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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Stages of Long Term Relationships

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Stages of Long Term Relationships

Many Couples Counseling experts agree that there are relatively predictable stages to long term relationships. It is important to note that not all relationships include a legal vow of marriage so while these stages are traditionally called “Martial Stages” they are actually defining stages for couples who have been together long term.

Understanding the different stages that a long term relationship generally goes through is a way to help couples realize that they are not alone in dealing with the issues, thoughts and troubles that are found in these stages. Knowing they are not alone helps a couple understand that their relationship and its ups and downs are a part of a normal cycle and not a reason to call it quits.

If you approach these stages as a map then your understanding of them will serve you as a guide to traversing the sometimes difficult terrain of a lifelong committed relationship.

The Five Basic Stages of Long Term Relationships

  • The Romance, or Honeymoon Stage
  • The Reality Stage
  • The Childrearing Stage
  • The Accommodation Stage
  • The Success, or Transformation Stage

Here is a brief description of the Romance Stage

The Romance Stage, sometimes called the Honeymoon Stage or the Infancy stage, is by far the most discussed and studied. This makes sense when you consider that, as it is the first stage, most everyone has felt it and experienced it. It’s popular because it is both common and exciting. Yes, it’s a great ride, but keep in mind that most everyone who wants to ride gets a ticket.

In this stage, there is a feeling of well-being and physical desire for each other. This feeling is intense, with all the newness and excitement stimulated by the production of chemicals in your bodies that increase energy and positive attitudes as well as heighten sexuality and sensuality. It is common for couples in this stage to commit to each other permanently.

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