Stages of relationships: acquaintance, first date, candy-bouquet period, respect, love

  • April 22, 2019
  • Psychology of relationships
  • Ahi Svetlana

Human relationships can be compared to a living organism. They develop according to general laws, but also have individual characteristics. The stages of a relationship between a man and a woman are interesting and complex at the same time. This process does not always develop harmoniously. One of the partners may not be ready for the next stage. As a result, conflicts, disagreements and mutual claims begin in the couple. Let's consider the specifics of each stage of the relationship.


The first date does not always turn into a serious relationship. It all depends on the impression that the partners make on each other. At the first meeting, it is not possible to fully “reveal” a person, to find out all the advantages and disadvantages of his character. Many limit themselves to the first date. They put an end to future relationships, leaving an unpleasant impression of themselves.

If a romance between a man and a woman begins to develop, they need to be prepared to go through certain stages of the relationship.

  1. It all starts with the candy-bouquet period. This is the stage of falling in love, which lasts about a year and a half.
  2. Next comes the stage of satiety.
  3. This is followed by a stage of disgust or rejection.
  4. Then comes a period of tolerance (humility).
  5. Next comes the service stage.
  6. The previous period smoothly turns into respect and friendship.
  7. And it all ends with divine love.

All partners go through the above stages. Some couples reach the final stage of the relationship, acquiring harmony and bliss. Others get stuck on certain sections, unable to overcome the difficulties that arise. More often, lovers break up in the third phase of a relationship.

How to know what you love

Do you wake up at dawn with a smile on your lips just thinking that you will see Him today?

It’s not so important to you whether He speaks to you, invites you somewhere, and generally whether He deigns to look at you, the main thing is that you will see the object of your dreams even in passing (for example, at a morning meeting in the boss’s office or in the common dining room at lunch ).

Congratulations - you are in love! Signs of a “pathological condition” are:

  • an inexplicable need to admire the object of desire again and again;
  • trembling in the knees when he approaches;
  • sudden shyness when trying to approach him.

Let's remember Pushkin - it would seem difficult to find a more experienced heartthrob! And he admitted to his friends that he was instantly lost and could not find words to talk as soon as he met his friend in society.

“Madonna” - Natalie Goncharova. It’s even more difficult for an ordinary, ordinary person in such a situation! But the matter is not limited to just falling in love.

It all begins with her. 7 or 5 stages of love in psychology have been identified today. Why are the numbers different? It’s just that sometimes scientists combine the last three stages into one, so instead of seven you get five.

Each period in a couple’s relationship has its own characteristics. Let's see what they are.


At the initial stage of a relationship with a girl, guys are euphoric. Hormones go off scale, causing an irresistible passion for your partner. A girl in love experiences similar feelings. Gentle caresses and touches bring pleasure to partners. They can't get enough of each other. During the period of falling in love, strong feelings overcome common sense and rational thinking. A loved one seems ideal: even his shortcomings are taken as advantages.

Men at the initial stage of relationships carefully hide the “dark” sides of their character. The intensity of passions does not allow them to offend their beloved. It seems to the girl that he is her ideal and will always be so. This is the main danger that awaits a couple in the first stage of falling in love. Partners sincerely believe that they have true love. When the period ends, lovers think that their feelings have begun to fade and the time has come to part. In fact, relationships simply cannot develop any other way. Nature will not allow passions to constantly heat up, because this will lead to physical exhaustion of the body. Therefore, the period of love lasts a maximum of 6 months.


My recommendations:

  • Put away your smartphone, laptop, tablet. Communicate more in person.
  • Find a common hobby - drawing, sports, music, board games, completing quests.
  • Read and discuss the same book. You will better understand your partner's thoughts.
  • Kiss more - sweetly at parting, passionately in bed, routinely when meeting.
  • Hug and hold hands. When touched, dopamine is produced, which makes us happier.
  • Tell us everything that amused you, disappointed you, touched you, or brought you into a stupor. Share your feelings not only towards him, but also your emotions regarding the environment.
  • Give compliments. Tell him why you love him right now!


