Monthly Archives: November 2016

Know More About 5 Stages Of Love

Ahh, love. It makes the world go around. It has inspired many poems, the most-read genre of books, and movies that make you grab a box of tissues. Nothing in life can compare to finding love. And when you locate that perfect partner, you plan to hold on tight forever. Till death do you part. So why do 40-50% of marriages end in divorce [1]? Couples tend to end their relationships when they become disillusioned, not realizing it is simply one of many steps to a deeper, truer love.

The 5 Stages of Love

There are 5 stages of love that all relationships will eventually experience. Knowing this in advance can save you future heartache and problems.  It also can provide you with hope that the situation you find yourself in will pass. If you face adversity together and hang on, life will get better. You will become closer and love will endure.

Stage 1: Passion and playfulness

You meet the man of your dreams. He’s cute, fun and downright sexy. He’s filled your waking thoughts. You can’t think straight and getting a text from him will make your heart flutter. You are falling fast.

In this first stage of love, your hormones run the show. You flirt, get butterflies in your stomach and heart, toss your hair back often and laugh a lot more. Falling in love makes you glow. Full of playfulness and passion, stage one of love, often called the honeymoon stage, tends to be everyone’s favorite because it’s fun.

Stage 2: Getting serious

Enter stage two. You still make a great couple. You hold hands in the park and cuddle up together to watch a movie, but something has changed. You’ve moved in together, maybe even got married and invested in a house. There might be a new baby in the picture or one on the way. The craziness of that honeymoon phase has calmed down.

You still have sex, but it’s more loving, more meaningful. And probably more rushed if you have a child. But now there are bills to worry about. Rent. Babysitters. Adult- stuff. That fun time has run its course and your relationship has entered the serious zone.

Stage 3: What happened?

Life seems to have rushed by and left you somewhere in the dust. You have friends living in Bali, others attending fun after-work parties and you are stuck going home each night to clean up a house, do laundry and make dinner that no one seems to appreciate. You feel as if your partner takes you for granted. What happened to those cuddles on the couch? And the last time he held your hand was to show you the mess the kids made in the bathroom. Stage three makes you seriously wonder if you lost that loving feeling!

What happened? Did you fall out of love? Most couples begin to feel resentment towards their partners at this stage in their relationship. They wonder what they missed in life had they stayed single, and wonder if being single would be a better place to be.

By this point, all illusions have been stripped away. You find yourself arguing more. The bills may be piling up, and kids proving to be a challenge. Romance seems like work and you can’t be bothered to squeeze in the time. You just want it to end. And most people do just that, end their relationship.

Stage 4: Climbing down from the pedestal

If you’ve stuck it out through the tough times of stage three, you will be rewarded. You and your partner have fallen from the pedestals that you placed each other on. You become real people, not gods descended from Mount Olympus. All veils are stripped away. You acknowledge that your partner has dreams and also problems, just like you. Stage three let you see the frustrations in your relationship. Stage four allows you to accept them and work through them.

You and your partner can face life and battle adversity as a team. You have reached the stage of real love, not love held up on romance and passion or stuck together because of a child, but love based on mutual understanding and acceptance of each other.

Stage 5: Working together as a team

Now that you’ve both embraced each other’s weaknesses and faults along with strengths and desires, you can combine forces and make the world a better place.

What social issues are you both passionate about? Do you both believe in healthy food choices? Get involved in a CSA co-op and help out on an organic farm or making farm fresh produce deliveries to people who can’t get out. Love the arts? Join a local cultural club or start a project or take a class together. Collaborate on an e-book. Volunteer at a national park.

As the old saying goes: “couples who play together, stay together.” By all means, keep your separate hobbies, but find a common ground and make it a project to work on together.

Don’t let your relationship become a statistic. When you arm yourself about the stages of love, it will help you get through those tough times to reach the other side. Love can be beautiful, but it is far from perfect. Nothing worth having comes easy. Hang on and love will endure.

Some Relationship Tips That Couples Often Forget

Once a couple of people have settled into a relationship, things can fall into a bit of a rut. Routines form, the attentiveness that was present at the beginning of the courtship might be replaced by content complacency, and ultimately tensions arise. These simple tips may seem like common sense, but you may be surprised at how often people forget about their importance.

