Do you know that a hug with your partner can lessen the cravings for drugs, alcohol, and sweets? It is true because hugging your partner releases a cuddle hormone called "Oxytocin," which reduces stress and improves your heart rate. An added advantage is that it reduces inflammation too.
Everyone dreams of being in a perfect and happy relationship, although this expectation may not materialize for everyone. It takes a combination of factors, such as effort, consistency, and commitment apart from "love," to enter a happy relationship.
While dating or being in a relationship, couples face an underlying question – a decision to make about their future: either move forward and continue the relationship or give up and end it. This stage typically involves different parts, as discussed below.
Crush, attraction and the beginning
Before every relationship, there is a moment when you see a person for the first time, and you start to have a crush on them. Every relationship has an initiating point where the partners meet. It can be over the internet, social media, university, college, office, a party, or elsewhere.
You start liking them, and you start interacting. Shyness is present in some individuals, but usually, they find a way to interact. If the interest and curiosity increase in the next two or three meet-ups, it can lead to the second stage instead of subsiding.
Curiosity and infatuation
After interacting a few times, you start to like each other. The interest level of the other person peaks.
The early attraction between a couple depends on physical features or attributes, like facial features, body type, and interests. You talk to them daily and on texts and calls at this stage. It feels like this person is your soulmate. Everything seems perfect. This is the beginning, a phase where you feel attracted to them—a start where you get to know about your soulmate.
You ignore the differences between the two of you and don't notice things that might affect you later. You focus on the positive side, and that is a good thing. But being realistic is essential too. Ignoring the differences at the start makes relationships problematic in the future.
The curiosity at this stage is at its fullest. You are curious about your lover's likes and dislikes, future goals and aims, family, and hobbies. In other words, you want to know everything related to their personal and professional life, whether it happened in the past, present, or future.
This stage isn't troublesome, as both partners try to impress each other. Both want to convey a good impression, so things don't mess up. This stage can last for 1-4 months, depending on person to person and their maturity level, past experiences, and understanding.
At the end of this stage, women look for introspection, often asking themselves, "where is this relationship headed?" If things progress slowly, there is a higher probability of successful future relationships. On the other hand, if things are taken swiftly at this stage, it might not end well; even if it ends on good terms, it will end soon.
Conversion in a couple/Stability Stage
At this point, the urge to impress each other declines. Couples feel relaxed, comfortable, and satisfied with their partners. They feel more connected and intimate, and trust builds and becomes more assertive. Partners try to act naturally toward each other, revealing their "true faces." For example, "What will my partner think of me if I eat like this or say this?"
This is a crucial stage because even the cute little things you tell each other may irritate the other. Both partners begin to observe each other's differences and imperfections. Observing the flaws leads to complaining. But some people ignore it, assuming it may change over time. Few start solving problems through a mature approach by bringing the issue up. It depends on person to person and how they deal with these circumstances.
Couples start to disclose their authentic selves. This means that they act the way they work in their daily lives, around each other. There is no more pretending or showoff. By now, a cluster of thoughts and doubts may occupy one's mind, forcing one to contemplate whether to pursue the relationship further with a commitment or not. At this stage, women most likely ask men where this relationship is heading. This question is essential because the relationship's future depends on this answer. If the answer doesn't satisfy the other partner, it may give rise to doubts and eventually end the relationship.
At this stage, couples understand their partner's life with a broader perspective, deeply indulging in each other's life. They understand the strengths and weaknesses of their partners. They know what can offend them and what can make them contended.
This stage should include open and honest conversations between partners, including future planning and goals, career, children, family issues or how to cope with them, finances, lifestyles, and other vital areas. It must also focus on tough areas such as the existing differences and accepting each other.
This part of the relationship plays a significant role because it helps to evaluate how emotionally suitable the person is to their partners. Emotional support and commitment are critical and always observed at this stage.
In conclusion, every relationship has its ups and downs, but how a person reacts to them is very important. Every stage is different. However, every relationship requires give and take from both sides. If each partner seems uninterested, they should take a step back instead of continuing the relationship or heading towards a commitment. For a successful relationship, one must go through these four stages with utmost honesty, consistency, and transparency.