It is impossible to imagine the stages of a relationship without the second stage. It comes inevitably. The lovers in the first segment managed to “get enough” of each other, so they gradually lose the urgent need to constantly be nearby, fulfilling the desires of their other half. The intensity of passion fades away and is replaced by a calm feeling of love. Relationships begin to resemble a calm sea: everything goes peacefully, predictably, smoothly, quietly. The danger of this period lies in the possible discrepancy in the psychological readiness of one of the partners to leave the phase of falling in love. A man or woman does not want to take off their rose-colored glasses and return to reality, demanding that their other half “continue the banquet.” As a result, they become completely dependent on their loved one.

The saturation period lasts from 6 months to 1.5-2 years. If couples soberly evaluate each other, then they overcome the difficulties of this period and successfully move to the next stage of the relationship.

Psychologist's view

Love has always been talked about. It was touched upon by great poets in their poems, by artists who created delightful portraits, and by musicians who composed incredible masterpieces. Scientists from various scientific fields were not spared: neurologists, biologists, zoologists, physicists. Even mathematicians tried to come up with its formula. But most of all psychological works have been written on this topic. After all, it is psychology that studies the human soul, his behavior, feelings, and reactions. Therefore, the eternal problem of love and its stages through the eyes of a psychologist seems to us the most useful and interesting for knowledge.


The shortcomings of the chosen one(s) are becoming more and more visible. The ideal partner turns into an ordinary person with inherent contradictions. This is the most difficult part of life together. Spouses blame each other for all their failures and try to change each other. No matter how difficult it may be, lovers must go through all stages of relationship development. This period can be called a test of the strength of feelings. Sooner or later it will come.

It also has its advantages. Constant quarrels, reproaches and misunderstandings allow you to better understand yourself and your partner by assessing the relationship from an outsider. Psychologists do not advise trying to avoid the stage of disgust. It is better to prepare for it in advance in order to rationally and consciously assess future events. If partners can successfully overcome this difficult stage of life together, they will enter a new round of relationships that will bring boundless pleasure to both.

The disgust phase lasts from 2 years or more. This is the most crisis stage, at which the most divorces are recorded.

Reversal of feelings: what destroys love

Love cannot disappear on its own. There are some moments that kill or noticeably cool the feelings of partners. Psychologists warn that if you want to save your marriage and warm communication, then avoid mistakes such as:

  • total control;
  • irresponsibility for oneself and family, especially after the birth of a child;
  • lack of respect for your life partner;
  • inability to forgive;
  • the appearance of a mistress, betrayal;
  • lack of patience, inability to wait;
  • self-doubt, low self-esteem;
  • lack of care and attention;
  • unreasonable anger, bitterness, dissatisfaction with your significant other;
  • unjustified expectations, excessive daydreaming;
  • inability to communicate directly and openly with your spouse.

All this can eventually lead to the fact that the spouses decide to divorce, although you just need to reconsider your attitude towards the family and life in general, realize your mistakes and correct your behavior. Every couple goes through these stages on the path to love. The one who reaches the end without losing feelings, maintaining tenderness and warmth, achieves harmony and true happiness. Other people break up and try to find someone to start this journey over again.


Service, patience and respect are the stages of intimacy in a relationship. The stage of humility is replaced by a tense phase of disgust. Relationships are moving to a new level of development. Partners try to see what each really wants from each other. People stop adapting their chosen one to suit themselves and are increasingly trying to understand their soulmate. The problems that arise no longer seem so scary, and solving them together becomes more pleasant and fun.

At the stage of tolerance, lovers learn to understand and hear each other. Between partners, intimacy arises not only physical, but also spiritual. Psychologists note that at this stage of a relationship, people more often turn to specialists for help. They want to maintain the existing union and better understand their chosen one, so they read psychological literature and turn to psychologists for advice.

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It is during this period of life together that people develop genuine feelings of love. A person is aware of his responsibilities to his other half. The chosen one begins to understand how unique his life partner is. Partners increasingly take into account each other’s needs and desires and try to fulfill their responsibilities properly.