Communication is Vital

Very few of us are able to read one another’s minds, so it’s important to express things that weigh on us, whether they’re positive or negative. Little behaviors that bother us can become more irksome over time, so it’s good to address them early, before the irritation accumulates to the point of anger. Similarly, miscommunications can lead to some pretty ugly arguments, so if you’re uncertain about something, try to discuss it calmly so you can sort things out: you may have misheard or misread something your partner said/did and taken it totally out of context, so clarify before freaking out about anything. Even though we may feel that we know our partners well after being with them for several years, remember that we all grow and change over time, and methods of communication must change along with us as needed.

Never Take Each Other for Granted

Be aware of every wonderful thing that your partner does for you, and express your gratitude whenever possible. This might be as simple as thanking them for doing the dishes after you’ve eaten dinner, or telling them how much it means to you that they make your coffee/tea exactly the way you like it. They’ll feel appreciated for the love and kindness they show you, and will express their appreciation to you in turn, so no one ever feels like their actions aren’t being acknowledged.

Respect Each Other’s Alone Time

Togetherness is important, but just as important (if not more so) is the ability to spend time alone. Too much time spent together can make you irritable, especially if you feel like your personal space is always being invaded. Time alone is necessary for personal reflection, growth, meditation, or even just quiet contemplation. Remember that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and you’ll appreciate your partner a lot more after having some space away from them. If you live together, it might be a good idea to have personal spaces that you can retreat to: either individual offices, or a garage workshop for one person and an attic library for another, etc.

Don’t “Let Yourself Go”

It’s inevitable that once certain comfort levels have been reached and closeness wins out over early awkwardness, some behavioral patterns will change. You might not spend an hour prepping before dinner to make sure that your hair is perfect, or your partner might wear the same pants for two days in a row without worrying about what you might think of their outfit. That’s totally normal, and really quite hilarious. That said, closer comfort levels don’t mean that you should neglect your personal hygiene, or let your living space fall into complete ruin. You know they’re not going to judge you if you leave pizza boxes all over the floor, but that doesn’t mean that you should. Try to keep things tidy and your appearance a step or two above “slovenly,” and your partner will undoubtedly feel that they’re worth making an effort for.

Share Some Hobbies, and Have Solo Pursuits as Well

You might not share your partner’s love of MMORPGs, and they may not be interested in your love of foreign films, and you know what? That’s absolutely okay. While it’s great to pursue some hobbies and interests together, it’s important to have your own social groups and interests as well. Take cooking classes or swing dance lessons together, hook up with friends to go to wine tasting nights, but then split off for your individual pursuits: you’ll have fun things to talk about when you meet up afterwards.

Admit When You’re Wrong (or When They’re Right)

This may be difficult for some people to do, but it really is important. If you discover that you’ve been wrong about an issue/bit of information/whatnot, own up to it: you’ll gain your partner’s appreciation and respect if you do, and if you don’t, you’re just proving yourself to be an immature, pouty jerk. Additionally, if you’ve been discussing something and your partner turns out to be in the right, acknowledge that fact: they may have been filled with self-doubt, and acknowledging their awareness or knowledge may boost their self-esteem exponentially.

Have Faith In Your Partner

Having trust and faith in another person can be difficult, especially if you’ve been hurt by others in the past. If you’ve been cheated on or otherwise betrayed by another partner, you might worry that the same thing will happen in your current relationship, and this may cause you to imagine things or accuse your partner without just cause. If you find that your own insecurities are poisoning your partnership, talk it out with them and consider seeking therapy: they’re not the person who hurt you, so please don’t assume that just because one person treated you badly, everyone else will too.

Leave the Past In the Past

If you work through a hardship together and come to a positive resolution, move past it and use the experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Don’t refer back to it during arguments, don’t bring it up as a means of guilt-tripping your partner, and try not to assume that just because something happened once, that it’ll happen again. What’s passed is past, and rehashing old ugliness will just poison future happiness. Let it go.

