THE FIVE STAGES OF RELATIONSHIP
Below you will see a list of essential skills for competency in each of the five stages. Use a marker to highlight those skills you know you need to develop in yourself. You will also see a short list of behaviors to avoid in each stage. Highlight those items you know you need to stop doing. Then make a separate list of only the items you have highlighted in this section. These become a “to do” list for developing important skills and eventually achieve mastery in your relationships.
1. Different relationships will spend different amounts of time in any given stage.
a. You can be in different stages in different relationships.
b. You can also get stuck at the same stage in all your relationships, which is what would be considered your growing edge.
c. It is important to know what you need to learn to move forward. Of all the skills necessary, which ones will provide the most improvement for you?
2. It is important to remember that no matter what stage you are at in any relationship, you will temporarily return to power struggle when the need for more trust occurs as you enter a new stage of relationship.
Even though you may be enjoying high levels of cooperation and ease while you are dating, when you consider getting married you may both need to trust one another at a deeper level. This conflict usually reveals itself as increased tension or more arguing in the relationship.
3. You may have had an extraordinary friendship for many years, but now that you are considering going into business or sharing an apartment you need to trust one another in new ways that may result in the relationship temporarily feeling strained while you learn to trust one another in these new areas.
4. One of the most important questions you can ask when you are looking at deepening the level of commitment in a relationship is, What do we both need in order to experience more trust in our relationship?
The Five Stages of Relationship Self-Assessment
All relationships go through five predictable stages. Knowing these stages is like having a map that will help you accurately assess where you are in your relationships, see where you have been, and see where you can go. This will also allow you to deal effectively with the particular concerns of the stage you are in. For example, upsets, disagreements, miscommunications, and misunderstandings are a predictable, inevitable, and unavoidable part of the second stage. If you don’t know that, you could easily misinterpret what’s going on in the relationship, make inappropriate choices, and miss important learning and growth opportunities. Each stage requires a different yet overlapping set of skills. Mastering relationship is about mastering these skills.
- Click the button for the letter that represents your assessment of your competence with that particular skill. A = Satisfactory; B = Needs improvement.
- At the bottom each stage you there is a space for you to add the total number of “A”s and “B”s. This will indicate the stages in which you need to do some work, but more important, all of the “B” items will provide you with your own custom curriculum for mastering enlightened relationships.