How to go through different stages of relationships and keep the peace

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

How to go through different stages of relationships and keep the peace

Falling in love is easy, but relationships can be hard—despite what Hollywood tries to sell us. Like anything else in life worth having, relationships take work. Some couples successfully weather the storms that inevitably arise, while others simply drift apart.

When it comes to coupling, there is no instruction manual. Remember that old playground mantra: First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes so and so and a baby carriage? If only it were that simple. While some couples follow this traditional trajectory, many people do not. Fewer couples are getting married, some are having children before marriage, and some are choosing not to have children at all. Every relationship, like every individual, is unique.

Regardless of the path one chooses when it comes to romantic relationships—whether it’s down the aisle or across continents—the inherent stages of love and attachment essentially remain the same. A couples’ ability to navigate these stages is often the key to their relationship satisfaction.

Neuroscientists and “experts in love” have outlined four stages of a relationship.   These stage go from falling in love to living happily ever after (or, at least, for a while). Here are ways to successfully navigate these stages.

1. The Euphoric Stage

For the past several decades, Helen Fisher, Ph.D., neuroscientist and Senior Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute, and Lucy Brown, Ph.D., Clinical Professor in Neurology at Einstein College of Medicine in New York, have been studying the brain activity of people in love, from the early to the later stages.  

Brown explains that, “In the early part of a relationship—the falling in love stage—the other person is the center of your life. You forgive everything in these early stages. The other person has faults, and you see them, but it doesn’t matter. Maybe they leave their dirty dishes in the sink, but they make you laugh at least daily, so it’s okay. Good things outweigh the negative here.”

One of the most significant findings in the brain mapping studies (which was determined to be a key factor in relationship success) involves what Brown refers to as the suspension of negative judgment.

“In this early stage, many people show a decrease in activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that has to do with the negative judgment of people.”

In other words, the longer a couple can maintain suspension of negative judgment toward each other, the better chances they have of relationship success.

When they followed up with participants, the researchers found that the couples who had stayed together for three years or more had the most decreased activity in this part of the brain.

How Long Will It Last?

How long does the romantic phase last? Studies have estimated the euphoric stage can last anywhere from six months to two years. Although a small portion of the population (approximately 15% to 30%) say they are still in love and that it still feels like the first six months—even after 10 or 15 years later.

Brown explains, “We don’t know why this is. I don’t necessarily think it’s because they have found their soulmates. I think it’s the person. Some people have an easier time rekindling the earlier stages. Not to say the rest of us can’t.”

For the general population, the intoxication of new love will eventually morph into the next stage: early attachment.

2. The Early Attachment Stage

In the previous stage of euphoric love, unconscious factors like attraction and the activation of the reward system take over. In Fisher and Brown’s studies, the brain scans of couples in the early stages of love showed high levels of dopamine, the chemical that activates the reward system by triggering an intense rush of pleasure.

The study’s authors wrote that these high levels of dopamine have the same effect on the brain as taking cocaine.  

In this next stage, the more evolved part of the brain begins to take over, including the ventral pallidum (the region of the brain linked with feelings of attachment, and the attachment hormones, vasopressin, and oxytocin—sometimes referred to as “the love hormone”).

You know when you’ve reached the early attachment stage when, according to Brown, “You can sleep! You’re not thinking about [your partner] 24 hours a day. It’s easier to do other things in your life.”

Couples had been married for at least one year described love differently. “It’s richer, deeper, it’s knowing them better,” says Brown. “Memories have been integrated—both positive and negative—you’ve gone through some difficulties, and you’ve developed a strong attachment.”

3. The Crisis Stage

The third stage is often the make or break point for relationships. What happens at this stage is crucial to what comes next. Brown refers to this as the “seven-year or five-year itch.

“Almost every relationship has a drift apart phase,” says Brown. “Either you will keep drifting, or you will come back together. You need a crisis to get through and to be able to talk about it together—you’ve both grown and changed.”

For some couples, having children will either solidify the relationship or cause enough stress to make the relationship fall apart.

If a couple can overcome a crisis successfully, they will then move on to the next stage: deep attachment.

4. The Deep Attachment Stage

The deep attachment stage is the calm after the storm. By this point, a couple knows each other well, they’ve been through the inevitable ups and downs, they know that they can deal with crises, and they’ve likely made a plan for handling future crises.

When describing this stage of relationships, the term that Brown reiterates is “calm.” “When couples have been together for many years. It’s just very very calm. And it’s secure.”

