Relationships change over time.

What stage are you at? What could this mean for your relationship?

Steps showing the stages of a relationship - Romance, Reality, Power struggle, Finding yourself, Acceptance of each other, Mutual respect, love and understanding

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Long term relationships tend to go through lots of stages and changes. It’s different for everyone and your journey will be affected by the changes in your lives.

1) Romance

Many relationships start here – everything seems perfect and you want to spend every moment together.

2) Reality

You start to see each other’s flaws. You may find that you want different things from life.

3) Power struggles

As you figure out how things are going to work between the two of you, you may have to reach a compromise about important issues like children, money, or housework.

This video explains the card in more detail
bit.ly/stages-changes

4) Finding yourselves

Once you’ve figured out how your relationship works, you may need to focus on yourselves as individuals – your personal hopes and dreams. This can be a difficult stage for many couples.

5) Acceptance

When you have learned to respect each other’s needs, you can start to see your differences as strengths.

6) Mutual love and respect

You learn to love each other completely – warts and all. You’ve found a way to balance your needs as individuals with your roles in the relationship.

Throughout your life, you may move up and down through the stages. Big changes like having a baby or losing a job can cause arguments, which may set you back. And you won’t always be at the same stage as each other.

Here’s a few questions to ask yourself now:

a) Where do you think you are at the moment?

b) Where would your partner say they are?

c) What would you have to do to get to the next stage?

Visit new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/parent-relationships to find out what we’re doing in Brighton and Hove so all parents are #GettingOnBetter.