Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Relationship Phases

Gentleman Jack and I are nearing 6 months since he first contacted me on Facebook.

In those months, we've gone from getting to know each other to my breaking it off to his confused feelings to let's see what happens to declaring ourselves lovers  to both of us reacting to our fears to finally falling in love.

Whew. What a ride!

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I can tell that we are moving into another phase of our relationship. The first phase was filled with fear and resisting the "falling in love" thing, while at the same time, both of us trying to fit into each others' lives. The sex was phenomenal in that fun, lusty way and our only focus was pleasing each other. Though we were being honest and keeping it real, there is a natural tendency, in the beginning to be as perfect as possible.

Now, we're not fearful anymore, we've fallen for each other and the sex is... well, the sex is fuckin' awesome and getting better all the time.

*ahem*

But we are now redirecting our focus back to our lives and our families. When we've been together lately, one of us will usually have our kids. We don't do PDA with the kids around. We're spending time doing family-oriented things now. We talk at more depth about ongoing issues with being a single parent, employee, somebody's ex, etc. We're noticing more things that we don't want to compromise on - little things like my wanting the toilet paper a certain way or his wanting to watch college football or golf on Saturdays.

We're getting back to a "new" normal: A normal life, as we each had before, but with another person added in.

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I've found these relationship phases fascinating, mostly because I don't remember these during the courting/dating phase with my ex-husband. That was 20 years ago! I have a much different awareness now than I did then.

Even after my separation/divorce, it has been a while since I've experienced the normal phases of a relationship. (I can't say that anything about my last relationship was normal.)

I found a few articles - some quite funny - about relationship phases. This article in particular mentions 3 phases:

  1. The "There's Only You" Phase.
  2. The Me/Us Phase.
  3. The Companionship Phase.

We are exactly in the "Me/Us" phase.

I've noticed my analyzing how we're opposites and how I react to his life struggles. We've experienced an imperfect weekend together where neither of us were feeling well. We're both figuring out that the other person isn't perfect and both of us are, in effect, saying, "This is the real me."

It is during this phase that one or both of us could look at the other person and wonder, "Am I with the right person?"


Recently, I was worrying on whether or not I could actually "call it" if I felt my Gentleman wasn't the right person. What if I was just settling?

Our relationship is wonderful but that legitimate fear was there. According to my friends, I should have called off my last relationship WAY earlier than I did. Could I trust myself to know when I should end it?

That's when I finally realized that yes, I certainly could. I called the end of my marriage and I called the end of my last relationship. Only I know my breaking point and when it hits, I am able to pull from a deep inner strength to end things. Facing that fear gave me comfort. Now I can trust myself again. Now I can give my heart and know that I will be OK.


I am happy to be tuned into these phases. I am glad to know that each little struggle or change is perfectly healthy in creating a long term relationship. I am thankful that each time one of us has a fear or hurt, we're able to talk about it. That trust and honesty keeps us close.

For now, we'll keep loving and growing.

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Maxim Magazine did their own hilarious version of the 5 Stages of Most Relationships. As someone who was married for 13 years and now divorced, I had to laugh at these. Too funny not to share:


 
 

 


11 comments:

  1. the bottom right one almost made me fall off my chair laughing - how horrible (yet sometimes true) "...so you get engaged"

    I do agree that the communication needs to be open, it does make the real life stages of a relationship flow more easily

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  2. Heh. "...so you get engaged." Um. Heh. Yeah. That might describe how I ended up married. Maybe. If by "maybe" you mean "exactly."

    Ahem.

    Sounds like a good spot you two are in. So true that the confidence you can survive the end (if you must) gives you the courage to begin.

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  3. This made me laugh.

    But first - T, Excellent reflection on yourself in your entry. No one overthinks like you. ;) I remember when you met Rascal. I'm very happy that you are in love. You deserve that!

    Second...those stages were hilarious. I've never been married or popped ye olde question but man, I can't imagine doing it because of momentum. heh.

    I think I know what your next blog topic is going to be about.

    A certain phone call, possibly?

    I broke out laughing when I read your twitter and though, "OH BOY. Here it comes."

    Big love to you, pretty lady.

    -R.

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  4. T, congratulations to you guys. I think you are doing it exactly the right way. It's such a contrast to your last relationship!

    On the stages of relationships topic, I have an article about that on my blog ,where I list out the relationship stages and what happens in them. See what you think.

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  5. I laughed at, "You tell a story, and halfway through they politely tell you that you've told it before."

    We've SO been there. But we just laughed our heads off about it.

    As for you, missy....just take things as they come. It'll all be okay. :)

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  6. T- You deserve to be with this man. He seems to be very in love with you and very grown up about it. I love that. It's hard to find.
    I can unfortunatly relate to that whole damn tree. Cracked me up!

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  7. Hmmm, I haven't experienced those relationsip phases in a long time. My last relationship was very different and we bypassed a lot of the typical stuff most couples go through. It was nice!

    Those 5 stages crack me up tho!

    Glad you're happy, T.

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  8. How great for you that your relationship is evolving in a healthy and fun way for both of you. Love it. We should all be so lucky!

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  9. Bottom right one...describes my marriage proposal to my ex wife. Guess I shouldh have read this first. Oh well, live an learn...

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  10. Nice post :)

    Having been in different romantic relationships over the years, I have came to notice that relationships usually go through stages, and that they end when one of the partners, or both, are unable to provide the necessary qualities needed to move into the next stage.

    What does it take for strangers to become partners for life? I have wrote about it here:
    http://innovationimitation.com/2010/05/4-stages-of-a-relationship/

    ReplyDelete

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