The deep attachment stage can last a long time. If you’re lucky, it can last a lifetime.

Keeping It Going

How can we keep love going? According to researchers, one of the most effective ways of keeping the spark alive is novelty. Studies that have followed couples for years have found that doing new, exciting, and challenging activities together have huge benefits for relationships.  

Dr. Art Aron, one of Fisher and Brown’s chief collaborators, and his wife, Dr. Elaine Aron developed the “Self Expansion Model” that offers insight into the early stages of love and partly explains why the first few months of a new relationship feels so intoxicating.  

“When you enter into a relationship, you literally increase who you are. You take on and share in your partner’s perspective on the world in addition to your own, their social status, their resources. The benefits of new and challenging experiences together are enormous. And they last.”

Suspension of judgment, rekindling of the early stages and maintaining novelty, just maybe the keys to cracking the code of lasting love.

Home » Love & Relationships » 13 Stages An Empath and A Narcissist Go Through in A Relationship Together

How to go through different stages of relationships and keep the peace

Some people are meant for each other. And others just aren’t. Some make us better, and some only bring us down. Nevertheless, we cannot choose the people we fall in love with.

There is a saying that “opposites attract”, but here is what happens, when an empathic person is in a relationship with his/her opposite – a narcissist:

1. An empathic person falls in love with a narcissistic person, and it is the start of their relationship. An empath will fully commit to the relationship and makes an effort to make the relationship work.

2. The empath is blinded by the butterflies and a fake special bond. The narcissist creates the illusion of a strong commitment, and the empath falls deeper and deeper into this relationship.

3. Sometimes it might seem that the narcissist wants the relationship as much as the empath does and is even willing to work hard for it. Actually, they just want someone, who will devote their time, energy, and love while being under their control.

4. Over time the empath starts to depend on the relationship and the other person. The empath feels incomplete and insecure without their partner. The narcissist will make them feel like they can’t handle life on her own and that she needs him in her life; they use emotional violence to control their empathic partner to feel more powerful. At the same time, the empath becomes weaker and more uncertain of things.

5. The narcissist will portray themselves as the victim. They will talk about their past and make-up stories so that the empath will feel more connected to them and give the narcissist more support and care. Narcissists enjoy the attention and the compassion they get from empaths.

6. The empath will try to see the positive traits in the narcissist, and because of their big heart and compassion, the empath tries to understand where the narcissist is coming from and why they act the way they do. The empath knows that everyone has their own ways and they try to respect that.

7. The relationship is all about the narcissist and their needs. The empath will slowly see that, but they are too afraid to talk about their desires and needs. They know that the narcissists might get mad at them and they don’t want to cause any conflicts.

8. The empath will try to solve all the problems with love and affection. But the more time and energy they put into the relationship, the more the narcissist will feel powerful. Finally, everything goes in the way the narcissist wants, and the empath has no control over the situation. On the outside, the relationship looks healthy and happy.

9. Finally, the empath will say something, because they feel suppressed and suffocated by the narcissist. The narcissist, of course, does not like it and tries to turn it against the empath. They blame the empath for all the mistakes and unhappiness. The narcissist makes them feel selfish and unfair.

10. The narcissist always needs attention and drama around them. They can’t stand it when they’re not the center of attention. When there is an argument, the narcissist might storm off or go and bad-mouth the empath to their friends. The narcissist always believes that they’re the victim.

11. The narcissist will deny all their mistakes and will label the empath as “crazy” and “overdramatic”, especially when they want to talk about their problems and what’s been bugging them.

12. As mentioned above, over time the narcissist has made the empath insecure and confused, so the empath begins to wonder if all this is their own fault. The empath has a hard time understanding their partner’s actions

13. The empath will not understand that they are being manipulated because they have a pure and innocent soul. The narcissist will twist the empath’s words and make the whole situation look like the empath’s fault.

Everyone has to make their own mistakes and learn from them. It’s easy to talk, but hard to put into practice. Later it is, of course, easy to think that what a fool you were, but when you are in that certain situation and in love, you are not rational.

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Have you been through them all?

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A survey has revealed the five stages most relationships go through – and what each one entails.

Dating site eHarmony conducted a survey on over 1,000 Australians to find out when various milestones occur.

“There are a lot of commonalities among Australians when it comes to the important phases we go through in our dating journey,” eHarmony relationship expert and psychologist Jacqui Manning said.

“While some are more fun than others, it’s crucial not to rush through any phase – take the time to actually be single and enjoy the dating experience, not just the final destination.”

