Love & Intimacy

Confused Relationship? Identify​ What Stage You’re At!

Psychologists have derived profound stages that over many years of research. Being aware of these stages can help us be more aware of our own relationship and take more control over the direction we're sailing in.  

Being aware of the stage your relationship is currently at, is crucial if you and your partner want to make your relationship last a lifetime. We’ve given each stage it’s own unique name we believe best fits the description and explanation of each stage. So let’s get down to it, shall we? 🙂

Stage #1 – Dreaming stage

‘Oh my god! he’s/she is so perfect!’ Yes, that’s exactly how you feel when you’re in the ‘dreaming stage’. The dreaming stage characterizes an intense urge to be close to each other – mental as well as physical attraction. It’s that feeling where you simply can’t get enough of him/her. Why is this? Well, generally when we meet the person we think is the one, our hormones, especially dopamine and oxytocin levels, explode! The dreaming stage feels great. In fact, many people actually get married to each other during this stage, as they believe they’ve found that someone they can identify themselves with on all levels.

But before I go on to telling you about the next stage, there is something that tends to characterize the intensity of the first stage. This is the part where both partners get to know each other. This can happen through long and deep conversations that help figure out each other’s values, innocent secrets, experiences with their ex and perhaps even give them a little glimpse to some of their flaws. The more each other’s values match, the stronger this stage will be. So to all parents and siblings out there… buckle your seatbelts!

Getting to know a person is like music. What attracts us to them is their melody, and as we get to know who they are, we learn their lyrics.

Stage #2 – Autonomous stage

The goal of the autonomous stage is to, as the name implies, establish autonomy. Let me explain… The dream is now over. You’ve woken up and start to get some more clarity on who that person actually is you’ve fallen in love with. How does this happen? There are several ways… a classic way is that we tend to notice some more general physical flaws like him/her leaving the toilet seat open, not doing the dishes straight after a meal etc. The point is this – during the autonomous stage, you don’t tend to focus on each other’s similarities but more on each other’s differences. Usually, this is also the reason for the first disagreement to emerge that could potentially end up in a first fight.

As you can imagine, this is also the stage where many relationships or even marriages are tested. It is totally normal to have secret thoughts like that you actually enjoyed the single life more than being in a relationship.

Stage #3 – Panic stage

Well, guess what! Shit’s getting real now. The panic stage is the most difficult stage to overcome. Once you and your partner have mastered the autonomous stage you’ve already come a long way. So well done. Unfortunately, there is one more hurdle both of have to overcome if you want your relationship to last a lifetime. We call this the ‘panic’ or ‘trapped’ stage. Partners begin to panic during this stage as they usually think ‘what have I gotten myself into?’. A typical sign for this stage is that they start punishing each other for not being the same person they were when the relationship started.

They both convince each other to change their behavior consistently and often small disagreements or conflicts can rapidly escalate into heavy fights. Something that is quite common as well, is that one of the partners may start to feel bored of the relationship. This may be due to their need for uncertainty and variety. This tends to show itself especially when it comes to their sexual relationships. Sex may not be as exciting as it used to be and interests may begin to differ. At this stage, it may even be likely that one of the partners start an affair with someone else.

A tough stage to overcome. So how can it be overcome? Well, unfortunately, this stage is the ultimate test and will require you to appreciate your relationship instead of only seeing the negatives. If you begin to truly appreciate your partner and accept the fact that nobody is perfect and make a commitment to growth, then you will survive.

You can’t just give up on someone because the situation’s not ideal. Great relationships aren’t great because they have no problems. They’re great because both care enough about the person to find a way to make it work.

Stage #4 – Appreciation stage

Well done, you’ve mastered the hardest bit of a relationship. Almost there! 🙂 The appreciation stage is where you’ve decided to make a commitment to accepting your partner’s flaws and have both set clear boundaries for one another. But guess what… once you truly learn to appreciate, this will be the beginning of much deeper and more intimate love.

Trust and the ability to predict each other’s behavior in certain situations can be taken for granted. Value your partner as best as you can. Remember, there is only a single one of them out there.

Stage #5 – Arrival stage

Congratulations! The relationship has come a long way and reaching this stage will make all the doubts, fears and fights pay off. The arrival stage, is the stage where both partners have made the commitment to trust each other 100%. Sex will be better than it has ever been before. Once we truly appreciate we have a ‘healthy mentality’. This will automatically make us a lot more creative when it comes to making love to each other. Perhaps you may also start something together. A business, charity or anything similar. To all men, this is the time where a proposal might be just right.

Your relationship is now not only a gift to yourself, but also to your friends, family and the world.

Take-home message. Relationships are a constant experience of up’s and down’s you and your partner go through. Surely, times will get tough. Remembering why you have fallen in love with each other is a ​useful tool to use. Apply these stages to your relationship! This will not only help you gain clarity on where you and your partner currently are but also help you deal with times of difficulty.


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