen to the other person and come to an agreement. If something is incompatible, goodbye.”
The expert points to two factors that contribute to this reality. one of them is the internet, which speeds up everyday life and makes it difficult to manage our time, which makes us more and more impatient. The second is related to excessive predictions (especially provoked in social networks).
“This thing of perfection, of always being beautiful, makes us feel like everything has to be perfect. We idealize that life is like the last chapter of a series where everyone finds eternal happiness. No one shows the next day, after the wedding. Often we deal with our expectations of others, rather than the real person, who also has his own difficulties and crises,” he says.
But there are also internal influences (of course) that force us to “run away” from the maturation of love. According to the psychologist Alessandra Kovachtraumatic experiences, disappointments, and frustrations can increase the chances of creating unconscious psychic defenses.
“Staying alone during the infatuation phase and not allowing the relationship to progress gives a false sense of control. It was as if we were protecting ourselves from suffering and the possibility of abandonment. The strategy may work up to a point, but you’re missing out on life. It is a boycott of opportunities to experience moments of happiness,” he explains.
the stages of love
Those who think that the process ends when we accept relaxation and change the routine are wrong. The opposite. life as a couple (or more, in the case of polyamory) is constantly in flux, with new questions popping up around every corner. By the way, you must have heard of the infamous five years, seven years etc…
According to Barbara Menezes, although disagreements do not occur in specific periods (as a punishment of the universe), there is a revision of values and agreements from time to time. Alessandra explains. “In the first year of marriage, the crisis happens quite often. Think: we used to live alone, but now we share everything with someone, including our space and time. And then, when we overcome this crucial stage, other obstacles arise related to daily life and personal achievements,” he explains.
Changes will appear from start to finish. However, as complex as these may be, self-awareness and dialogue between spouses is essential to approaching them with maturity.
Alessandra Kovach, psychologist
After a few years, according to the specialist, that critical moment of redirecting the direction of life also comes. “Will we have children?” “What do we want from now on?” and “Are we on the same page?” are becoming more common. And the wear and tear caused by living together is inevitable. “There will be turmoil and change from start to finish. It is natural. However, no matter how complicated they are, self-awareness and dialogue between spouses are important to approach them with maturity,” says Alessandra Kovac.
It is important to emphasize that living together or getting married is not necessarily part of a couple’s maturing period; People do not know each other, even though they are under the same roof. Therefore, always value quality over quantity. What’s the point of having dinner every day when everyone is distracted by their cell phones? That’s why I say. yes, you can have intimacy living in different homes without getting married, because marriage itself is a ritual prepared for others,” says Barbara Meneses.
There is great beauty in being deeply committed and facing obstacles to loving connection, especially when we realize that the other sees us as we are. However, like any cycle, there is always an end. Accepting this is an act of self-care and extreme maturity.
How do you know when to replace a disc? For Barbara, just be aware of how much we still want to stay better in the relationship. “When I want the other person to change in order to make me feel good, that’s a warning sign. I like to say that there is an essential tripod consisting of love, trust and respect. If I love, respect and trust you, it means I admire you. And because I admire you, I want to be a better person to be with you and help make this relationship last,” Barbara Meneses concludes.