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Four Stages Of A Relationship

By Abhay Gupta

Relationships can be complicated things and I’m sure most of you will agree, especially if your relationship status is “It’s complicated”. Some of you will swear by your partners like they shit rainbows and won a dozen nobel prizes in the time that it took me to write this. Some of you will bitch about your partners like they blackmailed you to be with them. In any case, I’ve come to realize that a majority of relationships have a definite recurring pattern and can be dissected into stages. Now, like the five stages of grief, any of these stages can either recur or follow a different sequence, but usually this is how most of them definitely start out.

STAGE 1: The Honeymoon

I’m sure all of you are familiar with the ever-famous honeymoon phase of relationships. That period of time when you fuck like bunnies and your partner’s the epitome of perfection. It’s a glorious period of time and, so long as it remains untarnished, it’s the best time of your life. You take dozens of pictures, put them up on Facebook and give them ridiculously love-soaked captions like “Ma pwincess!!!!!! <3<3<3<3<3<3”

Relish this stage because it’s usually pretty damn short and when it burns out it’s gone for good. 

STAGE 2: The Conflict
Photo Credit - Swagat Yadav

Ah, now this is when the bubble of perfection finally pops. This is the stage when you finally begin to learn all the annoying little things about the other person. It could be the way they bitch about everything that goes in their life, in excruciatingly painful detail. It could be the mole that you didn’t notice while fornicating and now repulses you. It could be the incessant nagging or the way they deal with simple issues or their driving. It’s the time when all their little flaws and all the little things begin to bother you. 

You could tackle it by pointing it out a couple of times or finding elaborate methods to ignore it like switching off the lights when you’re in bed together or gritting your teeth until they shut the fuck up. The minute you pop a blood vessel every time they sing will be the moment when you’ve realized that your honeymoon stage is officially over.

STAGE 3: War

You know that phrase that people spurt out whenever you get the dick end of the stick? All’s fair in love and war? Love and war both follow a certain pattern and this stage is definitely the ugliest side of relationships. While the prior stage deals with collecting and learning reasons to hate the other person, this one deals with finally tripping a trigger for it all. You’re finally done pretending her singing brightens up your day. You’re finally done fake-laughing at all his unfunny jokes. It’s the time when the boxing gloves come out and you’re constantly at each other’s throats over all the little things that aggravate you. The ratio of fights to sex drastically rises and you find yourself at a point where you’re dating a dangerous enemy; an enemy you’ve shared a lot of sensitive information with.

If your foundation’s weak enough, the urge to breakup will overwhelm everything but if it’s not then you’re relishing every victory and sourly enduring every loss. On the upside, the balancing act is over and you can finally let loose everything that you’ve bottled up inside.

STAGE 4: The Turning Point

A very crucial stage which will either make or break your relationship. It’s the time when you’re finally faced with all of the things that you hate about your partner and decide if your love for them will be enough. You finally weigh out the pros and cons of being with your partner and ask yourself whether you’re willing to see this continue or throw in the towel. Of the two results, the obvious one is when you decide it’s run its course and sever the relationship. If you decide to stick with your partner, however, then it’s the time when you’ve reached a compromise of sorts that allow you to continue the relationship in relative harmony. The war is over and you’ve finally decided to work together as team and strive to constantly make concessions, compensations and corrections to keep the boat floating. 

The makers of strong marriages. The parent of every divorce. The turning point is a time of deep reflection, introspection and evaluation and must never be taken lightly, lest it leave a crazy angry bitch outside your house with a shotgun.

Good friendships tend to go through the four stages of companionship as well, but usually involves long-drawn out honeymoon stages and conflict stages with relatively short war periods. Romantic involvements have a tendency of embracing the ugly stuff much quicker and much longer than friendships would. That’s the defining difference between the two, other than the crazy amounts of sex. The best anyone can do is prepare for these stages to follow through in any randomized duration per stage and hope that you can prolong stage 1 and 2 for as long as you can before shit gets sour. And remember kids, you can either be right or get laid. Never both.

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Abhay Gupta
What about me? Well, I don't know really. I could be brooding and nihilistic or bouncing off walls like flubber on crack. I categorize and analyze everything because I get bored easy. I'm a tv buff, movie buff, comic fanatic, atheist and meme-literate. I follow the words of a wise and all-knowing philosiraptor who once said: If one enjoys wasting time, is that time really wasted? And finally, cheesecake.


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