The researchers were able to break a relationship down into five phases:

The spark phase

This is the very start of a relationship, where both parties realise they fancy each other and get the ball rolling.

The study found that one in four people kiss on a first date, but one in 10 say they tend to wait over three weeks to kiss.

The majority of people surveyed said they would wait three months before having sex with a new partner, but nine per cent admitted they would sleep with someone within a week of meeting them.

The honeymoon phase

Not given its name for nothing, this is the blissful phase where you’re happy and comfortable with your partner, but it’s still exciting.

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Reaching the phase can be tricky though, with a third of people believing you need to have “the talk” before becoming exclusive.

The average person takes three months to deactivate their online dating profiles too, with men being more likely to do so than women – 28 per cent of men deactivate their accounts three weeks into dating someone, versus 17 per cent of women.

29 per cent of new couples will share a photo featuring their partner after four months together.

The intimacy phase

The average couple will say “I love you” after three months together, and men usually say it first.

And as a relationship develops, people start feeling more comfortable with each other – the average person will keep a toothbrush at their partner’s house after five months of dating and just one month later will fart in front of their partner.

Younger people are even less self-conscious, with half of under-24-year-olds happy to pass wind in front of their partner within the first three months of a relationship.

The commitment phase

The survey found that many people aren’t afraid of committing to their partner relatively early in a relationship – 45 per cent of people will be engaged after a year, or have a joint bank account or a property together.

28 per cent of people would move in with their partner six months into the relationship, 13 per cent would get engaged and 15 per cent would even get a pet together within half a year.

Half of people wait six months to introduce their partner to their family, but meeting the mates usually happens in half that time.

The heartbreak phase

Sadly, the fact of the matter is that most relationships end.

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However, 67 per cent of people move on and start dating someone new within a year – men do so quicker than women too.

Millennials move on faster than older generations, with a third happy to date again a month after breaking up with someone.

But even if we are quick to try and move on, the survey found that the average person takes two years to fully get over an ex.

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How to go through different stages of relationships and keep the peace

Relationships aren’t ever going to be the same as it was in the beginning. People and relationships change over time. Because of this, it’s normal for couples to experience some ups and downs. But according to experts, you should never fear change in your relationship. It’s all part of your journey together as a couple. In fact, there are five stages of love that many lasting couples go through.

“Fluctuations within a relationship are normal and expected,” Dr. Carmen Harra, Ph.D., psychologist and certified relationship coach, tells Bustle. “Every relationship passes through stages of the good and bad kind. With time, certain situations can test the limits of one partner’s love for the other. But they can fortify a relationship and help the couple make progress.”

While it would be nice to have that fun and exciting new relationship energy forever, at some point you’d want more. You can date and have fun with new people as much as you want. But having intimacy, connection, and a deep bond with your partner is what makes being with them special.

Transitions are never easy, and moving from one stage of love to the other can come with challenges. But couples that last work through it together. So here are the stages of love that every lasting couple goes through, according to experts.

The Newlywed Stage

The early days of a relationship are always the best. It’s when everything is new and you just want to be around each other as much as possible. “Dopamine levels surge and excitement abounds,” Harra says. “This is a blissful phase in which both partners have fallen in love with each other and their bond appears to be perfect.” When you’re at this stage, it’s common to want to prolong the high you get from being with someone you’re falling for. Because of that, this is the phase where “there’s a willful ignorance of red flags and character defects,” Harra says.

The Settling In Stage

This stage occurs as you become more aware of your partner and who they really are as a person. It’s the stage when infatuation fades, the mask starts to come off, and you become comfortable enough to show your partner your true self. It’s a phase that’s all about figuring out if you two can actually work as a couple and how to do it. At the same time, it’s also the stage of love where you start forming an emotional connection to each other and a desire to commit. According to Harra, the settling in stage can also return down the road, when you’ve been through some personal changes and you need to learn about each other again.

The Disappointment, Learning, And Growth Phase

This is a tough stage to go through because it forces you to grow, both as a partner and as an individual. According to Dr. Margaret Paul, Ph.D., a psychologist who specializes in relationships, “This is the stage when couples need to do their inner work to learn to take responsibility for their own feelings.” In a healthy relationship, your partner isn’t your everything. They can be a source of happiness, but they shouldn’t be the only source of happiness. So this stage is a time where the focus needs to be on self-love more than anything else. When you have enough love for yourself, your focus can be more about sharing love with your partner instead of trying to gain it from them.

