No matter how much effort you put into the partnership: Very few couples can avoid these nine phases.
The great infatuation
If a couple has just found each other, they are in the middle of the phase of absolute infatuation. Nobody wants to spend a second without the other and just know everything about the other person. In this phase you are often smiled at, but you can’t help it: Chemical reactions get our brains in an absolutely high spirits. As scientists have found, the serotonin level in people who are newly in love is about as high as in people with obsessive-compulsive disorders. In addition, the same brain regions are active as in cocaine users. At the same time, the happiness hormone dopamine is released en masse. So are you just turned up, happy, full of energy and completely obsessed with your new flame, don’t worry, love! By the way, during this phase sex feels sensational.
Typical sentence: “You are so great!”
The great understanding
In this second phase you get to know each other better and better. You have long conversations in which you reveal a lot about yourself and listen to your partner with great interest. In this phase everything comes on the table: family, ex-partner, work … Most of them are never as open and honest as they are now in their relationship again. Oxytocin and vasopressin are now taking the place of dopamine and serotonin. The two “bonding hormones” not only give us the feeling of calm and security, but also ensure that the idea of permanently bonding to the other person matures in our brain.
Typical sentence: “Yes, I understand that completely.”
The little stumbling blocks
After a few months, almost every couple moves into the third phase of the relationship. The total obsession should be much weaker by now. If the initial extreme infatuation has not subsided in one of the partners , this is an indication for psychologists that the person who is still massively in love is insecure or that there are other problems in the relationship. Fears of loss could also play a role. The relationship now consists less of sex and endless conversations and moves towards everyday life together. Often in this phase there are the first minor disputes.
Typical sentence: “You could also go shopping.”
The different expectations
The relationship is a few months older now. Everyone has formed an opinion about the other and developed certain expectations of the other person. But not enough time has passed to be able to assess the other person exactly . That is why in this phase there are either particularly positive or negative experiences if the partner does not meet their own expectations.
Typical sentence: “I would have thought you don’t mind.”
The small attempts at change
If the partnership continues, in the next phase one of them wants to change the other or both of them in order to get the perfect partner. This happens far too seldom in the form of an openly formulated wish and much more often as a more or less subtle attempt to convince the partner of his own opinion and to get him to act differently in the future. Anger arises and sometimes there is also open power struggle.
Typical sentence: “Better do it differently.”
The great satisfaction
If the relationship has lasted up to this point, the next phase in the partnership follows. And this is where great satisfaction sets in. Both partners have recognized that compromises are necessary in order to survive together. The expectations of the partner are now clear and also much more realistic than in phase 4. The relationship continues unspectacularly, but constantly and both partners feel deeply connected to the other. Weddings often become an issue at this stage and children are also considered. The reason for the desire to have children is again the still released oxytocin, which makes the idea of reproduction appear extremely attractive to the brain.
Typical sentence: “Do you want to marry me?”
The big doubts
Many people inseparably connect the relationship with happiness in life and therefore come to the point where they take another closer look: Is this relationship really what I want in my life? Is he the right one? Would another partner be even better suited? The uncertainty leads you to look around to see how other relationships are going and whether they might be happier than yours. If constriction and monotony are an issue in the relationship, this phase is the one in which the partnership breaks up. In this phase, there are also particularly frequent infidelities.
Typical sentence (to yourself): “What do I really want?”
The big change in bed
Once couples have been together for a long time, sex becomes a big issue at some point: either because nothing works anymore or the partners are trying to try new things and not only save the relationship, but also maintain the fun of sex. If there is still nothing sexually going on or if one person does not support the other’s efforts to make sex life attractive, there is a risk of an affair. If the attempts at freshening up in bed are successful, however, a couple is particularly strong in this phase.
Typical sentence: “Wow, I don’t even know you like that!”
The endless trust
In this phase, closeness is just as relevant as the fact that both partners have their own interests that they pursue (even without the partner). In this phase, love has reached a point where it is absolute and can hardly be defeated. And trust in the partner is almost limitless. Luck has a real chance at this point. But only if both partners are still willing to invest in the relationship and not take the partner for granted.
Typical sentence: “I love you.”