Every relationship has its own wonderful qualities and is definitely unique, but there is something every relationship shares. No matter who you are dating, here are seven stages you and your partner will go through together as time goes by:
When you first start seeing each other, everything is butterflies and romance. You want to look good for each other and you still care about making a good impression. You aren't 100 percent comfortable with each other, you tend to hide your quirks.
Once you two have won each other over, you no longer care about always looking good for each other. This is the stage you've been looking forward to for a few months: you don't even have to worry about wearing makeup when he comes over. You two may not be going on as many dates in this stage, but that's fine because you're perfectly happy snuggling up and watching a movie together. In fact, you'd prefer just staying in - it means you don't have to worry about doing your hair.
3. Spill the beans
This is the stage when all your embarrassing sides come out. This is the stage when you feel comfortable enough to say, "smell how stinky my socks are." There's no shame when it comes to this part of your relationship.
4. "Why don't we go on dates anymore?"
Once you two have gotten casual and comfortable with each other, you start to miss getting dressed up just to go to dinner. You two have gotten a little lazy with each other, which can create some tension if there isn't a good line of communication between you two. Talk it through and discuss any concerns you might be having (and be sure to go out to dinner every once and a while).
You feel comfortable being completely honest with each other in this stage. If your man needs a shower, you tell him. If you need to wash your hair, he'll let you know. The first time this kind of honesty came out, it might have stung a little, but now you're grateful you have someone who won't sugarcoat things.
6. Jealousy is no longer a thing
You've realized you've reached a new point of trust because you're not jealous when your partner has things to do on their own. You trust them when they say they're going out with friends, and you don't feel jealous when other girls can't seem to take their eyes off of your man. You have no reason to doubt the foundation of your relationship, and you know a few googly eyes won't change that.
7. Existential crisis
You start to have an inner freakout because you've caught yourself saying "we" instead of "I" when someone asks you about your future plans. You've each met the families, you're talking about starting a family together, and in a weird, distorted way, the fact that talking about a future with this person doesn't scare you ... which is actually the scary part.
Once you've hit all these stages, you know it's true love. You'll certainly pass through more stages as your relationship continues to progress, but whatever comes your way, you know you and your partner will get through it together and come out stronger for it.
Emily Brady is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She studied Communication with an emphasis in journalism. She loves photography and finding a good book to read in her hammock on a sunny, breezy day.