The 7 Stages of Relationships

Did you know that there are 7 different stages of relationships? Well, many people had no idea about the 7 stages. As we dive into these stages, I am sure they will become very familiar with you. At some point, you can visualize yourself experiencing one stage or another. These are the 7 stages of a relationship:

1. Awareness/Attraction

2. Engagement/Connection

3. Commitment

4. Interdependence

5. Enrichment

6. Maturity

7. End of life/Termination

Let's delve into each stage.

1. Awareness/Attraction - This is the stage when your eye catches an interesting being. This is when you notice the person and are attracted in some way or another. You are aware of the individual and you are attracted to person in one way pr another. At this stage you have the beam in your eye and an instant interest to know more.

2. Engagement/Connection - This is the stage where you make yourself available to learn more about the person that caught your eye. Yes, the moment when you start small talk in whatever fancy way you choose to. Small talk is one way people engage to know more about another person. At this time you determine if there is a real connection and/or try to make a connection. You are getting to know this person and determining if you have enough connectedness to move to the next stage.

3. Commitment - At this stage you make a confirmation to the individual you experienced in stages 1 and stage 2. Stage 3 is when you make a decision to consciously be with this person to grow and know life together. AT this stage your life decisions are based on you and this individual sharing your life together collectively. You do need to make sure the commitment with this person doesn't cause you to forget to stay true to your authentic self as you grow and evolve.

4. Interdependence – Webster defines “interdependence” as “the state of being dependent upon one another: mutual dependence.” Initially, you may think of dependence as having a negative connotation, however, the key here is “mutual dependence.” Each person is dependent on the other for mutual affection, caring, companionship, trust and love. There is an inter-connectiveness in your dreams, thoughts, feelings, etc. It is in this stage that you have shared goals and aspirations. If children are the result of this union, each shares a mutual desire to raise, nurture and protect their offspring.

5. Enrichment – The enrichment stage is the stage where you nurture and build your love You expound on your romantic love and intertwine while building a stronger bond. Your focus is more on how to strengthen the relationship and build together as one and as a team. This is when you develop interpersonal intimacy within the relationship teaching each other more and more about strengths and weaknesses and how to maneuver together. Working together as a couple to ensure you both as a team are built on a solid foundation.

6. Maturity – This stage takes many years to develop. Someone once said, “When you get married, the minister pronounces you ‘man and wife.’ However, it takes years to become a wife.” But whether you are married or not, the same holds true. The maturity stage is when you have become knowledgeable about the person you are committed to. You know their idiosyncrasies. At this point, you have built a wealth of memories and experiences. You are a mature oak tree with deep roots and strong branches.

7. End of Life/Termination – This is the most challenging of all the stages. If the relationship terminates – whether due to death or irreconcilable differences – the outcome is the same. The heart and the mind suffers a terrible loss. There is no longer any reciprocity. If your life could be represented in one photo, this stage is as if that photo was torn in half. Whether through death or separation, a huge part of your life suffers a kind of death.

Each stage builds upon itself. If you are serious about your relationship take each stage seriously and build strong relationships which will result in strong families. This can contribute to happier people in a happier world!

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