At this stage of the relationship, spouses receive satisfaction from their life together. The chosen one becomes the object of service. Your significant other experiences pleasure by bringing joy to your loved one. Partners begin to respect each other's personal boundaries.

Bottom line

To live together until the end of your days, it is not enough to meet the right person. Married life is a titanic spiritual work, as a result of which fate bestows true love. This is dedication, the ability to compromise, the willingness to sacrifice oneself for the sake of a loved one, long-suffering and trust. And remember: only those who are ready for it can experience family happiness. There is no need to regret divorce and break-ups: your significant other will never leave your other half, only strangers leave.


The stage of service smoothly transitions into the stage of mutual respect and friendship. This is the highest level in human relations. The psychology of the stage of relationships between a man and a woman at this stage characterizes partners as two separate individuals who easily and simply find a common language, solve problems together without conflicts and receive satisfaction from their union. The partners are grateful to each other for their support and understanding. Their relationship sometimes resembles the first phase of falling in love. But only ardent passion and raging emotions are replaced by respect, devotion and mutual understanding.

The partners' relationship smoothly turns into friendship. A man and a woman accept each other with all their shortcomings, showing respect. Such families are set as examples. They are imitated. The couple went through so much together and at the same time remained family, maintaining tenderness of feelings and trust in each other.

Psychology of relationships between men and women

To conquer a strong and worthy man, you have to go a long way. It may not always be successful, but you will gain invaluable experience. To attract the attention of the man you like, you need to know:

  • His life position;
  • Future plans;
  • Interests;
  • Preferences;
  • Habits.

You can get such information about him using social networks or through your friends.

Find out what type of woman is preferable to him:

  • The woman is the mother;
  • Girlfriend;
  • Lioness;
  • Mistress.
  1. A woman - a mother - is sensitive, emotional, loves children and dreams of starting a family.
  2. A friend is an intellectual with whom you can discuss any topic. You can even take it with you fishing.
  3. The lioness represents a bright, proud personality that a man will try to conquer, and after that show her to his friends and acquaintances as a trophy.
  4. The housewife keeps the house clean, cooks well, takes care of the children, and still manages to pursue a career. Perhaps she is not too emotional, but she is reliable and predictable.

Having studied the tastes of the man you like, begin to build a line of behavior. Don't forget that a man loves with his eyes, so watch your appearance.


Psychologists distinguish 7 stages of relationship development. The final seventh stage has a romantic name - love. This is the highest stage of a love relationship. During this period, the couple reaches complete mutual understanding; Spiritual closeness, deep trust in each other, warmth, and sincerity are established between partners. This is a great gift of fate that must be earned by going through the previous stages of the relationship.

Love is not a spontaneous feeling that arises at first sight, as many believe. Deep emotions come with the experience of past years. The Bible describes love in these words: merciful, long-suffering, not proud, not evil, not envious. This is an eternal feeling that can survive and endure everything.

What could be the stages of love in psychology by year?

Unlike romantic lyrics, which glorify the infinity of love, the drier and more pragmatic science of psychology provides clear temporal distinctions between the stages of this feeling. Many couples go through the entire journey, consisting of seven successive stages, in 7–10 years. This decade determines further strong family relationships. If we manage to safely pass all the ups and downs, we can hope that even into old age people will retain wisdom and happiness in their relationships with each other.

The psychological stages of development and formation of marriage through the eyes of a psychologist (Michelle Weiner-Davis) have 5 stages:

