Every time you jump into a new romantic relationship, it seems like an entirely different experience. It’s with a different person, at a different time in your life and a different you than you were before. While every love you may encounter is unfamiliar in its essence, it’s not soon before you realize that you’ve been through all this before. The relationship may be divergent, but there are similar stages you’ll find once you settle into it.
1. The “getting to know you” phase.
This is most often known as the game show portion of the beginning of your relationship. It’s trying to learn the most about each other in the shortest amount of time to build the trust and love that you both have your eyes set on. Every new question offers the chance for discovery and excitement! Every time you see the person, you are almost destined to figure out something about them as well as yourself.
2. The “romantic montage” phase.
Once you’ve started to get to know each other, you start to want to do big and romantic gestures for one another. Maybe it’s things you never got to do in past relationships like giving your beloved flowers or whisking your significant other away to a surprise picnic in the park or bonfire on the beach. Everything seems to fall into place, and feel right. Even in the smallest of gestures like leaving notes or cooking dinner for the other, all seem like perfect moments.
3. The "you're that couple” phase.
When the theatrics of romantic start to come out, the inevitability of feeling smitten comes with it. And with romance in the air and your head in the clouds, you just want to spend all of your time with this person. The clingy, romantic, mushy person you never swore you would be is suddenly the person looking back at you in the mirror. Coincidentally, it's also the source of light mockery among your friends and family. But you don’t care that you’re a puddle of goo, you’re in love!
4. The “you’re not perfect” phase.
Being googly eyed with one another can only last for so long. It's almost as if a crack in the illusion of the person you have come to adore occurs. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can be as simple as finding out that your person is really whiny when they’re sick, or actually hates something that they said they loved in the beginning of your relationship, like watching sports. And with it, you are simply reminded that the person you are with is indeed a person, and not the knight in shining armor or princess you originally fell for. And that is OK.
5. The ”pizza and sweatpants” phase.
You’ve been dating enough to the point where you don’t have to question or second guess your significant other. You’re able to say, “I feel like I can be around this person in just sweats, messy hai, and bad breath, and this person will not think less of me.” There’s not as much as worry as whether you look good enough or are doing the right thing. You know that you can both fall asleep to "Friends" and have a regular local restaurant that you consider your own. It’s not as much about discovery, but feeling bliss in being on the same page as the other person. Also, you can fart in front of one another with no qualms whatsoever.
6. The “what’s next?” phase.
This tends to happen after you've settled into the comfortableness of being so in sync. It slowly develops into a pattern of an old routine. You do the same things, see the same people and talk about the same things. It's not that you're unhappy, you're just getting a little bit less surprised, or sure about what new things are on the horizon. Depending on the couple and what they're looking to add new excitement back into the relationship, it's possible to move forward. It also tends to be a phase that comes back around every once in a while given the length of the relationship.
7. The “elderly couple” phase.
Though this may be considered a phase of comfort, this goes a little more beyond that. It’s more of an extended period of comfort. It’s realizing each other’s quirks, outgrowing the need to go out and do reckless things and feeling more comfortable with spending more one on one time as opposed to with a big group. Instead of going out, you just want to heat up some leftovers, play some board games or cards, maybe pop in a movie and call it an early night. You feel no shame in this, but are inclined for more simpler nights in and growing more into the age of the relationship instead of fighting it.
Though every relationship varies, there are similar phases that can be seen within each one. These are just a couple. What are some phases you feel exist across the border in relationships?