It’s not a secret for psychologists that every couple goes through certain stages in the development of relationships. Even when it seems to you that you have been fooled, you experience severe disappointment and do not recognize the person near you, remember that you are not alone. All people in love go through the same, and luckily, when you know it, you can deal with this scenario learning from the mistakes of others.

What dating stages are there? How to recognize them? What if the partner’s stage does not match with yours? Does everyone meet this challenge?

stages of dating

Why You Need to Know More About Dating Stages

It is vital to understand on what level your relationships are now. Seeking single women dating and starting a love story with someone is easy. But going through all stages in dating and still feeling the same affection is the real art. While most psychologists divide the development of relationships into 5 or 7 parts, the two main of them can be emphasized.

Co-dependence is the first stage among the stages of dating. Without it, two people cannot continue a trusting relationship. This stage can be considered its foundation. This one is characterized by using the pronoun “we” and underlining “our” involvement in all processes. This is a sweet period, it is often called the honeymoon. During it, the goal is to conquer another, devote a lot of time to each other, and do a lot for the partner without asking for anything back.

As soon as people feel that everything is stable in a relationship, the first date rules have been long forgotten, there are trust and confidence in a partner, another need immediately arises - for autonomy and being separate. This is the beginning of an addiction. At this stage, people throw their partners off the pedestal and demand more attention to themselves. They protect their rights and wait for the feedback from the partner. It is important to know about such changes in advance to understand the mood swings of your partner.

Only being aware of the different stages of dating people can survive through this one and move to the second level. During this period, a lot of tension, anger, and disappointment appear in the couple. It is at this stage that most divorces occur since, in our society, there is a ban on "negative" feelings. And most often people either emotionally move away from each other or try to reeducate a partner. Neither the first nor the second option leads to rapprochement and warmth, but rather gradually undermines relations and destroys them day after day. But the ability to survive complex feelings together leads to the fact that relationships deepen and become even more durable.

Dating Stages Timeline

Everyone dreams of a warm and harmonious relationship. But how many couples in which the passion does not fade away through the years exist? Why you strive to “hurt” your partner at some point and a feeling of contest instead of cooperation appears? What to do when it feels as if “the wrong person” is nearby? There are 7 conditional periods in the life of a couple. These stages of dating for a man and for a woman differ and are traditional for most human beings. They cannot be avoided, but you can prepare for them. We will tell you how to do this, explaining what and why it happens at each of the stages of dating.


This period is also called a honeymoon. You seem to dissolve in another person, cannot imagine your life without them, and even the parting for a few hours can cause huge mental pain and longing. Walking under the moon, the warmest embraces, and the longest talks — all this takes place in the first 18 months of a relationship. Helen Fisher, a scientist from Harvard, investigated what happens to lovers from a physiological point of view. With the help of a tomograph, the professor was able to detect the so-called hormones of “love” that are actively secreted in men and women in the first period. They block the influence of negative emotions, rational thinking. It’s as if a person is “high” — they see everything in pink colors, butterflies around and the partner’s heartbeat sounds like music.

An amazing fact. The rush of hormones in a person in love is similar to those in a drug addict. Ardor and aggravation of feelings fade away after about a year. But no regrets. If the first period would be longer, the lovers were hospitalized with a diagnosis of “Nervous and physical exhaustion.” And what happens at the psychological level? The couple discovers each other. They seemed to have a bite of an unfamiliar fruit, and now they want to feel its taste again and again. This period is the brightest. The less romantic stages of dating relationships are waiting ahead.


