3 Phases Every Serious Relationship Passes Through On Its Way To Success

When we enter romantic relationships, it is pretty safe to say that we don't really know the person we are dating. Not for a while anyway, and even then, there is still more to learn. After a while, you will learn what makes them happy, what drives them nuts. You will learn how they deal with a crisis. Over time, you will be able to see how the relationship is (or isn't) benefiting you and what you can hope to gain from the experience. But here's the thing with relationships. You may be sitting across the table from one another, but you may be in completely different places. It is possible to be physically, emotionally and mentally in completely different places. Relationships that are successful, overcome these differences. Here are three common 'places' you may find yourself while navigating the journey that is your relationship:

In or Out?

This usually happens when you've been in a relationship for a while. Things start to become complacent. You don't do spontaneous nice things for one another 'just because.' You're still having sex but neither of you are really working to 'wow' the other. It is a slump and it can shift your mindset. You're physically there, but maybe not so present mentally. Once you become comfortable with your partner, it is easier to be less mindful and behave without consideration or regard. When you first started dating, did you approach conflict with accusations and assumptions? Not likely. You likely tried to be amicable and find a solution. Your mindset is important when assessing the potential success of your relationship. Too much complacency and you may take your partner for granted.

Growing Pains

Good relationships should help you to grow. Your partner's good habits will likely rub off on you. However, at some point, you may find you are taking one step forward, two back. Could it be that you are not actually bettering yourself in this relationship? Sometimes when you get to the point where you really know the other person, you find they are not where you thought they were with regards to their maturity. This is especially true for millennials. They are at that age where they are just trying to figure everything out for themselves. Giving yourself to someone is very difficult when you are trying to sort out your own future.

Needs vs Wants

This is the classic "we want different things" scenario. Sometimes you'll find yourself at a crossroads in your relationship because you have grown too far apart from one another. You may find yourself doing less together, going to bed at different times, not consulting one another on major decisions. You may want to be in the relationship but you need to do what is best for you when all is said and done. These are the make or break stages of many relationships. If you can communicate and navigate these hurdles, you are well on your way to something lasting. Have you seen these stages with your partner? How did you get through it?

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