A relationship is a bonding that takes places over time and passes through different stages. The coming together of two people and their staying together is a key part of a relationship. Psychologist, behavioral scientists and researchers agree that a relationship goes through various stages and have attempted to broadly classify the stages in a relationship based on the level of intimacy and other factors. Our personal experience also affirms that a relationship progresses through stages; whether or not we consciously identify them and agree with them or disagree.
Insights into relationship stages
The beginning of any new relationship is acknowledging or being aware of a person’s presence. The depth of a relationship may increase or decrease based on the various interpersonal experiences and may broadly be classified in different stages. The Relationship stages are defined by many different people using various terms. Sarah, Schultz in her online article classifies the relationship stages as; “Romance Stage, Disillusionment Stage, the Power Struggle Stage, The stability Stage, the Commitment Stage”. The initial excitement stage is common in almost all relationships, which is a stage that is almost effortless or with efforts limited only to the extent of making a good impression. The “Disillusionment Stage” is the stage where according to Sarah; we “begin to realize that your partner is actually a human being”. We tend to focus more on the other persons shortcomings instead of their strengths, which invariably leads to disagreement. The “disillusionment stage” is akin to the stage described as the “Deterioration Stage” (Devito, Ch 9). The “Power Struggle” stage is when the id or the ego takes over leading to a serious damage or disruption to the relationship. At this stage it is imperative that you “learn to manage your differences effectively – to communicate and work together as a team”, says Sarah. If we are able to recognize this stage in our relationship, acknowledge it and do the necessary repair, then it is possible for us to revive our relationship and re-establish a fruitful sense of togetherness.
Personal observation and application
From our personal experiences we find that, out of many different people we meet, we develop a specific liking towards a person and are more interested in getting to know them better. The initial stage of any relationship is usually with the excitement of getting into a new bonding, where everything the other person says or does is mostly agreeable to us. We try to put up our best self and be polite and nice. But as the relationship progresses, we identify those human errors in the other person and react to it. By working us a team together it is easier to resolve our relationship issues. An understanding of the relationship stages makes us cognizant of the fact that any relationship goes thorough varying stages and prepares us to handle the difficulty with well-informed knowledge and strategies.
Schultz, Sarah “5 Stages of Committed Relationships.” 5 Stages of Committed Relationships. 15 Apr. 2007. EzineArticles.com. 17 Jun 2009 <http://ezinearticles.com/?5-Stages-of-Committed-Relationships&id=528343>.
Devito, Joseph. The Interpersonal communication book. Allyn & Bacon, 2007