“This is the stage when each person can use the challenges of the relationship to heal any abandonment issues that can lead to controlling behavior,” Paul says. “Without this learning, the relationship won’t survive.”

The Comfortable Stage

This is the stage of love where you’re comfortable and you’ve fallen into a routine. “This is the stage of daily life and each partner has their roles,” Harra says. “This stage lends much comfort and emotional stability, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to progress. It takes up much of the course of the relationship.”

It’s basically the comfort zone. When you’re in this phase, it’s important to find ways to keep moving the relationship forward. Just because you’re comfortable with each other, it doesn’t mean that your relationship has to be boring and routine. Having thoughtfully planned date nights, trying new things together, and making time to connect through conversation can prevent you from getting into a rut.

Unconditional Love

“This is a much more spiritual stage of love where people can look beyond flaws and are able to share love,” Paul says. “It’s this stage that brings the joy to a relationship.” When you have unconditional love for your partner, you know how to be forgiving and understanding. Your feelings for your partner won’t change regardless of the ups and downs. You can appreciate your partner for who they are and the value they bring to your life.

According to Harra, these five stages rotate throughout the course of a relationship. “I’ve seen couples temporarily return to their newlywed stage 10 years after marriage,” she says. “The dynamic between two people who love each other depends on inner mindfulness, outer circumstances, and ultimately, fate.”

Your love story doesn’t stop the moment you say, “I do.” Life goes on. You’ll have to roll with it and make adjustments as you go. If you and your partner are committed to making it work, you can overcome all the different transitions together.

How to go through different stages of relationships and keep the peace

Peeps need peeps. Human bonds are often the sweetest slice of life. Here’s a rundown on interpersonal relationships and why they’re so darn special.

How to go through different stages of relationships and keep the peace

Interpersonal relationships are the strong connections we feel with those closest to us. This could be:

  • friends
  • colleagues
  • family members
  • romantic partners

They’re built on mutual respect, trust, and loyalty and they can provide us with support, care, and even love. 🥰

Interpersonal relationships teach us who we are. From a very young age, the people around us form key aspects of our personalities and value systems. They can help give us a sense of purpose and direction.

They’re also a key component to overall physical and mental well-being. There’s a strong link between relationships and emotional health. That’s why it’s vital to surround yourself with people who give you joy, support, and comfort.

There are different types of interpersonal relationships. They’re all equally important but each is unique. They depend on individual connection and the expectations of the relationship.

These are the most common types of interpersonal relationships.

Family

Family can include our parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, caregivers, and guardians. These are the first relationships we ever form. We often have close ties to family members. These bonds can last a lifetime.

Sometimes we hold different values or ideals than family members do. And that’s A-OK! But it’s super important to maintain open and respectful communication.

In some cases personal differences can’t be overcome and the interpersonal relationships with family members might become strained or non-existent.

Friendship

While you don’t get to choose your family, you do get to choose your friends. Some friendships are even more important than family connections.

There’s no cookie-cutter formula to explain friendships because they’re complex. You’ll experience different types of friendships throughout your life.

Friends may highlight different aspects of your personality, so don’t worry if your friends don’t always share the same level of connection. Some of these relationships may only last a little while, but other bonds will stand the test of time. If it feels right it feels right.

If you find yourself in a toxic situation it’s okay to separate yourself from the relationship. Ultimately, this will be what’s best for both of you.

Romantic

Sometimes mutual attraction evolves from “I like you” to “I like you and I love you.” This is a romantic interpersonal relationship. A romantic relationship can sometimes start as a friendship, but they are different.

The way you feel love for friends and romantic partners may vary. You can totally love your friends. But you aren’t necessarily in love with them.

Another difference is how you act out your feelings. Romantic love is often expressed through physical and sexual touch.

You may see your coworkers more than you see your own family, so it’s normal to form strong bonds with your work peeps. Your shared experiences can create relationships that impact the workplace dynamic.

We don’t always agree with colleagues, even if they’re a friend, but it’s important to maintain respectful communication to ensure both work and friendship are valued.

Here are some helpful tips for workplace friendships:

  • Set boundaries.
  • Keep office convos about the work.
  • Find an appropriate balance between personal and professional.
  • Save the lengthy convos and hot goss about last night’s Tinder disaster for happy hour.

Relationships develop over time and each interpersonal relationship dynamic has its own vibe. They often vary in length and intensity, but each relationship is experienced in a set of stages.