  1. Falling in love—time interval—from acquaintance to 1–3 years of marriage. It is characterized by a process of addiction, cooling, and irritation, which are caused by everyday unsettled conditions and doubts about choosing a partner. At this stage, it is possible to overcome controversial issues or divorce otherwise.
  2. Trust - from 1–3 years to 5–7 years of marriage. The difficulties of passing depend on the individual characteristics and characters of the spouses. Suspicion, jealousy, and irresponsibility of any partner can add difficulties in overcoming the stage. Loyalty, repentance and forgiveness are traits that help preserve a union from divorce.
  3. Feeling of kinship - from 5–7 years to 10–15 years of marriage. The created union is not built from scratch. Each spouse has relatives and loved ones, professional ambitions and aspirations for self-realization. At this stage, a reassessment of values ​​and priorities is necessary, the ability to build trusting relationships with the relatives of the other half and put the priorities of your family first.
  4. A sense of unity - from 10–15 years to 20 years of marriage. Without achieving unity of material and spiritual values, marriage is under threat due to disagreements on raising children, as well as material difficulties that can even lead to a break in such a long-term relationship. Only alliances built on tolerance and mutual understanding can cope with difficulties. Relaxing together, talking on any topic and physical intimacy (touching, hugging, sex) will allow you to feel unity with your soul mate.
  5. Love. The last long-awaited phase of the relationship has arrived, which will last from 20 years of marriage to old age. The union has its own history and common memories, the children grow up and also enter the circle of forming relationships. But this phase can reveal dissatisfaction with the partner’s appearance, disharmony in intimacy, and the search for new sexual hobbies on the side. Renewal of feelings will be helped by new impressions and fantasies, joint goals and leisure, a change of image and home environment, which will take you away from the routine of family life.

When you see elderly spouses holding hands, know that they have gone through all the stages of formation and have maintained their first love, overcoming difficulties. Having gone through the thorny path from falling in love to true love, the couple builds a strong and warm relationship.

Find out what family relationships are.

Life and emotional difficulties will no longer be able to interfere with them. This world is strengthened by mutual friendship, understanding and empathy, the foundation of which is love. We wish you to go through all stages safely and be happy.

Love Psychology of Relationships

Child Development Stages

Some experts compare the stages in the development of relationships with the periods of growing up of a child. The stages of relationships by month of baby development are as follows.

First phase: symbiosis, in which mother and child are one. Lasts about 5 months. A healthy relationship between mother and child during this period becomes a guarantee of the “correct” behavior of an adult at the stage of falling in love.

Differentiation phase (5-9 months). There is a separation of the child from the mother at the psychological level.

The practice stage occurs between 10 and 16 months of baby's development.

From 17 to 24 months, the period of friendly relations between mother and child begins. This is the most difficult stage. Here the child develops as an individual, but at the same time the emotional attachment to a loved one remains.

Psychologists say that if a person in childhood “correctly” goes through all the stages of his development, then he will be able to build healthy relationships in the future, successfully overcoming all the crises of their development.

Love stage

Love is a reward to partners for the boundless patience and titanic work they put into their relationship. You can go towards it for many years, but when you reach this stage, you will no longer doubt the correctness and necessity of the path you have taken.

Signs of love:

  • I want to spend time alone as much as possible
  • Lack of jealousy and unlimited trust in your partner
  • The desire to care for the beloved and give more than one can receive

The love stage can be similar to the falling in love stage. Only in the second case, the cause of the feelings were hormones, and love is painstaking and long work on a relationship. This is a spiritual connection that helps you enjoy each other every moment, understand desires and needs literally. This is a reward that very few couples achieve. Love and be loved!

Stages of relationship destruction

Any relationship does not collapse out of the blue. A person gradually realizes that the usual course of life is changing. The changes that are taking place disrupt mental comfort, which is replaced by conflicting feelings that something is going wrong. This is the first stage of relationship destruction. The person here acts as an observer: silently analyzes the events taking place. The irritation and feelings of rejection that characterize this stage are suppressed. A man or woman is trying to maintain a union without giving vent to unpleasant emotions.

How long does the candy-bouquet period last? Psychologists unanimously say - no more than six months. It turns out that after 6 months, one of the partners may begin to feel the first signals of a crisis in the relationship.

In the second stage of relationship destruction, dissatisfaction with the partner reaches its peak. People begin to say what irritates them so much about their chosen one. It’s good if this happens in the form of a calm dialogue. But more often, irritation is expressed in the form of insults, complaints and humiliation of another person.

The third stage is constant conflicts. Partners cannot agree with each other and do not want to understand one another. This can last for years.

The fourth phase is called despair. A person clings to the last opportunity to save an existing relationship. Here the chosen one often shows dissatisfaction in a harsh form.

