It seems to me that there are five stages to a relationship and that we cycle between them. I put this forth in the hopes that others may see where they are now and possibilities for future happiness. I feel these stages correspond to any deep relationship, both personal, i.e., person-to-person on up to our feelings about God.
You like the same things! Everything is bliss! Been there? Sure. You call them up in the middle of the night, it is a joy to hear their voice and for them to hear yours. "I was just thinking about you! "Really! I was also thinking about you!
But did you fall in love with a shadow? A fantasy? A dream? Well . . . . maybe, maybe not. Want to make this a reality? Read on.
2. A SMALL CHANGE - Maybe they are not quite so perfect. Hmm. Maybe they are constantly late. Maybe they need to lose a few pounds. Maybe they are not quite as attentive as they were. Maybe they need a few very small changes and then they would be perfect! And others would like them better! It is really for their benefit to make a few small changes.
Now, folks, listen carefully because this is an absolute. Whatever you feel about them creates a loop. They feel the same about you! So you suggest they be on time and all would be grand. What do they do? They throw it back on you! "Oh yeah, how about your habit of . . . . and YOU need to make a few small changes for the good of this relationship, and everybody would like you better, also."
3. MAKE THEM CHANGE - So you decide to engineer the change you feel is now necessary for them to make in order to get you back to the 'Puppy Love' stage. Sometimes this is active, morphing into passive-aggressive. Where you may not physically leave the relationship, just mentally and emotionally. Stopping communication. But it is destructive to the relationship. You do things that you would never consider during an initial dating scenario.
You may physically leave and take with you the propensity to bring the same problems into the next relationship. Or you may seek counseling.
In counseling, I have asked a partner, "Do you do all the things you used to do when you were dating and falling in love? Flowers? Nice little surprises? Affection?"
"No! If he treats me like a dog, I respond like a bitch!"
"Would you love you? Could you love you if you were your partner?"
"Probably not! But if he/she would just [insert small change] then I would do all those things!"
"It seems to me that he/she would be happier if you just left," I often said. "Would he/she miss the 'venomous bitch'?" "No, probably not."
"Listen, do you really want to make this person miserable? Do you really want to make an impact on him/her? Then I suggest that you DO all the things you used to do. Be kind, loving, sexy, attentive, give him/her something to miss. THEN when she/he is responding to your attentions, dump them!"
"But what if he/she doe not change, does not miss me. What if they really are an a-hole?"
"Take a moment and ask yourself some questions," I say. "Would anyone want a cranky bitch like you for a relationship? If you are looking for someone to complete you, are you going to attract incomplete people?"
"Yeah, I LIKE this idea! Give him/her something to miss! At the least, I will be a better person, because I really don't like the way I am right now, either." My intent was to get this person to go inside and make changes to themselves. I also caution them to not look for immediate positive response from the other person.
Often this change re-creates a loving relationship. As a person makes positive changes, they begin to like themselves better. When they like themselves better, they are more attractive and fun to be around.
4. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY - for your life. As long as you place the responsibility on what others say or do, for your happiness, you will remain a victim! You can not be happy, ever! Take responsibility for your life, your actions, your love (BTW Love and Appreciation are the same vibration), only THEN do you - can you - have happiness.
5. GRACE - as we begin to take responsibility for our happiness a deep bonding takes place. You realize that perfection lies in seeing the beauty within. When you decide to change yourself and seek your inner happiness, you will becomes a beacon of light that draws the beauty of others. When you really focus on what you like about yourself AND what you like about them, you enter a state of Agape.
This state is much like 'PUPPY LOVE'. You see beauty, but the beauty, now is much more real, more true. You more see them like Source sees them and you. With true love.
Do we get there and stay there? Usually not. But now that you have a roadmap, I hope it will be easier to see where you are an the benefits in your personal change for your own personal happiness.
My wife, Anne and I have a fabulous relationship. Best I have ever known. But sometimes I catch myself thinking, "If only she would change . . . . ." Then I laugh and say 'Make a small change' stage. And I realize that I, in order to be happy, would feel better if I take responsibility for my happiness. My Big Picture. And I shift to places where I see her beauty. The rest evens out nicely.
It works for me. My hope is this understanding, this road-map will work for you. Take a moment and see just where you are right now on this map, maybe get some ideas for changes you want to make. And realize that when you make these changes, the other person may not notice and try to continue their part of the old loop.
But don't let this deter you from what you consider beneficial change. You really are doing this for yourself. If you are doing it for them? Well that is simply never going to work.
When I fall from the grace state in my relationship with my wife it is gratitude that helps me back, I remind myself of all that I have to be grateful for! Then the stuff I am grumbling about in my head are just crumbs on the floor soon swept away and forgotten.
answered 22 Mar '12, 08:45
I like your five stages post, this is very informative.
The first two are about understanding each other. We are very different in thought and response. So much different that to us what seems like common knowledge is not to the opposite sex.
Example from those two books. Believe it or not women value Love over Respect! "He might not respect me but at least he loves me." What on earth is that thinking? But now this will seem just as shocking to women, men value Respect over Love. Without Respect love means little.
That is only one small example from those two books, they are both filled with lots of information. The information comes from people questioned and polled. It even gives percentages of people that agreed. The Just For Men book is only women polled, the Just For Women book is only men polled.
Love Dare is a book based on the Love Dare book Kaden uses to try to win his wife back in the movie Fire Proof. Fire Proof is a movie about building or repairing a relationship.
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