6 Stages of the Relationship
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Sometimes it is useful to examine the stage of the relationship between the two main characters. Often, the length of time they know each other provides useful clues as to how the relationship has developed, along with some pointers as to where your writing can lead them.

I worked on such a stage for a love story and developed the following theory of how a relationship between a man and a woman could develop over time.

1. Blending (first year to 18 months)

Mixing is the first phase of being together – a phase in which all differences are overlooked. If you use the same toothbrush, you can use the individual characterization resources in the most unlikely places such as newspapers and magazines such as Hello, OK! and The National Enquirer.

These publications are full of real-life stories that document the character traits of heroes and opponents. Being together all the time is all things that are considered sexy. Mixing is about new experiences and self improvement.

If one person loves classical music, the other immerses in it to find out what the other person appreciates so much. This can start in a process of sharing and lead to lifelong pleasure.

I have a friend in multimedia whose partner went to university and was studying for a very difficult degree. He told me that he actually felt smarter because his new girlfriend was so interested in everything he did – to the point where he gained confidence and spoke at work. During the mixing process, the partners adapt each other's qualities and integrate them into their own personality.

The intensity of togetherness means that each partner feels that they understand the other, and if they survive this time, consider it a time full of madness and magic. Can it be different? How else would you be crazy enough to let a complete stranger into your life?

Common problems and challenges

– Everyone is afraid to let go
– Everyone is afraid to upset the other partner
– Everyone is afraid that love will be withdrawn
– Mixed couples have no experience of falling out and reconciling, so their arguments are usually huge and dramatic
– A partner in particular is afraid of losing his identity


– It's hard, but you have to learn to surrender to your feelings
– Blender put two basic instincts into war: we all long to be near and to be held, to be held and to be held by the other person, and yet we want to be masters of our own destiny

Tip Successful relationships create a balance.

2. Nesting (second and maybe third year)

This is the phase in which they decide to move in together and create a new home. Sharing this new experience becomes a new way of expressing their love for one another. It used to be easy to decide who did what when they visited each other, but now their arguments about who does what are over. And sex is becoming less common.

It seems that everything is becoming banal and routine. And differences between individuals are highlighted to the point where one can ask, "Who is this person I thought I knew?"

Many nesting couples worry about their emerging difference to "I love you, but …" and need confirmation that there is nothing wrong with their relationship.

It just changes and develops into something new.

Common problems and challenges

– Familiarity can cause trouble. Those quirky eccentricities that you once thought were charming have become bad habits
– The lines are often about male and female roles in the house, regardless of how “liberated” the couple is. The contraction can reawaken role models that were developed in childhood
– Arguments rotate in a circle
– During mixing, couples only have eyes for one another, but nests have many people who re-enter their common life, and this can lead to tension


– Since arguments often revolve around simple domestic matters such as "you ruined the laundry at the wrong temperature", some nests try to avoid these arguments altogether. But these arguments are worth it because couples learn through them to solve their differences. It is far better to learn how to resolve your differences than to wait for something big and inevitable to appear that could really damage the relationship. By learning to deal with these differences, you will grow and develop as a person. Anyone who sees or reads your story is drawn to the wisdom you convey.

Tip Remember that relationships don't stand still. Keep asking yourself: What are the best things that can happen when you are with him / her? What are the worst? Face these fears and really stare at them to see if they're real or not. Only then will you have the chance to advance to the next level.

3. Self-affirmative (third and / or fourth year) "

Nesting and mixing is about sharing and working together.

Self-affirming is about being confident enough to let the other partner go and do something yourself. Self-affirmatives will enjoy knowing that their partner is doing something on their own as much as if they do it together. It takes a new kind of love to make this possible and to give the partner the freedom (real freedom) to do what he wants to do without having it.

Common problems and challenges

– If someone has no special skills or trust, it is easier to hide in a relationship as part of a couple than to develop and establish their own parallel identity
– A partner will often think that the time of the other alone is a threat to the partnership
– A partner is unable to express its own independent needs ~
– Power struggles arise


– If the couple has learned to fight while nesting, it is better equipped to deal with their problems at this stage. The first two phases are about basic human needs. At this stage, the couple will try to negotiate as much personal time as possible. This negotiation can be exhausting

Compromise is important. Some people never learn to compromise because they think this is a sign of weakness. However, compromises can be a sign of great strength. Sometimes one of the couples suddenly stops compromising to prove a point. It can be seen as a form of betrayal when a compromise is withdrawn. Compromises only work if something is equally useful for each party. So look up what the other person sacrificed or benefited from and keep asking yourself: Was that fair?

