It seem that a sound relationship, in a couple or marriage, have to go through four distinct stages. These are stages of growth, even if one or two of them look as non-developmental for the relationship. A couple must accomplish all these stages in order to achieve its maturity.
The Romance Stage
This is the most craved stage. When we begin a relationship from passion, we hope it will last forever. However, the reality is that it lasts a rather a short time, in the most cases a year or so. This stage is characterized by a lack of knowledge about our partner. We just feel and do not think. We see now only our similitude but not the difference between us. Yes, it’s a beautiful and heavenly period when we just love.
The Discovery of the Other Stage
Even if we feel an infinite love for the other, there come a period when we begin to discover other sides of other partner. Especially those sides that seem not to meet our expectations. Now we uncover the individuality of our partner, the true one. We see now the difference between us. Yes, we love each other but first we love ourselves. This is the reason we want the other to be one with us. How he/she can have his/her own path – we ask ourselves. So we feel betrayed.
To reach the maturity of our relationship, we must firstly reach the third stage. Therefore, at this moment we have to build a bridge between ourselves:
- listen to each other and share your feelings;
- respect the individuality of the other;
The Self-Discovery Stage
At this stage, each of the partners begins to calm down and to focus on their own interests and wishes. Now each tries to create and develop their path and lifestyle. At this moment appears the possibility of parting the ways. To avoid this:
- allow to the other to develop in their own way;
- communicate to each other your goals, your interests, your pleasures, … ;
- accept the other as he/she is;
- don’t take the other as a mean to fulfill your individuality;
The Rediscovery of the Other Stage
Now the partners begin to see each other more realistically being aware who the other is and being willing to support. They rediscover each other and their love in a new light, an understanding one. Now they can say that their relationship have reached a lovely stage and a sound maturity.