Mutual Goals are Important

It’s great to have a goal or a project that you’re both working on together, as that can affect many aspects of your life outside of your actual relationship. You could be working on an art piece, saving up for a trip, building a cottage, or even working on a garden. Determine your strengths for the project so you’re working in harmony, and build something amazing that you can be proud of having achieved as a team.

Be Honest

Some people lie to their partners for years out of fear of hurting or offending them, but that can lead to a whole lot of ugliness on all sides. The one being lied to will know that something is wrong, and the one lying may feel more and more frustration about holding back and the relationship may end up suffering badly as a result. This honesty doesn’t have to deal with outright lies, but rather personal interests or preferences that may have changed over the years. Alternately, there could be some serious issues that really should be dealt with, but are internalized out of fear of hurting the other person. Ultimately, honesty really is the best policy, and a strong couple will be able to work through just about anything together.

Couples Who Post Less About Their Relationships On Social Media

Social media is so popular these days that it almost is like having a drug addiction. If you think about it, what would you do on your phone when you’re bored if you didn’t have the apps to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.? It is so important now that it literally has the power to destroy relationships.

Discussing whether or not those relationships were solid is a completely different conversation. Before social media, people had plenty of privacy. Now people have become so involved they no longer know the difference between privacy and what is intentionally being kept a secret. Arguments can get started in a relationship when one person wants to keep the relationship from becoming “official” on social media to keep it private. As a result, the other person may feel that their significant other is trying to keep the relationship a secret.

If you ever feel that you need social media to validate the relationship you are in, perhaps the person you are with is wrong for you.

Live in the here and now

Sometimes couples get so engulfed in social media that they spend more time posting about their relationship that they aren’t really enjoying it in the present moment fully. When they’re out, they’re updating their status on where they are instead of just putting the phone down and enjoying their time with their significant other.

When two people are in a relationship and choose to keep it off social media it allows for the couple to completely enjoy the time they are spending together while getting the most out of the experience they share. Being in this mindset, the couples know they don’t have anything to prove to anyone but to each other. They tend to be happier and much more secure with themselves and with each other.

Seek validation from your partner instead of through social media

Some couples post frequently on social media to create the illusion that everything in their relationship is perfect. Have you ever then seen that same couple in real life and it sometimes seems as though they truly cannot be bothered with each other? It’s true, and it happens more than you’d think. Sometimes people are unhappy in their relationship so they post a picture with their significant other, receive positive comments and a ton of likes, and somehow they can receive the validation that they should be getting from their partner.

If you’re in a relationship with someone and you feel that you may have done this before, don’t beat yourself up over it because truthfully, most of us have probably done it at one point or another. When you’re feeling like you need some validation in your relationship, it’s important to remember that going to your partner and expressing your needs is the best way to do it. Put the phone down, communication is key.

Keep others out of your business

When someone gets mad at their significant other or has a problem, they use their status to broadcast the problem for everyone to know about. In most cases, the person who posts the status will get an obnoxious amount of comments that are really just irrelevant opinions. This opens the gates to letting people in on your personal business.

When this happens, nosey people become involved in your relationship. They act like they care enough about you to find out exactly what’s going on in your relationship just so they can turn around and have something to gossip about. Soon enough everyone knows your business and honestly, we all know that’s how rumors start.

Please keep in mind that a relationship is for two people, and it’s important to keep many things about the relationship private. The good and the bad.

Pressures of social media

The problem with social media is that its initial purpose is now being used by some as a personal diary. Some people can’t seem to wake up and do anything before posting about their personal life]. For example, I have seen posts on social media from a girl I know who likes to make public announcements when her boyfriend isn’t “acting right”. Tons of people swarm in and leave their two cents. This girl has three children. Not only is she embarrassing herself and the father of her children, but also her children. People do not understand the influence social media has on others. When this girl and her boyfriend kiss and makeup, she makes a point to post on social media about how everything is going well and they are doing better than ever. I can’t imagine how exhausting it must be to feel the need to constantly update people on what is going on in your personal life.

In closing, everyone knows that not every relationship is always rainbows and butterflies. As you and your partner experience life together you are certainly going to have disagreements and strains on your relationship. As previously stated, when two people come together in a relationship, it is special and it is sacred. Do your best to keep your relationship private. Put your phone away and enjoy the time you have with them.