If you have been in a relationship or are in one, you definitely know the ups and downs that comes with it. There are days you will laugh together, be madly in love with your partner and there are those days you will question your decision to be with them.
Falling in love is the easy part. Staying in love is the hard part. And this is normal for every couple and to be honest, how you navigate past those dark days will determine how much your love grows and lasts.
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In case you thought something was wrong because you did not ride off into the sunset and live happily thereafter like the romantic movies show you, it is time for a reality check, in the real world, love is hard work.
Here are some phases your relationship will go through at one point in time:
The attraction and coming together stage: Out of all the stages, this is probably one of the most memorable ones. Whether you met online, in college or through friends, this is that story you will never forget and you may forever cherish.
It is characterised with falling in love and everything is so perfect! All you do is think about each other and you imagine nothing could go wrong. This honeymoon stage is where the love is at its peak, there is excitement and let’s not forget the sexual attraction that will have you feeling aroused at the slightest touch.
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At this stage conflicts are minimal and baggage is kept at bay. Couples generally focus on their similarities and spend a lot of time together.
The intimacy stage: As things get intense and serious, you get to know each other more as you start to share more intimate details about yourselves.
This is where deep feelings start to develop and you officially become an item. Your families acknowledge your relationship and things have probably gone from ‘me and him/her’ to ‘us.’
It is at this stage that couples may decide to move in together, get engaged or married.
The reality stage: Now that you’re living together, those flaws you used to ignore begin to surface. The strong feelings of love, happiness and lust you had for each other start to be tested. The relationship isn’t fun as it used to.
Before you know it conflicts begin and your flaws are more pronounced than ever. Couples will start questioning their compatibility, you easily get annoyed and you might believe you made the wrong choice of a partner.
It is at this point where many relationships come to an end. Couples must swim or sink.
Stabilising stage: If you have gone through the crisis stage and emerged victorious, chances are you will stick together to the end. This is where you have learnt to fully accept each other with all your flaws and you start to compromise for one another.
There is a comfortable calm and couples can enjoy much rest. You have a good foundation and can work through any issue that may arise in the course of your relationship or marriage.
The termination stage: If you didn’t manage to get past the crisis stage early on, your relationship becomes stagnant. Before you know it, you are living like two strangers in a house. You grow apart emotionally, physically and mentally doing everything to avoid the other person.
This is where one person may choose to move out and officially bring the relationship to an end.
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