Love is a beautiful emotion. Love is a journey that starts with a small step and it takes courage, patience, time, energy and trust to keep taking steps to build the ultimate journey of togetherness.
People look for love and when they have it expect it to stay that way forever, however over time love will change from one depth to another. It may change from passionate to companionship or from friendship to admiration. It can change in many ways throughout a relationship and it is perfectly normal. Love is the glue that will hold everything in place when the lust wears off either temporarily or for long periods of time, love will keep it together when conflict seems to be flooding the relationship.
4 Stages of Relationships
1. Introduction – it’s all new and exciting, everything is rainbows and lollipops, infatuation, soppy, heart throbbing, breath taking, love and lust. Plenty of sex here folks! The focus is on all the positives, you idealize your partner and everything they say and everything they do equals love, perfectness and happily ever after. Both parties are on their best behavior putting forward their “best self”. The relationship has total focus.
2. Comfort Stage. Comfort and familiarness settle in. The sex finds a different level of closeness and people start to notice small things about their partners which they didn’t notice in stage one that start to become annoying, mind you those small things were definitely always there, but were overlooked through those rose tinted glasses. People start to spend time with friends again and other interests.
3. Conflict stage. This people is where all the little things noticed from stage 2 start to grate on each others nerves. All those things end up being a big thing and conflict erupts. People start questioning the relationship. Do I really know him/her? He/she was never like this before (yes they were!) Why am I in this relationship? Etc.
Unfortunately a lot of couples do not make it through this stage as the ideal version of their partner no longer matches the real and people start to fantasize again on what else might be out there. Why should they put up with this?
The problem with giving up at this stage is people begin to repeat the pattern all over again without learning anything new. Should they persevere they would reach an awesome stage of personal growth and understanding.
4. Resolution Stage. Resolution is where people start to communicate and discuss issues, problems, perceptions, values, expectations, feelings and thoughts, goals and dreams. They brainstorm solutions and work through their issues which takes them to a whole new level of friendship, love, respect and intimacy. They discover tools to work through their issues as they are equipped for future challenges.
February 14th is Valentines Day and an opportunity to show your special someone that you care. It is a romantic idea. So what is Romance and what does it mean? Ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people when the chemicals in your brain kick in and you feel an emotional high, exhilaration, passion and elation when you and your lover are together.
So let’s look at some ideas of romance and how to keep your love alive:
- Buy flowers
- Give a card with loving words
- Message in lunch box
- Text message
- Organise a Picnic
- Champayne breakfast in bed
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to show someone you care, as long as your gift or acts of kindness evokes a positive loving response in your partner you have done a good job of building on the love you have and made your partner feel special, mission accomplished!
Written by Mirella DeBoni, Relationship Counselling Specialist, Proserpine, Cannonvale