3 Phases Every Serious Relationship Undergoes On Its Path To Success


When getting into a relationship, you don't really know the person until about a year or so down the line. (And even then, you’re still learning!)

You start to realize what really makes your significant other tick and what buttons to push for happiness and irritability alike.

You see how he or she rationalizes and deals with problems and handles crises.

Similarly, as the relationship progresses, you also are able to acknowledge how the partnership is benefiting you (or not) and what you truly hope to gain from it.

While you could be in two different places in your life physically, you could also mentally and emotionally be in different places.

While a person could physically be in a relationship, he or she could have completely mentally checked out.

Just as the person you are dating might physically be 23, he or she could mentally have the rationalization skills of a middle school student.

Here are three different “places” a person could find him or herself in throughout a relationship's course:

In Or Out?

Imagine you've been in a relationship for the past two years. Everything is going great, but your companionship is becoming a bit complacent.

Long gone are the days when he unexpectedly got you with flowers before going out to a romantic dinner. And, she rarely gets you gifts “just because.”

Sex is still a regular thing, but the two of you forgot what it means to really “wow” one another.

This sort of slump can often lead to a shifted mindset between the two people.

While yes, you are still physically in a relationship with this person, you may not be mentally.

According to PyschAlive, relationships tend to fail because you “may be more likely to act without regard or consideration” after you become so comfortable with your significant other.

Think back to when you first started dating this person. Would you initially approach a matter of conflict in an accusatory or assuming manner? Probably not.

You most likely would have been amicable and more willing to come to a solution.

Intense amounts of complacency throughout a relationship can often lead you to take your partner for granted.

Your mindset throughout your relationship is important to consider when weighing how successful it will be.

Growing Pains.

It’s fair to say that in your relationship, you’re supposed to grow as an individual. Your partner’s good habits might rub off on you.

You may develop better study habits, improved financial management skills and enhanced lifestyle routines.

However, at some point, you may find yourself taking one step forward and two steps back. Is it possible you’re not actually bettering yourself as a person in this relationship?

It takes a considerable amount of time before you can say with confidence you actually know someone.

Sometimes, when you get to the point of actually knowing the person, you find his or her level of maturity is not where you thought it was.

This phenomenon is especially common for Millennials. Millennials are at an age where they are figuring everything out educationally, professionally and socially.

We’re the little birdies spreading our wings, ready to leave the nest and immerse ourselves in a life outside of school and internships.

Without real world experience, some people may not be ready to be in a relationship. It’s difficult to give your all to someone else when you’re still figuring it out for yourself.

Needs Vs. Wants.

This is the classic case of “we want different things.”

I recently read a book where the protagonist cut off his engagement because he wanted to pursue a career in Maine and his fiancée would not entertain the idea of leaving her cozy Upper East Side abode.

At a certain point in any relationship, you may find yourself at a crossroads because you've grown too far apart.

You may want to be in the relationship, but you ultimately need to do what’s best for you.

Growing apart is a common issue for couples. According to PsychCentral,

“These are some red flags that you’re growing apart: consistently spending less time together; going to bed at different times; making big decisions without consulting each other (and forgetting that you’re a partner and a 'we'); keeping secrets; feeling lonely when you’re together or not enjoying each other’s company; and not having sex.”

If it’s meant to be, you can work through it with your partner by talking about it or even reserving Saturday night as a designated “date night.”