Relationship Phases & Illusions

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PHASE ONE:
ROMANCE

Signs:

Sexual & Romantic Energy

Sense of Possibilities

Shared Vision

Desire to be Together

Excitement & Anticipation

Illusions: Wishing makes it so

This person will bring happiness, comfort, security

You will finally have the attention, admiration, and concern that you deserve

You will never be alone again

This person will fulfill all your needs

Fear that conflict will destroy the vision

Need to hang onto each other and connection

Belief jealousy means you care

Sex will improve with time

Belief there will never be problems

Note:   In Phase One, we relate to the other as an object to satisfy our needs. Maturity at this stage means wisdom and willingness to accept this as a stage and the ability to be curious about what the future will bring and how you will problem-solve as you become more imdependent and aware.

PHASE TWO: INDIVIDUALITY

Signs:

We begin to recognize and validate the differing needs of each other as well as each other's different perspectives.

Who I am and what I was vs. who she is and what she wants

Illusions: That we can change each other to fit our own needs

That we really don't love each other if there is any conflict

That our mate belongs to us

The other will ultimately "get it"

The need to retaliate or leave if needs are not met

That sacrifice is true measure of love

That you have a right to expect certain things

Note:   This is the stage in which most couples leave each other after recognizing there are differences. We have a tendency to feel as if the other deceived us, are not who they pretended to be or that we have chosen the wrong person.

PHASE THREE: STABILITY

Signs:

We begin to take responsibility for our state of unconsciousness (denial) and we begin to expand our sense of identity through dialog

We start to communicate more deeply

Illusions: Now that we have learned to take responsibility for ourselves, we do not need to confront differences

Ultimate goal is to feel secure. Any other changes your mate might make will come with age

It will last forever

It means TOTAL commitment

Fidelity not trust is true measure of love

That we will no longer have fights, arguments, or misunderstandings

That you have a right to expect certain things

That you have achieved a permanent state of peace

Note:   How these illusions result in a static state of being that prevents growth, spontaneity, individuality, and spirituality.

PHASE FOUR: COMMITMENT

Signs:

We finally become a "we" and experience ourselves as an inter-dependent synergetic team

We learn that we can live our lives together with unsolvable differences and paradoxes, and yet stay together.

Illusions: Now that we have harmonized our differences as a couple, our work is finished

We need not concern ourselves with the world beyond

That our mate would obviously rather be with us than anyone else at all times

That our mate belngs to us

That our mate is a person we see clearly, and therefore know exactly how they will react and what they want and need at all times

Note:   If each individual is growing and changing in positive ways, we should never presume to know what the other wants or needs. Growth and change benefit the relationship more than any other single thing.

PHASE FIVE:
CO-CREATORS

Signs:

We learn to cooperate with the forces of life and change, and we begin creating a saner, more healthy world

We experience ourselves as part of the whole of life

We realize that we are One with each other and all of life

We realize we have chosen each other and this lifetime as teachers for our own growth

We realize we will always have the love, even if the form or the relationship should change

Illusions: We may have a tendency to focus too much on giving to the world, and not enough on our personal relationship. It will be beneficial to set regular times to reconnect for mediation, discussion, and physical connecting.

Note:   It is  important not to take each other for granted, and to make a habit of expressing love and support for each other, sprinkled with a great deal of laughter.

To learn everything, we must first
acknowledge that we know nothing.


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Dina Bachelor Evan, Ph.D. - Therapy for Individuals and Couples

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FAX: (602)997-0970

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