In a 1980 study psychologist George Levinger identified the five stages of interpersonal relationships:

  1. Acquaintance
  2. Build-up
  3. Continuation
  4. Deterioration
  5. Ending

Successful interpersonal relationships get to the third stage (continuation). They last until death do us part. Others relationships? Not so much. Some bonds are available for a limited time only.

In these cases the relationship will go through all five of Levinger’s stages. That means both parties will eventually part ways. This is super common in romantic entanglements. It’s also typical when you transition to a new workplace or graduate from school.

It’s also normal for a relationship to not progress beyond the acquaintance stage. These are known as secondary interpersonal relationships.

Some common examples are:

  • neighbors
  • your fave barista
  • friends of friends
  • others you interact with on a semi-regular basis

You may exchange “hellos” and “how you doin’s” with these people. But the convo usually doesn’t evolve beyond simple pleasantries.

There’s no denying it: Relationships require effort and no relationship is perfect. Conflict is bound to happen. Both sides have to work to maintain a positive connection. The most important thing you can do is maintain clear and open communication.

Solid communication doesn’t just create good moments. It also helps you get through the not-so-good ones. Build your relationships on the basis of talking and listening. This will help you work through issues and form stronger bonds.

Keep in mind: The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself. Take care of yourself and your feelings. It’s the only way to ensure healthy relationship with others.

  • Be honest and trustworthy. Without trust, there is no relationship.
  • Put in the effort.
  • Listen to each other.
  • Be respectful, always.
  • Be slow to judge. (See: Listen to each other.)
  • Manage expectations and emotions.
  • Establish and maintain boundaries.
  • Be open to feedback and constructive criticism.

Interpersonal relationships are essential to our overall health and happiness. Just remember to manage your expectations. You aren’t going to have a soul mate-level connection with everyone you meet. And that’s okay! It takes a village. Each interpersonal relationship has something to offer.

By Jamie Lober

Published on: February 03, 2014

How to go through different stages of relationships and keep the peace

Every couple wonders why some relationships fall apart while others last. Why did the couple across the street seem so in love last year, but now there’s a moving van out front, headed for a new bachelor pad? Why, as we and our children get older, do the couples around us seem to start falling like dominoes?

Will our own relationships stand the test of time?

If you are aware of the predictable stages that love relationships go through, you may be better prepared to evolve yours as time passes. To stay happy, it is important that partners grow together and hopefully become stronger with time.

What stage are you in, and how can knowing this help you? Read on to find out (and for tips on how to help a stale relationship).

Stage 1: Romance

Everyone starts off in the romance stage, which is said to last anywhere from two months to two years.

“Romance is great, but so is lust, and you cannot have passion without both love and lust,” says Dr. Roger Libby, a Seattle sex, marriage and relationship therapist .

Random acts of kindness — and romance — can go a long way to keeping the feelings of this stage alive.

“You need to be thoughtful, romantic and do unexpected things, so if he empties the dishwasher and she normally has to do it, that is romantic, because it is thoughtful,” Libby says.

Stage 2: Power struggle

The second stage of a relationship is power struggle, which is where some couples who believe that romantic love will last forever become disappointed and part ways — only to possibly realize later that the romance keeps fading no matter what relationship they are in.

One of the most common areas of power struggle? Sex, of course.

“It is a common challenge that long-term committed relationships experience a problem with sexual interest waning, and more often it is the woman whose interest has waned,” says Dr. Elizabeth Rae Larson, director at the Seattle Institute for Sex Therapy, Education and Research.

There are some commonalities among women who do maintain interest in their partners, Larson says.

“The women who are feeling sexually happy are also feeling understood, listened to, respected, supported and assisted,” she says.

The goodwill of the relationship matters. “When men lose interest it is often that there is a sexual pattern of incompatibility with their female partner, or something they like to do that she does not want to do,” Larson says. Illness, injury and financial and emotional stress can sap sexual interest as well.

Instead of seeing what you had in common, like you did in the beginning, you start to notice differences and flaws.

Stage 3: Stability

The third stage of a relationship is the stability stage, which is where you realize that you cannot change your partner and that you do not want to, either.

“Stability occurs when you are trying to vary things and make it exciting, because it is not stable to do the same things everyday like a robot,” Libby says. Some people really rely on routine, but they often lose sight of each other in the process, and the focus moves away from enjoying one another.

Strong relationships feature clear boundaries and mutual respect, experts say.

“I encourage regular communication about what couples need from each other emotionally and sexually,” Libby says.

Stage 4: Commitment

The fourth stage is the commitment stage, where you realize that your relationship has shortcomings and that’s normal.

