8 Tracks: 8 Relationship Stages

Psychologists reckon healthy relationships occur in stages, the exact number is a variable, but for interest sake let’s go with 8. If life is musical, there should be a soundtrack for love. These are some of the songs that sound like these stages feel. It’s a bit weird, but indulge me with this one.

Stage 1: You meet

This song sounds like that moment you realise you’ve just collided with another human. It’s one of those “damn, Daniel” moments. When you’re just shocked by the kind of synchronicity that exists so politely within a chaotic universe. You just want time to stop a bit and in a way it kind of does.

Stage 2: You’re infatuated

…you’re also lit with chemical reactions at this stage: serotonin, dopamine and a span of other things that make your brain break dance when you really should be gliding like a figure skater because at this point you’re potentially on thin ice. You’re there for the thrill though: the wind in your hair and all that jazz gets you feeling alive. You’re living wildly here and you like it. Sadly, by now your friends are probably done with your obsessive rambles, but they still think you’re dope AF.

Stage 3: You experience a catalyst moment

‘Nobody else needs to know’ and nobody does because you’re convinced nobody else, but the two of you can understand the significance of what you share… You reached a point where it’s on some Bonnie and Clyde tip and it’s ‘us’ against the world. You want to put your foot on the gas and if everything goes well, you do.

Stage 4: You become a couple

You realised what you’re working with and it’s great, so you seal the deal. This is when you make it official and change your Facebook relationship status. This way your extended family knows their prayers panned out in your favour and your mom can sleep easy at night.

Stage 5: You commit

You were committed before, but this is like being in a swimming pool and actually going into the deep end. You were always keen for a swim, but you’re willing to get your hair wet even though you know the kind of effort that awaits you after. Also, your heart goes ‘boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,’ as Sade says.

Stage 6: You feel like there’s a wedge between you

One of you is working too much, tired of cleaning up after the other person or just bringing hunks of cheese to bed. Either way, it feels like you’re headed in different directions or you’re no longer on the same path. You probably pick petty ass fights and complain about your partner’s choice in laundry detergents. You’ve always been flexible, but you can’t be taken seriously in client meetings if your clothes smell like uncertainty.

Stage 7: You experience a crisis

It’s cool if you’re still able to pannic at this stage. It means you actually care. You realise the train is derailing and you want to steer it back on course. You reflect a lot as individuals and together you fight for your love. You win battles and if you’re lucky, the war. It’s about returning to a place where you remember and value the connection you share.

Stage 8: You enjoy mature intimacy

This is everything. I think this stage is the one that justifies romantic comedies. It’s the kind of ‘I want to grow old with you’ beautiful mess people dream of, except it’s real and true. Conversations at this stage are open and both of you are comfortable enough to express how you feel. This is actually when you’re both wearing your hearts on your sleeve.

I’m obviously not a relationship expert, but what I do know is that it’s worth every bit of courage it takes. As long as you’re being true to yourself, you can’t go wrong.

It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done. – Vincent van Gogh.

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