This question is marked "community wiki".

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.

  1. PUPPY LOVE - You have found the person of your dreams. Your soulmate! Your perfect Other. You sing. You do little spontaneous dances. Your Prince Charming! Your Muse. Your Inspiration.

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.

asked 21 Mar '12, 06:19

Dollar%20Bill's gravatar image

Dollar Bill

edited 21 Mar '12, 19:28

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.
Great wiki D-Bill!


answered 22 Mar '12, 08:45

ursixx's gravatar image


@ursixx Gratitude and love are the same vibration.

(22 Mar '12, 11:07) Dollar Bill

I like your five stages post, this is very informative.

Here are some books I have found helpful. For Men Only, For Women Only, and Love Dare.

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.


answered 21 Mar '12, 08:02

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

edited 21 Mar '12, 12:00


@Wade Casaldi Interesting. Will have a look at the books you recomend. We did a role reversal at one of the Tony Robbins two week Seminars. The men got on stage and removed their shirts.

The women were asked to sit according to financial strength. The ones on the front row were making over $500k a year, income descending to the unemployed in the back. The men asked the women questions they felt a woman might ask a man if the roles were reversed.

The women in front were asked the most questions. FI a man might ask if they considered it a "must" to have a pre-nuptial agreement.Did the women want a family?

The most interesting point raised was when we were all asked to go into the audience and have the women, acting in a man's role, to try to connect with the men. It was revealing, sad and funny. The bottom line was that men are able to face rejection much better than women. Men commiserate with each other after an unsuccessful evening, meeting at a bar later that night. Women tend to go home alone.

There were several other revelations.

This was 1990. The group facilitator was, I believe, John Grey, "Men are from Mars, women from Venus." He published his work a few years after this program.

(21 Mar '12, 10:09) Dollar Bill

very good point wade with out respect there is no love. and with out love there is no respect. yet so many people fell better then other out of ego and do not respect other people. yet they will try to prove to you that their way is better. yet inside they are like dirty pig that do not accept other, their ego blind them to the truth and they do not practice what they preach.

(21 Mar '12, 10:54) white tiger

yes i agree with you dollar bill take responsibility and stop judging other. the only one that can make that change is you. if you feel intitle to something and do not respect other judging them there is no love and no respect. then you live in illusion and are that illusion. no matter if i shake you up and say wake up. you do not want to see or hear and have free will. so it is done according to your faith. experience and enjoy.

(21 Mar '12, 11:04) white tiger

Very interesting, yes, watch the movie Fire Proof. When I and Jai watched it together it was funny I could see everything from the Kaden's side but Jai could see everything from his Wife's side. It was played so well how each reacted and acted that just watching that was a learning experience. Stuff that to me seemed like "She is making too much out of this, what is wrong with her? Why is she acting that way?" Was just the opposite for Jai, "Why doesn't he see how he is treating her?"

(21 Mar '12, 11:44) Wade Casaldi

But the good thing is if you watch it more than once the biases tends to melt and you start to understand both sides. Actually it was made so well you do by the end of watching it the first time but you don't realize what just hit you! lol It is a really good movie! :-)

(21 Mar '12, 11:47) Wade Casaldi

they are both trap in judgement and duality. Jesus said to them, "When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom."

(21 Mar '12, 11:51) white tiger

Jesus said, "Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered." When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."

(21 Mar '12, 11:54) white tiger

Thanks White Tiger, yes it seems we all could benefit from putting effort into learning about our opposites if we really love them then we all should try to understand them as much as we could. This point is made very clear in the movie Fire Proof, a very good movie about a man trying to save his marriage.

(21 Mar '12, 11:56) Wade Casaldi

Exactly White Tiger neither one was right, but both thought they were right and the other wrong. When we are willing to tear down those self righteous judgements of the other is when and only when we can see each other and heal. :-) That is why the movie was so good it showed a relationship is not a thing that is sealed with the ring but continues for life to be a work of love for each other. That was actually in Just for men, don't stop pursuing her because you get married.

(21 Mar '12, 12:09) Wade Casaldi

Jesus said, "He who is near me is near the fire, and he who is far from me is far from the kingdom." Jesus said, "When you see your likeness, you rejoice. But when you see your images which came into being before you, and which neither die not become manifest, how much you will have to bear!" Jesus said, "Whoever has come to understand the world has found (only) a corpse, and whoever has found a corpse is superior to the world." Let there be among you a man of understanding.

(21 Mar '12, 12:18) white tiger

Thank you for your comments, @Wade Casaldi. Always appreciate your input.

(21 Mar '12, 19:17) Dollar Bill

I took a class at a church called Love and Respect. It pointed out how men speak and hear different than women and how women need to feel loved and men need to feel respected. I applied some stuff to my parenting a young man, and it really helped.

(21 Mar '12, 19:23) Fairy Princess

@Fairy Princess Wonderful, yes it is amazing the differences and we don't even realize it until it is pointed out. It is just more confusion like, "Why is he like this?", or "Why is she like that?" both trying to mold the other to their understanding paradigm. I highly recommend both those books. I was told when we finish our own like mine Only For Men that switching books helps me see even more from the other side reading the Only For Women book too.

(21 Mar '12, 22:52) Wade Casaldi

@wade casaldi I have ordered Fire Proof from Netflix. Sounds great! Thanks!

(22 Mar '12, 11:15) Dollar Bill

@Dollar Bill yes it is a great movie! :-) I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. To be fair there was things his wife did in the movie Jai absolutly did not agree with. She could just understand some of the feeling stuff better than I could at first.

(24 Mar '12, 20:03) Wade Casaldi
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