This is the stage when people are actually ready to be married, though many people tend to get married during the romance stage where they still feel the high of the relationship, say experts.

“You will see brain changes in every relationship, and it shifts from the gambler’s high of the dopamine neurotransmitter to fading sexual attraction, and if the high is not replaced by commitment or devotion, those couples typically will not be able to make the transition” or succeed long-term, Larson says.

If you are frustrated with imperfections in your relationship, try talking to a therapist. “Consider their training, areas of expertise, how long they have been in practice, their approach and make sure they do not just sit there and say “how do you feel” and think they are treating [you],” said Libby.

Stage 5: Co-creation

So is there more to love?

There is, and it’s where many parents of young children find themselves. The fifth stage is the bliss or co-creation stage. This is where you decide to act as a team in the world. Even here, you may find that you return to the power struggle stage until you learn to accept and appreciate each others’ differences and fight in a manner that deepens your connection and intimacy instead of tearing it away.

While it may be nerve-wracking to go through all of the relationship stages, often more than once — and while you might sometimes fantasize about the lust of the early days — ultimately realizing the full journey is a positive one for many couples.

“When people are deeply committed, it is a different relationship and intimacy than when they first dated; it is actually based on love, comfort and caring,” Larson says. “Look at a relationship as a process or a journey and not just a static state.”

If you nurture your relationship, it usually evolves in a positive way, Libby says.

Have you lost that lovin’ feelin?

How do we continue to appreciate our long-term partner, get past rough patches, and keep that lovin’ feeling alive?

It might sound corny, but try to make every day feel like Valentine’s Day.

“Look at Valentine’s Day as a model for the way you should treat your partner — pay more attention to each other, not just sexually but with affection, kissing, cuddling, massage — and not seeing it as the only day to give someone a card,” said Libby.

Try to shift the focus back to what you have in common.

“Take a class in something you would both like to learn about together,” Libby says. Couples have a choice to either break up or make sacrifices and compromises in order to stay together successfully.

It can help to try to keep things fun, be playful and share humor instead of being serious about things all the time. “Go out on a date once a week and do things you rarely or never have done to induce new excitement between you, which then affects the sexual relationship,” Libby says.

Try to enjoy the moments as they come. “Practice mindfulness or find a way to increase your ability to pay attention to what is going on and not get lost in the past or future, because sex and all play happens in the present,” Larson says.

Home » Love & Relationships » 13 Stages An Empath and A Narcissist Go Through in A Relationship Together

How to go through different stages of relationships and keep the peace

Some people are meant for each other. And others just aren’t. Some make us better, and some only bring us down. Nevertheless, we cannot choose the people we fall in love with.

There is a saying that “opposites attract”, but here is what happens, when an empathic person is in a relationship with his/her opposite – a narcissist:

1. An empathic person falls in love with a narcissistic person, and it is the start of their relationship. An empath will fully commit to the relationship and makes an effort to make the relationship work.

2. The empath is blinded by the butterflies and a fake special bond. The narcissist creates the illusion of a strong commitment, and the empath falls deeper and deeper into this relationship.

3. Sometimes it might seem that the narcissist wants the relationship as much as the empath does and is even willing to work hard for it. Actually, they just want someone, who will devote their time, energy, and love while being under their control.

4. Over time the empath starts to depend on the relationship and the other person. The empath feels incomplete and insecure without their partner. The narcissist will make them feel like they can’t handle life on her own and that she needs him in her life; they use emotional violence to control their empathic partner to feel more powerful. At the same time, the empath becomes weaker and more uncertain of things.

5. The narcissist will portray themselves as the victim. They will talk about their past and make-up stories so that the empath will feel more connected to them and give the narcissist more support and care. Narcissists enjoy the attention and the compassion they get from empaths.

6. The empath will try to see the positive traits in the narcissist, and because of their big heart and compassion, the empath tries to understand where the narcissist is coming from and why they act the way they do. The empath knows that everyone has their own ways and they try to respect that.

7. The relationship is all about the narcissist and their needs. The empath will slowly see that, but they are too afraid to talk about their desires and needs. They know that the narcissists might get mad at them and they don’t want to cause any conflicts.

8. The empath will try to solve all the problems with love and affection. But the more time and energy they put into the relationship, the more the narcissist will feel powerful. Finally, everything goes in the way the narcissist wants, and the empath has no control over the situation. On the outside, the relationship looks healthy and happy.

