When it comes to dating there is a whole lot that goes into keeping the relationship going. Sure, you can settle in and live out the rest of your lives together but it isn’t usually as simple or as easy as that.

In a relationship, there will be ups and downs. Life is no fairytale and sometimes you will want to call it quits. Nothing is ever certain and it damn sure doesn’t come with a guarantee. Life is a mystery and we should treat it like a treasure chest.

Below I am going to go through the universal stages of a properly functioning relationship. These are stages that will end the end result in someone being with you forever or you two eventually parting ways. Sadly there is no way to truly know whether or not someone is going to stick around, we all just have to give what we can and hope for the best when it is someone we truly care for. That being said, if he or she is going to stick around, you should be able to feel it on some level.

The 13 Stages of Intimacy All Properly Functioning Relationships Go Through:

Stage #1: The Encounter

You come across one another in some way. Perhaps someone dropped something and the other picked it up or your met through a mutual friend, there are tons of ways you could have met. When you met one another you instantly clicked whether you thought it was in a romantic way or not you really got along well.

Stage #2: The Uncertainty

Now once you have met each other you’re most likely going to go through a very brief period of anywhere from minutes to months wondering if you should pursue one another. Maybe you don’t know how to go about asking him or her for a number or maybe you just aren’t sure if you’re ready to try things. This stage is a bit confusing and often very frustrating.

Stage #3: Getting To Know Each Other

Once you get over the uncertainty and decide to take a chance you start getting to know one another. This could be ignited through a mere friend request on Facebook or something more. Everyone gets to know people in their own ways, you both know what works best for you.

Stage #4: The First Date

After you have gotten to know one another a bit more you might jump right into a first date. This could be merely meeting up at a party or actually going out to dinner, once again everyone is different. The first date could be hit or miss but if you make it through that and begin dating you move right on into what a lot of people refer to as the honeymoon stage of the relationship.

Stage #5: Innocent Blissful ‘Love’

I like to call this honeymoon stage the innocent blissful love because that is essentially what it is. You are consumed by one another. You want to spend all of your time together and you really just cannot get enough. For some, this stage is a very long time and others, not so much.

Stage #6: Getting Closer To One Another

Once you are either through or in the middle of the innocent blissful love stage a shift happens and you jump right into stage 6. This being the point where you really get to know one another more. You stop spending so much time swapping spit and begin swapping words instead. You share your deepest secrets with one another and might even decide to move in together.

Stage #7: Discovering Each Other’s Flaws

Once you live together you really begin to see each other for who you each truly are. You see every bad aspect of your partner as he or she does you. Nothing is hidden anymore and if you want to remain together working through those flaws and accepting them is the only way to go.

Stage #8: Loving Each Other Even With Flaws

Once you have accepted the flaws you move forward and continue on. You love one another despite the clogged shower drain every Friday or the unwashed dishes in the sink that ‘someone’ just cannot stand to wash. Everything is fine.

Stage #9: The Awkward Rut

Once you hit this point you are just going through the motions and kind of forgetting about one another in a more physical sense. While you may still be intimate with one another physically that part of your relationship has calmed down a good bit. You are just kind of sitting here with your partner living life and going through the motions.

Stage #10: Adjusting

Now, getting through stage 9 is not easy and moving forward through stage 10 is also kind of a bitch. You see, stage 9 is more or less a test stage to see if you do truly care about one another. If you didn’t once you got bored and couldn’t figure out what to do anymore you would move on. You have to be able to get through things like this. If you do stay you have to learn how to adjust to things and the way they are.

Stage #11: Ups and Downs

After you’ve basically made up your mind to stick around life is going to throw you so many curve balls. You are going to face lots of ups and downs together and sometimes you might want to pull your partner’s face off. While I do not condone violence I do understand how frustrating things like this can be. Making through all of the things life throws your way is not fun and it damn sure isn’t exciting.

Stage #12: Reminding Each Other Again and Again Why You Match So Well

After and during being stuck in this rut you have to remind yourself and your partner what makes you ‘the best’ for each other. You have to do small things to remind him or her that you are both doing all that you can and that you are there for one another. Life is as mentioned above crazy and never something we can be certain of, live it while you can with who you love.

Stage #13: The Future

If you make it this far there isn’t much left for me to say. You could be together forever or perhaps eventually things might begin bursting at the seams. If ten years from now you’re considering leaving your partner, think back to this article if you can. Really remember how much you loved him or her while reading this and never stop associating that feeling with this person. Love is a beautiful thing.

Please keep in mind that for some people these stages happen in a different order. No two relationships are exactly the same and of course, you might have to learn some of these things time and time again. If you are both truly meant to be together you will be together, time knows the answers to everything.


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