For a year or a little more people have been getting used to each other. Often a couple decides to live together by this time. Before that, a meeting with a loved was like a holiday — the people were preparing for it, planning something, reveling in dreams. Now it happens as a regular part of everyday life. If the distance is present, for example, relationships develop at a distance, the second stage goes smoothly and painlessly. If everything happens dynamically, one day, one of the partners may think, “Has love really gone?” In fact, pink glasses simply fall off, now you see each other's flaws and negative attributes. It turns out that some attributes of a loved one are very annoying, and you cannot tolerate them to the extent you want to leave.early stages of dating advice

If the image of the chosen one was idealized too much, the reality brings about a traumatic experience, “Can you even imagine what they did? I was so stupid when we started dating! I couldn't even imagine what a person they are!” But in most cases, the person wasn’t different, we just imagined the perfect image. And now it turned out that an alive human being near us doesn’t correspond to the expectations and fantasies in our head.


The third stage is characterized by the next thoughts of both parties, “Didn’t I make a mistake when I decided to stay with this person?” The chemical reaction of negative emotions is no longer switched on. And rationality and common sense replace it. From here — misunderstanding, quarrels, conflicts appear. Now everyone makes a decision for themselves — to break up or to fight for love putting up with the flaws of the other. In critical moments, it seems as if the second option is clearly stupid, and the wrong person is nearby. We think that the reason is in the partner, and everything would be different with another person. But this “perfect person” doesn’t exist. And even if you break up, and it will seem that you have met the one, you will have to go through the same early stages of dating with this new person again.


This is a critical point. During it, most often a couple wonders, "What are the 5 stages of dating? How to tackle this new vital task of reconciliation and stay together?" By this time, most often two people have already had a child, and the couple spends less time with each other. Joint life, plans, property do not give the opportunity to follow personal desires or emotions. One or both of the partners feel misunderstood and lonely. This does not mean that going through this stage means to endure everything that happens. If you do not proceed to a new stage, then the last straw will fall on the camel’s back very soon. If the couple breaks up when the children have matured, then it means that the relationship has been remaining at the stage of patience all the time. The couple does not know what to talk about with each other when there is no spiritual bond between them.


At this stage, we can talk about the appearance of true love, not sympathy or passion. Now that the hormones are in order, the partners do pleasant things for each other unconditionally. They look after each other, take care. But if at the beginning stages of dating, actions carried an egocentric connotation, and a person nearby was perceived as a source of pleasure, now the beloved is becoming an object of service. You want to do everything for them without waiting for the payback.


When people went through a series of challenges together, they already know what to expect from each other and how to make a partner happy, the sixth stage of relations begins. This is when the former passion and irresponsible behavior go to the background. You no longer strive to impress the partner but perceive your connection as a friendship that will last your whole lives. Even in times of hardships, partners understand clearly that everything passes, and the negativity will fade away too. They calmly wait for the understanding from each other instead of demanding the momentary actions and changes. They respect the inner world of each other and remember that it was their choice to stay with this person. As well as the other person has chosen to stay with them.


When the huge work on the relationship is behind, two people finally find out what does it mean to love. At this one, the seventh and the last stage, the partners have such a strong spiritual bond that they practically read each other’s thoughts and the chances they will split are slim to none. The development of the relationship comes gradually. One couple can jump over one of them, another couple will not pass this exam to the end, and the third couple will survive several phases simultaneously. To maintain the affection, it is enough to understand what is happening between two people and how to behave at this stage.

Vital Tips for Beginning Stages of Dating

Many people mistakenly believe that love is “butterflies in the stomach,” passionate kisses under the rain, walks in the late evenings, and endless admiration for each other. And when all this passes (because this is necessarily so), they are very upset and begin to think that this is the end, and they chose the wrong partner again. Then the most difficult period comes in the relationship of couples — the stage of disgust and rejection. But now, that you know the dating stages timeline, you can learn 6 tips on moving from one to another up to the last one.

What to do on the first stage

The main thing is not to overdo it in the desire to seem perfect. Of course, you can and should demonstrate your strengths. But if you go in cycles in this marathon, you can create a trap. No special love for cooking? Then it’s better not to demonstrate your culinary skills by studying a book of exotic recipes. The person, who is nearby, forms the embellished image of yourself. So, one of the early stages of dating advice is to let this picture be as close to reality as possible. Therefore, the task is to be yourself and give another one the opportunity to do it as well.