9. Finally, the empath will say something, because they feel suppressed and suffocated by the narcissist. The narcissist, of course, does not like it and tries to turn it against the empath. They blame the empath for all the mistakes and unhappiness. The narcissist makes them feel selfish and unfair.

10. The narcissist always needs attention and drama around them. They can’t stand it when they’re not the center of attention. When there is an argument, the narcissist might storm off or go and bad-mouth the empath to their friends. The narcissist always believes that they’re the victim.

11. The narcissist will deny all their mistakes and will label the empath as “crazy” and “overdramatic”, especially when they want to talk about their problems and what’s been bugging them.

12. As mentioned above, over time the narcissist has made the empath insecure and confused, so the empath begins to wonder if all this is their own fault. The empath has a hard time understanding their partner’s actions

13. The empath will not understand that they are being manipulated because they have a pure and innocent soul. The narcissist will twist the empath’s words and make the whole situation look like the empath’s fault.

Everyone has to make their own mistakes and learn from them. It’s easy to talk, but hard to put into practice. Later it is, of course, easy to think that what a fool you were, but when you are in that certain situation and in love, you are not rational.

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By Jamie Lober

Published on: February 03, 2014

How to go through different stages of relationships and keep the peace

Every couple wonders why some relationships fall apart while others last. Why did the couple across the street seem so in love last year, but now there’s a moving van out front, headed for a new bachelor pad? Why, as we and our children get older, do the couples around us seem to start falling like dominoes?

Will our own relationships stand the test of time?

If you are aware of the predictable stages that love relationships go through, you may be better prepared to evolve yours as time passes. To stay happy, it is important that partners grow together and hopefully become stronger with time.

What stage are you in, and how can knowing this help you? Read on to find out (and for tips on how to help a stale relationship).

Stage 1: Romance

Everyone starts off in the romance stage, which is said to last anywhere from two months to two years.

“Romance is great, but so is lust, and you cannot have passion without both love and lust,” says Dr. Roger Libby, a Seattle sex, marriage and relationship therapist .

Random acts of kindness — and romance — can go a long way to keeping the feelings of this stage alive.

“You need to be thoughtful, romantic and do unexpected things, so if he empties the dishwasher and she normally has to do it, that is romantic, because it is thoughtful,” Libby says.

Stage 2: Power struggle

The second stage of a relationship is power struggle, which is where some couples who believe that romantic love will last forever become disappointed and part ways — only to possibly realize later that the romance keeps fading no matter what relationship they are in.

One of the most common areas of power struggle? Sex, of course.

“It is a common challenge that long-term committed relationships experience a problem with sexual interest waning, and more often it is the woman whose interest has waned,” says Dr. Elizabeth Rae Larson, director at the Seattle Institute for Sex Therapy, Education and Research.

There are some commonalities among women who do maintain interest in their partners, Larson says.

“The women who are feeling sexually happy are also feeling understood, listened to, respected, supported and assisted,” she says.

The goodwill of the relationship matters. “When men lose interest it is often that there is a sexual pattern of incompatibility with their female partner, or something they like to do that she does not want to do,” Larson says. Illness, injury and financial and emotional stress can sap sexual interest as well.

Instead of seeing what you had in common, like you did in the beginning, you start to notice differences and flaws.

Stage 3: Stability

The third stage of a relationship is the stability stage, which is where you realize that you cannot change your partner and that you do not want to, either.

“Stability occurs when you are trying to vary things and make it exciting, because it is not stable to do the same things everyday like a robot,” Libby says. Some people really rely on routine, but they often lose sight of each other in the process, and the focus moves away from enjoying one another.

Strong relationships feature clear boundaries and mutual respect, experts say.

“I encourage regular communication about what couples need from each other emotionally and sexually,” Libby says.

Stage 4: Commitment

The fourth stage is the commitment stage, where you realize that your relationship has shortcomings and that’s normal.

This is the stage when people are actually ready to be married, though many people tend to get married during the romance stage where they still feel the high of the relationship, say experts.

“You will see brain changes in every relationship, and it shifts from the gambler’s high of the dopamine neurotransmitter to fading sexual attraction, and if the high is not replaced by commitment or devotion, those couples typically will not be able to make the transition” or succeed long-term, Larson says.

If you are frustrated with imperfections in your relationship, try talking to a therapist. “Consider their training, areas of expertise, how long they have been in practice, their approach and make sure they do not just sit there and say “how do you feel” and think they are treating [you],” said Libby.

Stage 5: Co-creation

So is there more to love?

