The Four Stages of Romantic Relationships

Inspired by Amika Takahashi's "Stages of Romance"

To those who wonder why your relationships end in premature breakups, perhaps this can help:

The Candy House Stage - This is when the fireworks and shooting stars fill the couple's hearts with magic. The couple feels the connection, everywhere they go. They may act silly, as if under a spell and may think of, and talk about nothing but their partner all the time. This is the stage when the partners feel inseperable. They will try to be together as much as they can, exchange thoughtful glances, and share intimate moments. Gift giving and complimenting are common.

The Frozen Pond Stage - After the Candy House, the stars fall down, the sparks fade away, and the magic seems to die. In the Frozen Pond, the level of interest is in the freezer. One partner or both partners may feel neglected, or bored, or uneasy. They become overconfident or insecure, as well as uncomfortable. Often the quality of communication drops. In many cases the couple will attempt to rekindle the passion of their romance through more gift giving, bonding, and many other attempts to save the connection. Thawing the Frozen Pond requires patience, understanding, and in many cases, a little creativity.

The Poison Apple Stage - In this level, the quality of communication suffers, and the couple loses stability. As the relationship weakens, the couple finds fault in the smallest things and looks for reasons to argue and quarrel. Complaining and nagging become regular. The partners trust each other less and find it easy to lie. One or both partners may entertain the thought of cheating because they feel discontented. Because many couples view these poison apples as symptoms of incompatibility, few ever make it through this stage. Interestingly, one psychologist stated that playing pictionary, charades, and similar games, may help as they can break language barriers, as well as develop empathic communication.

The Happily Ever After Stage - Those who survive the Poison Apple benefit in this state of bliss where mere attraction transforms into love. The partners enjoy each other more and feel united in a metaphysical way. This is a rewarding level of continuous caring and a deeper kind of intimacy. The couple in this level knows better now, and they each contribute to maintain the relationship.