Probably YOU have heard of the five stages every relationship has to pass through. Well, there are no typical relationships, but we all know every relationship has to pass through some stages. According to Kubler –Ross model, there are stages of grief. There is the denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Well, there is no big difference between grief and intimacy. They are just the opposite of each other. With the dullness of grief, intimacy brings intensity while with the loss of grief intimacy brings gain. The stages of a relationship might not happen in any particular order, but we all know every relationship must pass through them.
What has changed the landscape of relationship and marriage? Up to until the 20th century, the level of divorce cases was as low as 25%, but that has greatly increased to 50% which is an alarming rate. Promiscuity has increased with couples looking for sex outside marriage. How has this impacted on relationships? Psychologists have come up with five stages of intimacy that almost all relationships have to undergo. The stages have been given various names but in this article, we are going to discuss them as from stage one to five with five being the most intimate.
Stage 1: Safe level of communication
This is the most basic stage called the safe level where basic information can be exchanged between two people. In these stages, there are no feelings or opinions involved. It is an interaction between two people who don’t know each other well. There is very little intimacy involved.
Stage 2: Other’s Opinions and thoughts
This is the stage where we start to share the opinions of people close to us. You can start to share what your mother, father or brother thinks. “My father always say.. blah blah blah”. We share what the people close to us think without saying what our true opinions are. The level is higher than level one and more vulnerable, but we still feel safe as we are not sharing pour beliefs.
Stage 3: Other’s opinions and beliefs
This is the stage where each partner starts to take some small risks and share their insights and opinions. You can tell the other partner your beliefs and if you feel vulnerable there is the chance to pull back. You can change your opinions and beliefs so as not to affect the other person.
Stage 4: Personal Opinions and beliefs
In the fourth level, we start to share our personal opinions, feelings, and experiences in life. We feel we are close to the person and can tell him or her as much about ourselves. We share our joys and pains in life without fear. We tell each other our success and failures. This is the stage where you can convince the other person about anything that he or she thinks badly about you.
Stage 5: My needs, desires, and emotions
This is the highest level of intimacy where we know the core of who we are and how our partners think, believe in and the things they value most in life. This is the level where the other person knows who you are and cannot be convinced otherwise afterward. This is the stage where you are ready to spend your life with the person without any worries.
It is worth noting that all these stages take time, and nothing can be rushed. It cannot happen in a day, a week or even a month. Just think of your best friend, how long have you known him or her. Well, that is the time frame I am talking about.