The fifth stage is the destruction of the union. The partners are so tired of each other, of constant conflicts and misunderstandings, that it is easier for them to break up. The last phase seems to be the most rapid, because a person often does not realize that he has already experienced 4 previous stages of the destruction of his union.

Stages and their characteristics

There are 7 steps that couples in love overcome on the way to a real feeling of love. Each stage is characterized by its own characteristics .

How to forget your first love? Find out about this from our article.


Love at first sight and the candy-bouquet period. The duration of the very first stage of falling in love is usually about a year or a year and a half .

At this time, partners do not notice shortcomings, they are blinded by a strong feeling of love, everything seems wonderful and beautiful to them in the character of their loved one.

The beloved appears in the most unrealistic light when no attention is paid to negative character traits .

Scientists who studied the first period of relationships gave it the name “chemistry of love.” At this time, hormones, oxytocin and endorphin, are actively produced, completely taking over the consciousness of lovers.

Actively produced substances suppress attempts at rational thinking and block the emergence of negative emotions. A person is completely overcome by euphoria in love .

Partners try to spend every free time together, communicate a lot, call each other, and often declare their love . Half of their vocabulary consists of affectionate and tender words addressed to a loved one.

Most often, this stage ends with the registration of marriage, since people “fly on the wings of love” and want to quickly legitimize their relationship in order to indicate their status to society.

What stages does a person in love go through? About this in the video:


After marriage and the beginning of life together, a stage of satiety usually comes. The initial intense love begins to subside , hormones no longer rage, and brain function resumes as usual.

Each partner begins to pay more attention to other areas of their life, wants to communicate with friends, and be closely involved in work.

During this period, the first conflicts begin .

Often they are associated with the fact that one of the lovers has already moved to a new stage of love, while the second partner is still at the stage of falling in love.

He wants to spend a lot of time with his loved one and begins to be offended when he no longer encounters such impulses on his part. Living together turns falling in love into something ordinary and familiar , the loved one is always nearby, so satiety arises.

It is during this period that partners begin to discover each other’s shortcomings. This happens not because previously negative character traits were carefully hidden, but because of the resumption of normal brain function, unencumbered by the release of hormones and endorphins.

Most often, the period of satiety takes a very short period of time and is invisible to the spouses themselves . Sometimes it can change places with the first stage of falling in love, especially if newborns appear in the newly-made family during this period.


a real difficult test for relationships begins , as a period of disgust comes into its own.

The “rosy” perception of a partner is replaced by a real assessment of his character .

It turns out that the beloved has many shortcomings that begin to lead to irritation and fury.

Cute features no longer seem so funny and interesting, they begin to drive you crazy. During this period, advantages fade into the background and become almost invisible.

Spouses must necessarily go through the stage of disgust in order to achieve a state of true love. Without this stage, the onset of true feeling is impossible.

The duration of the period of disgust is individual for each family, the lucky ones experience unpleasant feelings towards each other for only a few months, and for some it drags on for whole years , sometimes giving way to the above-mentioned stages of the relationship.

The period of disgust is the richest in quarrels, scandals and conflicts. Each partner shows himself from the most unsightly side, expressing a large number of complaints and pointing out the significant shortcomings of his loved one.

With the onset of each new day, it seems that the person with whom you share life is not the one who was needed. It is at this stage that many realize that they no longer want to go through life hand in hand, and this realization is followed by divorce .

Many couples go in circles, constantly going through three stages and not moving on. For this reason, ex-spouses often end up back together and even remarry because they are attracted to each other.

How to overcome the disgust stage in a relationship? Useful tips:

How to forget a loved one after a breakup? Read about it here.


If the couple managed to overcome general disgust, a more pleasant period begins - humility.

People living together understand that it is impossible to change another person , that he is an accomplished person with his own set of advantages and disadvantages. They try to accept each other.

The partners’ apartment now looks not like a battlefield, where fierce battles take place every day, but like a negotiation room, where conscious dialogues are most often heard and the word “compromise” is regularly heard.

It is at this stage that the spouses begin to go to a psychologist, read smart books, trying to understand each other. Each partner understands that in order to create a harmonious union, first of all, he must work on himself, and only then ask for compromise changes from his beloved.

