Relationships Go Through Stages

Couples Counseling Associates
Call or Text 312-416-6191
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Most people don’t know that relationships go through stages and that those stages can be recycled several times in the course of a long term relationship. Each stage may lead to the next one, or to relationship distress.

The romantic stage:   It’s what happens when two strangers meet and fall in love.  This stage sparks a chemical reaction, and a temporary state of mutual delusion. Don’t get me wrong. Couples DO need that stage upon which to build their relationship. Without it, there is hardly anything to start building on.  But they don’t really know each other. That’s the early stage love that keeps you up at night and messes with your head. That stage doesn't last, but it leads to the formation of a friendship and love bond. 

The power struggle stage, also known as the OMG stage. This is when you may be tempted to ask yourself:  Did I pick the wrong person?  When partners begin to know each other better, differences arise. No two people are the same. We differ in how frequently we want a sexual encounter, how we spend our leisure time, and on how we treat our neighbor. The differences that arise in a relationship when people start living under the same roof can be destabilizing to a relationship. 

Couples deal with this stage in different ways.  A power struggle may arise. Who is right about how to do the dishes? What is the best way to manage money? How frequently do you see your in laws or friends? What are the best places to go on vacation?  Another way that couples deal with differences is by avoiding conflict. This may provide temporary relief, but it leads to distance. Dealing with these inevitable differences in a respectful and dignified way may lead couples to strengthen their bond, which would take them  to the third stage.

The Mature stage: The power struggles tend to subside. Couples learn to compromise, and  figure out how to  accept their differences. They learn to become of aware of what they want, long for, and desire and how to communicate those needs.  They treat their differences with respect, dignity, and a dose of generosity. They learn the value of real giving. This could lead to a re-kindling of the romantic stage and the whole process starts all over again.

Couples Counseling Associates in Chicago

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© 2018 Couples Counseling Associates

 Associated Therapists

Sara Schwarzbaum


Founder, Couples Counseling Associates

Tap to Call:
312-416-6191 ext. 202

Liz Garvey



Tap to Call:
312-416-6191 ext. 207

Linda Lazzara


Associated therapist

Tap to Call:
312-416-6191 ext. 205

Also in Arlington Heights

637 E. Golf Rd Suite 201

Arlington Heights Il 60005


 Associated Therapist

Michael Villarreal:

773 789-9775

Associated Therapist Giulia Casani MA,LMFT

500 North Michigan ave - Suite 600 Chicago, Il 60611
Phone 773 580 0152

Associated Threapist

Kate Engler, LMFT, LPC 

10024 Skokie, Blvd. Suite 207Skokie, IL 60077(224) 233 - 1036 ext. 418 (office)(844) 546 - 6642 (mobile - PLEASE NOTE: this number does not accept text messages)

All the mental health professionals practicing at 737 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 2130, Chicago, IL 60611 or any other locations, are individually licensed by the State of Illinois and practice independently and separately. They have no legal relationship to the practices of each other and do not incur in liability for services of one another or to Dr. Sara Schwarzbaum.