A relationship is like a seesaw filled with different emotions and stages. All these emotions are normal in a relationship and riding the waves will make all the experiences worthwhile.
Honeymoon Stage Also known as the romantic stage, this occurs at the beginning of a relationship. Strong attractions such as ‘feeling weak at the knees’ are completely normal during this stage. When it is a new relationship, it is common for both parties to be on their best behaviour, only flaunting their good traits.
Power Struggle I see this stage as a reality check. After a few years, you begin to start seeing differences in your partner. In the honeymoon stage you only see the good side of your partner, whereas now you begin to acknowledge your partner's other traits - good and bad. This is where the real work of a relationship begins, as you start to deal with each other's differences and try to balance the changes that are occurring.
Stable Stage Boundaries are determined in this stage. You cannot make changes to your partner, instead you must accept and embrace each other and feel satisfaction within your relationship. In this stage you begin to realise that romance is not like it is in the movies and instead you feel wiser about love, romance and relationships. If you have a strong foundation in your relationship then you will be able to stand the test of time.
The Stage of Doubts Every couple goes through a stage where they feel doubt in their relationship. In this stage you begin to compare other relationships around you. This is the time you do not throw in the towel and give up on your relationship; instead you do your best to work through any issues.
Mutual Respect and Commitment This can be referred as realistic love. Many do not reach this stage of a relationship due to the high percentage of divorce nowadays. This stage oozes a great deal of mutual respect and balance within the relationship. No matter what flaws your partner has, you have now accepted what they have to offer.
Don't let any negative stages scare you. Most couples experience these and each step will allow you to build a stronger foundation and love for one another.