Life Cycle of a Relationship

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Phases of a Love Relationship

According to this expert, Philip Van Munching there are five relationship phases.

There five stages are:

  • attraction phase
  • honeymoon
  • reality
  • commitment
  • marriage

Attraction Phase

In the Attraction Phase the physical side of the relationship is front and centre. If there is mutual attraction then the relationship may go to the next stage. Even early in the relationship, the unconscious is picking up a lot of things that the conscious mind is not even noticing. It is gathering subliminal messages while the conscious mind gathers more explicit info about the potential mate.

So, now you have my thoughts. Watch the video and leave your comments below.


Honeymoon Phase

According to Philip Van Munching this is the key phase of the whole relationship cycle. He has a technical term for this phase (Idealized Positive Transference – would you believe!) and while this sounds impressive I’m not sure I agree with him about this being the critical phase of the cycle.

In this stage, supposedly we draw on our past experience to project onto our potential partner the qualities and attribute that we want to see in in them. These traits are generally the things that we lacked in our life in the early years – compassion, understanding, love etc that we didnt get from our parents.

Reality Phase

This is a two part-er. In the first phase, the bubble that we’ve built up around our partner is punctured and for the first time we start to see their imperfections. Later on, if we’re still together then we look more realistically at the other person – we take off the rose colored glasses.

Commitment Phase

I guess making it to this phase means fidelity and seeing if the relationship really can work. This is where the compatibility side of the relationship really gets worked out. This is the negotiating phase – working out the issues of personal space, time, roles etc. Traditionally, as you can imagine, this is when the arguing starts – given most of us are not trained negotiators.

Interestingly, the unconscious plays a big part in this phase, when we try and resolve the overhanging issues that haven’t been resolved from our childhood!

So, now you have my thoughts. Watch the video and leave your comments below.


Marriage or not Phase

The most troubling phase? Suddenly, the person who was non family member is now a part of your family. And they are there, on hand, accessible and what some people do is use them as a way to work out old issues. This is often the cause of tension in a marriage.

Mmmm. Sounds like a lot of hard work. Fortunately, if we allow our unconscious to play a big part, we can move through these phases and get what we need from each one without as much formality and structure as this relationship framework suggests.

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