What to do on the second stage

Set forth. What seems obvious to us is not always clear to others. Two people, looking at the same landscape, see different details. To avoid misunderstandings — both in everyday life and in worldview concepts — we need to explain to each other how we see the world and its components.

People cannot change until they want to. Pressure and mutual claims do not achieve results. If a man always played poker on Fridays, and a woman got used to a family dinner in a quiet home environment, sooner or later there would be a conflict of interests — so how to spend this fifth day of the week? Putting your needs over those of your partner will lead to a quarrel and a spoiled evening in principle. There is a way out — seek a compromise. Reschedule a joint dinner on Saturday, hold a poker game earlier in time, throw a coin, etc.

Do not follow stereotypes. The couple creates the rules of relationships for themselves. And if both are comfortable when a woman earns more, and a man cooks food, then so be it. It is better to ignore tips, recommendations, and other valuable instructions from relatives or friends. Each relationship is a special world, not like the others. Why not write down your laws in it?

What to do on the third stage

Take responsibility for yourself. At this stage, we subconsciously shift responsibility for our emotions or actions to our partner. The phrases, “You make me angry” and “I am angry with you” are fundamentally different. We have the right to choose how to respond — forgive, humble ourselves, scream, be offended. In order not to blame the air, it is better to try to understand what exactly you want to change. And after it — discuss.

Get ready for change. At this stage, the patterns of behavior, as well as the person themselves, usually change. To maintain a relationship, you need to prepare for metamorphoses, to give another opportunity to upgrade. New hobbies, friends, work, the degree of self-development cannot but affect the existing family traditions. The couple will have to get to know each other again and reset their rules to form new foundations. Otherwise, you will have to run away.early stages of dating advice

What to do on the fourth stage

The task of this period is to accept the individual world of another person. Do not try to remake the partner but engage in changes yourself. The stage can be considered passed when the couple learned to take into account each other's needs, adopted the individual character traits of the other, and do not convincingly prove their point of view on any issue. The quarrels are now controllable, everyone’s behavior is predictable.

What to do on the fifth stage

To prevent a crisis, it is enough to find new common ground to build another facet of partnerships. For example, to open your own small family business or to arrange the garden near the house, choose whatever you like.

What to do on the sixth stage

Now fewer efforts are spent on relationships. Having spiritual independence, respect for the partner, you can delve into self-development. It is advisable that everyone has their own private space both literally and figuratively.

When Does Dating Turn into a Relationship?

Even the most passionate (at first) relationship, one day there comes a stage when the partner you were crazy about no longer seems so beautiful and smart to you, sex with them has ceased to be passionate, and you are neither honest nor attractive to each other. Usually, it is at this stage that most couples break up — for some of them, this crucial point comes earlier, and for the other, it can happen after ten years of marriage. Having survived a difficult parting, we rush in search of the new person and hope that with them, everything will be different. But as soon as we find out that the vicious circle repeats, the whole timeline “from admiration to disappointment” takes place again.

What we perceive is a point of no return, a dead end. There is nothing more than the switch to the next stage of our relationship — and in some cases, even the beginning of true, long, and strong love. And if you do not learn to recognize it in time and take control of your emotions, you run the risk of doing the same mistake again and again.

Some consider that the relationship has acquired meaning after passing the honeymoon period. But, in fact, this is only the beginning of a challenge. Only after the couple has passed the first 4 periods, they can be considered a real couple. It is vital that these stages coincide with the marriage, and people know that crucial moments indicate moving to another level and not the end of the world. Or these stages should be experienced before the couple decides to tie a knot. In such a case, they will be 100% confident in each other and know what to expect. If they marry at the stage of service, which as a rule takes from 5 to 7 years of dating, this will breathe new emotions into their union. Such a couple is unlikely to divorce ever after because they are close to the threshold of genuine love.

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