5 Natural Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Happy and healthy couple

You don’t just jump from dating to marriage. Every healthy relationship goes through five stages that involve meeting, dating, commitment, marriage, and stability. Learn about the different stages and what happens if you get stuck.

The stages of a healthy relationship

The stages of a healthy relationship help people understand how the bond between two people develops. The amount of time each person stays in a particular phase depends on the experiences each person has processed in the past. Many who are afraid of commitment will not progress to the next level because they cannot master the feelings and openness in a given level.

Phase One: Getting to know each other

Phase one is characterized by excitement, interest and curiosity. This is when two people first feel attracted to each other and form a bond based on shared interests and sexual chemistry. Couples will discuss who they are by exploring morals, values, and other parts of their lives. Couples will also experiment with intimacy by holding hands, kissing, or having intercourse. When the couple finds they are compatible in both areas of this first phase, they usually move on to phase two.

Phase Two: Bring your lives together

The next stage is bringing the person you meet into your life. If you have children, you may want the person to get to know them. If not, you might want him or her to meet your family. You will want to show the person to your friends and other people who are important in your life. You can also start inviting the person to hobbies or activities that you enjoy so you can spend more time together and see if the person has similar interests. Another part of this stage is considering this person as your boyfriend or girlfriend. This is the first level of commitment. You commit to only dating and sharing your life with that one person. If you find yourself including the person in your life and not interested in including anyone else, you may be ready for phase three.

Phase Three: Deeper Commitment

Once the person becomes a part of your life, you will start appreciating him or her more. You will start finding even more reasons why you love the person. The sexual connection is much stronger. People who want to live together usually do so at this stage. You may feel like you can’t live without the person and want to spend the rest of your life with him or her. This phase prepares you for the next step in your life like marriage.

Stage four: Make a statement about your commitment

At this stage, you decide that you are ready to tell the world that you have found your soulmate and are ready to commit to the person for the rest of your life. You want to marry the person so that you can show your partner and loved ones how much you care about him or her.

Level five: Stability and continuous growth

After marriage, your relationship will continue to grow. You will no doubt face some troubles along the way. Remember that you have laid a solid foundation for a healthy relationship, and if you solve problems as they arise, you can continue to have a long-lasting and satisfying marriage.

Getting stuck in a phase

Sometimes people find it difficult to get through all the stages. This can cause problems in the future. If you are not compatible in phase one, the romantic union will not happen. If you don’t feel comfortable introducing your new love interest to the people in your life, or you don’t want the person to be involved in other areas of your life, the relationship is most likely not going to move forward. If you are afraid of commitment, you will most likely not complete level two or three. In order to achieve the kind of relationship that will be long lasting and successful, you need to find someone you can trust and who wants to be a part of your life. Knowing if you or your partner is stuck at a stage can help you decide if you should move forward with the relationship.

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