There is, and it’s where many parents of young children find themselves. The fifth stage is the bliss or co-creation stage. This is where you decide to act as a team in the world. Even here, you may find that you return to the power struggle stage until you learn to accept and appreciate each others’ differences and fight in a manner that deepens your connection and intimacy instead of tearing it away.

While it may be nerve-wracking to go through all of the relationship stages, often more than once — and while you might sometimes fantasize about the lust of the early days — ultimately realizing the full journey is a positive one for many couples.

“When people are deeply committed, it is a different relationship and intimacy than when they first dated; it is actually based on love, comfort and caring,” Larson says. “Look at a relationship as a process or a journey and not just a static state.”

If you nurture your relationship, it usually evolves in a positive way, Libby says.

Have you lost that lovin’ feelin?

How do we continue to appreciate our long-term partner, get past rough patches, and keep that lovin’ feeling alive?

It might sound corny, but try to make every day feel like Valentine’s Day.

“Look at Valentine’s Day as a model for the way you should treat your partner — pay more attention to each other, not just sexually but with affection, kissing, cuddling, massage — and not seeing it as the only day to give someone a card,” said Libby.

Try to shift the focus back to what you have in common.

“Take a class in something you would both like to learn about together,” Libby says. Couples have a choice to either break up or make sacrifices and compromises in order to stay together successfully.

It can help to try to keep things fun, be playful and share humor instead of being serious about things all the time. “Go out on a date once a week and do things you rarely or never have done to induce new excitement between you, which then affects the sexual relationship,” Libby says.

Try to enjoy the moments as they come. “Practice mindfulness or find a way to increase your ability to pay attention to what is going on and not get lost in the past or future, because sex and all play happens in the present,” Larson says.

Home » Lifestyle » Karmic Love Is Beautiful But Painful: 5 Phases Of A Twin Flame Relationship We All Face

How to go through different stages of relationships and keep the peace

Your twin flame is a person you are destined to feel connected to physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually too and who encourages growth and personal exploration. Meeting them should mean the end of anymore love drama, but unfortunately, it’s not.

Even a twin flame relationship has its struggles and however well you’re suited, it’s never going to be the “perfect” union you may expect.

On average twin flame relationships will pass through at least five stage before finding everlasting happiness. While they might not apply to all couples these stages are commonly experienced by those when they meet the “one”.

1. Trials of love

Ever had your heart broken? Apparently, it’s all just a learning experience you have to go through before meeting your twin flame. Karmic relationships are usually painful, devastating and tend to be emotional affairs that end badly. But, they do get you ready for your twin flame, so are worth it in the end.

Getting your heart broken makes more people long for meeting “the one” and even create an ideal person in your head. You might not know it, but that dream image is usually your twin-flame and usually, comes into mind because you’ll soon meet them.

2. When souls collide

The next stage is meeting your twin flame and it might not be love at first sight scenario you would imagine.

Usually, you will find your twin flame in unusual circumstances, where you will never have imagined meeting a partner. You might not even consider them to be the kind of person you would ever be with, but there’s no point fighting it because this attraction is inevitable.

Thanks to your previous toxic relationships, you may be reluctant to get involved with someone and resist their advances, but you will soon fall for them and hard. Once together the initial honeymoon period will be total bliss and your relationship will be perfect. But, not for long.

3. The difficult phase

After being with your twin flame for a while you will enter the third stage of your relationship and it’s not a fun one. This stage will see you deal with your issues and personal demons. Twin-flames need a deep cleanse to let them achieve higher energy levels and ascend in bliss together.

This stage will see negativity and lower emotions come to the surface and allow both flames to become more enlightened.

In an effort to bring issues to the surface and to deal with them properly there may be quite a few difficult arguments. Both will be guilty of playing the “blame game”, putting their own issues on their twin flame.

In this stage couples usually take on one of two roles the runner and the chaser. The runner will try to put distance between themselves and their partner as they attempt to regain control over their emotions. The chaser, upset by this will make more effort to try and resolve the problems.

While this might not seem like the most enjoyable experience, it’s an essential one when it comes to getting rid of the negative clutter in a relationship. In short, you deal with your issues so you can become closer to your partner.

4. Back to paradise

If you manage to get through stage three, then you will be rewarded in stage four when the split soul becomes whole again. Physically, emotionally and spiritually you will be back together and able to achieve a higher level of unity. This can only happen when both partners are fully aware of their spiritual reality.

5. Eternal bliss

Only after going through those four stages can you arrive at being in complete love. This is when the enlightened and spiritually aware twin flames can finally achieve their happily ever after.

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