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The Eight+ Stages of Relationships, Part I

Relationships go through predictable stages as they grow and develop. This can be said for all relationships, but it specifically true for romantic relationships.

These stages are unavoidable and happen in every relationships. The key to a happy relationship is to know what stage the relationship is in and dealing with well with that stage.

What stage is your relationship in? Or, if you are not in a relationship, at what stage do your relationships always end? Why?

At times knowledge is power - if you know the stage your relationship is in or the stage at which your relationships always end, you may be able to see events in a different way as they unfold, perhaps even change their course.

Stage 1: The Honeymoon

This stage is what love songs and fairy tales tell us love is supposed to be like. You meet, you connect, you fall in love. Everything seems right. Nothing seems out of place. Even if some things don't seem exactly right, you are full of hope they will work themselves out.

When it starts and how long it lasts:
Can start from day one, most times is in effect by the first month and can last from three to six months.

Stage 2: The Discovery

This is the stage when enough of the excitement of being together fades so that you can actually discover whom the other person really is. You and he/she begin to recognize each other's quirks and neuroses, and start to notice things that bug you about each other. You also begin to discover what you truly love and respect about each other. Your communication should deepen to a soulful level, where you begin to open up to each other.

When it starts and how long it lasts:
Starts between three and six months into the relationship and can last for a number of years, depending on how comfortable the couple is with self-disclosure and how quickly the couple wants to progress in emotional intimacy.

Stage 3: The Commitment

This is the stage most singles fantasize about - the place where the relationship is settled, you know you are together - and you can finally relax. This is the stage most couples try to rush toward and arrive at too soon. And it is a wonderful stage...but rather than the end of the process, it is only the beginning. In many ways, a relationship does not truly begin until a couple commits to each other.

When it starts and how long it lasts:
Stage starts once both members of the couple decide to commit to each other - move into a committed relationship, start to live together, get married or take on some other form of deep commitment.

Stage 4: The Power Struggle

This is the stage at which many couples split up. The power struggle can be a gut-wrenching, painful experience for a couple. This can be a time of arguments or silence, a time that will truly test the couple's mettle. Most couples wonder how they got to this stage - it comes on out of nowhere and without much warning. Because almost all of the relationship up to this point has been mainly joyful, it is a very shocking stage for a couple to experience.

When it starts and how long it lasts:
Can start as soon as the commitment is solidified, or soon thereafter. Can last until the couple breaks up, or for many years. Or the couple can find a way to work through this stage and move into the following stages of the relationship.

The power struggle is the deciding point of the relationship, and solidifies the future of the relationship. There are three possible ways the couple comes out of a power struggle. We will look at these next week.

3. Help for Your Love Life: Something New and Different

Membership in

Here is a new and different idea I am thinking of offering: a one year membership in

For a $100 membership fee you would get access to all current eClasses, plus all eClasses and audio programs - something new I will be offering - that come out during the next year. You are guaranteed to get at least $150.00 worth of material during the year, and likely much more. Plus you get 20% off all of my individual and group coaching services.

How does that sound? I am interested in hearing your feedback on this idea of making personal growth resources more accessible to you. Email me to let me know if this something you would want to participate in.

Your Relationship Coach,
Rinatta Paries

(c) Rinatta Paries. Do you know how to attract your ideal mate? Do you know how to build a fulfilling relationship, or how to reinvent yours to meet your needs? Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries can teach you the skills and techniques to attract and sustain long-term, healthy partnerships. Visit where you'll find quizzes, classes, advice and a free weekly ezine. Become a "true love magnet(tm)!"

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