4. Cooperation (five to fourteen years)

Couples use the security they received in the first three phases of their relationship to start new projects. This phase is called collaboration because the partners have to support each other very much. The excitement and freshness of projects or activities breathe new energy into the relationship.

Alternatively, the couple can start a joint project with complementary skills. Most often children have together. Or they start a company together or travel together. Regardless of the choice of whether it is an individual or a shared goal, it imports new energy into the relationship and avoids stagnation.

In this phase, reliability and reliability replace uncertainty and fear of losing the other (present in earlier phases). Couples have earned their slight familiarity and developed complementary skills. A common short form is used to eliminate differences rather than having to negotiate for hours.

Common problems and challenges

– take each other for granted
– One partner develops faster and risks leaving the other behind
– When communication is poor, one partner can get involved in an external project and neglect the other
– There is a boundary between separate activities and successes that enrich a relationship and those that cause a couple to grow apart. This is probably the most difficult phase. In Britain, most relationships end after 11.3 years. Common folklore calls this phase The Seven Year Itch. Successful relationships learn to reconcile the familiar with the new, fresh and bold.


– Lack of obsession is important. This is particularly difficult when one partner starts a new project while the other is not quite ready for the change. Couples must be generous enough at this stage to bless each other's projects and believe that they will succeed, rather than undermining the relationship

Typical scenarios

– "It is not practical." Forget the practical – everything is possible in a dream
– "It doesn't bring money". Dreams nourish your soul and express who you are. Your project doesn't have to bring in any money if you learn something new about yourself
– "I'm not talented enough." Dreams are about enjoying yourself. So it doesn't always matter how good or bad you do something, just that you do it

5. Adaptation (years 15 to 24)

These couples adapt to the changes instead of dealing with the inner changes in the relationship. These problems can vary from children leaving home to the aging or death of their parents.

In the meantime, each partner has given up on the idea of ​​what the other may have become and tends to think: "He / she has always been and probably will always be." What is the reason for complaining about your bad habits? You are actually very lovable. It's ironic that if you let someone go like this, they're most likely to bend and change. Couples feel satisfied at this stage and camaraderie is important. With increasing confidence and less concern for what people think, this is often a time of sexual reawakening. The disadvantage of accepting a partner, warts and everything, is that changes may seem impossible. This point of view can quickly change from calming to depressing. Couples need to take a new look and turn stalemate into possible positions.

Common problems and challenges

– take each other for granted
– Don't show emotions
– To think that the partner is unable to change and that a split is the only option
– During a crisis, a partner will try to go back to an earlier stage: ie a released man could go to do DIY, as in the nesting phase; Women who have taken on most of the responsibility for caring for children and aging parents can become self-confident again
– One partner thinks the other has enough to worry about and therefore stops trusting his own problems
– Sleep problems, such as the death of a parent, can revitalize your own childhood with a nudging effect. These problems are difficult to see


– Couples assume that they know each other well and hear what they have known about the person from the past and do not really listen to what the other person actually says about the present or the future. It is best to listen, to really listen to what is said or not said.

6. Renewal (years 25 to 60)

Older couples are often the most romantic and tightest. The closeness at a certain time was based on the promise of a common future. Now the bond is based on the reality of living together. Renewal partners look forward to shared experiences: shared jokes / stories. They are most unlikely to separate.

Common problems and challenges

– Sometimes a partner in the renewal phase is afraid to express their concerns, especially when other people begin to intervene in the couple's time together, for example when the couple's children expect the couple to spend too much time caring for grandchildren To take care of
– Health concerns can be isolating and close to claustrophobia


– As we get older, we become caricatures of ourselves. For example, if you have always been known to be late, you can do dry runs to make sure you get there on time. Patience and understanding are key to overcoming these uncertainties

It is quite difficult to hate someone on another continent or in another state. Believe it or not, I've read a series of scripts in which the enemy is planning a counterattack from across the ocean. Long-distance relationships don't work. In real life, you would tend to distance yourself as much as possible from someone you really don't like. Try to create togetherness for your hero and opponent. Squeeze them together. Let them occupy the same room. Force them to live together. The energy that this creates makes your script shine. Good stories show the opponent's values ​​that contradict the hero's values.


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