There are natural highs and lows, different stages in a relationship. The trick is to know what they are.
There is nothing in this world like falling in love. It’s the most amazing feeling there is, which is probably why we get a little addicted to it. We all have that friend who goes from one relationship to the next, falling in love at the drop of a hat. Or maybe you are that person.
The point is, we love that feeling so much, we don’t want it to end. So then when we don’t feel that magical spark anymore, we start to think something is wrong. We tend to think this person must not be the right person; it seems logical enough.
But what we don’t know is that there are natural highs and lows, different stages in a relationship (even within an amazing one). The trick is to know what they are so when they come, you don’t run for the hills. Instead, you run for your mate.
Here are the six stages in a relationship. Which one are you in?
1. Falling In Love
Obviously, the first part of love is the falling in love stage. It’s an immediate high that we all know well. It feels like we are in the clouds because not only do we feel amazing when we are around this new person, but everything in the world seems grand and amazing.
It’s because we have so many “feel good” hormones running through our veins, it’s like we’re wearing rose-colored glasses. This is a definite high and easy to realize that it’s part of love.
2. Settling into Daily Life
Eventually, the body gets used to the being in love feeling. So then your body sort of settles into feeling good, but not quite so high. This is neither a high nor low, but more or less normal.
This is the part of the relationship where you feel super comfortable with each other and maybe show parts of you that are less than glamorous. At this point, a lot of people start to worry because they aren’t feeling that extreme loving feeling every second of the day anymore.
They panic that something is wrong with the relationship, when in fact, it’s a normal part of being in love. When you settle into daily love, take heart. There is comfort in this part of love, and if you stick with it, you’ll learn that it only gets better. But not before it gets worse.
3. Testing Each Other
This is the lowest of the low part of the relationship, and typically it happens after you’ve both been together for a while. Nothing necessarily sets off this low, though by now you’ve been through a lot together, including hard times. Those hard times can make you vulnerable and raw and sometimes bring out things in each of you that you haven’t seen before.
And then you really get to know how to push each other’s buttons. You may start to lose a little confidence in each other and wonder if this relationship will last. And so then you test each other. You want to make sure that this love thing is real. Totally normal.
Unfortunately, this is where many people give up, but just hang on. The best is yet to come.
4. Letting Up
If you can make it to this point, you are definitely dedicated to each other through the ups and downs of love. Good for you. After a bit of testing each other, you notice the other person is still around, then you start to let up on each other.
Your confidence rises. You realize that despite all of your faults, your mate is still there. And that really says something. You are still a little lower than ideal at this point, but you’re starting to see the glimmer of the love you had before, but it looks different.
Your love is maturing. You really start to turn towards each other in a different way than ever before.
5. Love Re-set
By this time, you have both become different people, and it’s because you have each other. It’s an amazing realization to know just how much of an impact you have had on one another. You both have let go of the hard stuff, and you want to sort of re-start things.
This is when the love re-set happens. You have grown a little and know better who you are and what each of you needs. You tend to negotiate during this stage of love. And now, you are both willing to do just about anything for each other.
And that is a beautiful thing. This is a constantly rising tide to a high, but not quite the highest point of love yet. That comes next.
6. Mature Love
When you see an older couple sitting together, looking at each other lovingly, perhaps laughing and holding hands, it just warms your heart. You know they are in love, but it looks so different than young love. That’s because they’ve been through a lot to be there.
They’ve been through all the previous stages in a relationship and stuck it out. This hasn’t always been easy, but that’s not the point. Love is an action. It’s a choice. It’s something that you have to continually feed and give and trust.
You probably won’t realize until you reach this part of love just how worthwhile and amazing love can be. You know each other inside and out, and you absolutely can count on each other. There are no secrets, there are not embarrassing parts, there is just full and utter acceptance.
That is worth passing through all the stages in a relationship and the ups and downs life can throw your way.
Author Bio: Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support, and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy, happy marriages. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.