‘Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.’ – Aristotle
Love can be a roller-coaster of emotions. Makes you laugh and feel blessed. Makes you wanna tear your hair out sometimes.
We are aware that there are different stages in a relationship which will bring forth vastly different experiences… and challenges. And these make relationships very complex and sometimes, freaking bewildering.
So how do we traverse through the path of love, which smell of sweet roses at times but smell of horse shit at other times?
We can begin by understanding each phase of a relationship.
Grasp how the nature of the relationships with our partners will evolve. Be aware of what are the potential hurdles that might trip us on our ongoing journey with our partners… and soldier on.
Note: The initial phases of a relationship are definitely easy (it’s easy to fall in love after all) The tough phases come later on in the relationship. And the best parts come last.
Honeymoon: It’s Oh-So-Perfect & No One Can Do Any Wrong.
The sight of her sets your heart aflutter. The touch of her hand sends quivers down your spine. You gaze into her eyes and the world slows to a halt.
There are minimal or no arguments. You won’t get annoyed. You probably can agree on almost anything. Your partner seems perfect because at this stage, no one can freaking do any wrong.
You feel like you’ve just stepped into Disneyland, and feel just as excited as the ten-year old lining up in front of you for the roller-coaster ride.
Enjoy it while it lasts as this phase doesn’t last.
Reality: We Realized That It’s Not All A Fairy-Tale.
That initial euphoria and heart-thumping excitement dies down. And the rose-tinted glasses through which you view your partner comes off.
To be human is to be imperfect and you will realize this in your partner after all. You (have to) embrace the fact that it’s a human relationship and not a Disney fairy tale.
You start to understand each other even better, peeling off the layers of the onion and seeing what the core is made of. Who your partner really is. And it may well bring tears to your eyes.
Assessing Compatibility: Are We Suitable For Each Other? Questions. Doubts. Conflict.
It has pretty much been a breeze until now, aye? Now… it probably will be the most frustrating phase in your relationship. I shit you not.
No two people are exactly alike. So disagreements on day-to-day matters or misalignment on values and beliefs are inevitable.
Not surprising that many couples discover that they are simply not compatible and call it a day.
But remember that love isn’t just about finding someone to enjoy good times with. It’s also about finding someone who’s able to go through shitty times with you.
Seriously, conflict can be a good litmus test to see if you both are even willing to put in efforts to resolve issues together.
If (and a big if) and after you manage to nurture the relationship, you two will be more bonded than ever before.
Stability: We Have Weathered Good & Shitty Moments. And Here We Still Are.
The relationship has progressed and is pretty stable now.
You feel emotionally connected. There’s mutual trust and understanding, acceptance of each other’s flaws etc. Arguments still occur but you guys are able to resolve them promptly.
You might occasionally miss those heart thumping moments that you enjoyed during the honeymoon phase but so what? Your relationship is worth much more now 🙂
Besides, there are things you can do to reignite the sparks in a relationship. Which means work to do.
Yeah, man. Work never ends in a relationship. Stability seduces people into thinking that their relationships wont’t require any more efforts.
Commitment: You’re The One I Wanna Grow Old (& Fat) With.
Not all stable relationships lead to this phase. While two people may be happy with the present state of the relationship, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can foresee a future together.
I’ve seen couples who’ve been together since schooling days only to break up after entering the workforce. Priorities in life change when people move from one stage of life to another.
Have also seen couples who were on the verge of getting married but decided to part ways suddenly. No kiddin’. Differences in priorities sometimes become clear only when couples commit to discussing about them.
On a more positive note, let’s turn back to you.
The future can be uncertain but deep within yourselves, you both will know when you are ready and willing to pledge the rest of your lives to each other.
Love isn’t just a feeling. It’s also a conscious decision to commit for a lifetime. For better or for worse. So when shit hits the fan, you want to stick around for the marriage. For your partner.
So you both go ahead and make your dreams become reality. Build a home. Love. Fight. Make up. Make out. Have kids. Get old and fat.
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