People begin to change to make living together more comfortable. It is believed that humility and patience are characteristic primarily of women , as they are wiser and more flexible by nature.

Most often, it is the wife who pushes the man to the stage of humility, showing by her example how it is necessary to adapt to each other.


The stage of humility is followed by respect and selfless service to the partner.

If previously lovers did something nice for each other, expecting the same attitude in return, now good deeds become selfless.

People strive to please only because their significant other is respected because they are precious .

At this stage of movement towards true love, the soul itself strives to please its partner. People truly value each other and are imbued with respect.

Spouses serve each other completely voluntarily , receiving great pleasure from the fact that the other half is happy. Sometimes one of the partners has already moved to the stage of respect, while the other lingers at the previous stage.

Through selfless actions, the spouse who has crossed a new line pushes the beloved to move to the stage of respect.

The first sign of emerging true love is the desire to sincerely and selflessly serve a partner.


Friendship replaces the stage of respect. Usually by this period the couple experienced many life difficulties that were solved shoulder to shoulder.

Partners know each other from the roots of their hair to their fingertips; they know each other’s character, habits and temperament .

They get out of conflict situations without noisy showdowns; all they have to do is talk and everything will be resolved peacefully.

This stage can last for years and decades, when the spouses find peace of mind in a joint society.

Most often, friendship comes when children grow up and spouses have more time for joint activities and entertainment.

They can finally devote much more time to each other than before, when small children needed them every minute.


Few reach the very last pinnacle stage, which is called love. Many people break down at the stage of disgust and cannot achieve true feeling. At the stage of love, a couple understands each other perfectly , partners breathe and live in unison.

Shared company gives them pleasure and brings peace. Spouses accept each other completely, with all their strengths and weaknesses.

Hormones no longer play pranks, imperfections no longer irritate, they are smoothed out and outweighed by advantages , which appear more and more clearly.

If people have reached this stage, having overcome all difficulties, having stepped over the stage of disgust, they can boldly declare that they truly love each other.

How does love live? Brilliant psychological cartoon:

How to recognize unhealthy (dangerous) relationships

The first date is the moment when people want to make the most pleasant impression on each other. Therefore, they will carefully hide all the dark sides of their character. It happens that a person “opens up” after years of living together. Psychologists have identified warning signs that may indicate that the future chosen one is a tyrant at heart.

  1. Excessive insistence of the partner: he wants the relationship to develop rapidly, and claims that he experienced love at first sight.
  2. His image is completely built on deception.
  3. He has difficulty expressing his feelings and does not show compassion for others.
  4. Shows unhealthy feelings of jealousy.
  5. He is offended by the whole world and believes that everyone owes him.
  6. He is irresponsible and arrogant.
  7. He often shows aggression and loves to be alone.

Ideal relationships - do they exist?

“The image that a man creates when thinking about an ideal woman is similar to the image that a woman creates when thinking about an ideal man” - Marlene Dietrich
How should relationships develop correctly? Is there an ideal scenario for everyone?

Of course, ideals live only in our restless minds. However, if your romance ends at the stage of falling in love, it will forever remain in your memory as the happiest. More precisely, over time he will acquire the status of ideal, and the man will turn out to be the impeccable image of a prince on a white horse.


It's simple. At the peak of love, you do not notice your partner’s shortcomings and often endow him with non-existent advantages. This is fine. Everyone does it, even men. Therefore, when the villainous fate separates ardent lovers, they remember only good things about each other. They often cherish that bright feeling all their lives and sometimes think that they have missed their only happiness.

What other stages are there, and what happens at these moments in a couple?

Women's mistakes that hinder the development of relationships

Experts in the field of psychology highlight the main points in a girl’s behavior that can interfere with the formation and development of a harmonious union.

  1. Artificial behavior.
  2. A woman's hyperactivity when she wants to speed up the development of a relationship.
  3. The belief that a man always “owes” her.
  4. Using jealousy to manipulate a man.
  5. Building relationships according to the “cliches” written in fashion magazines.
  6. Excessive talkativeness.
  7. Demonstration of unceasing love.
  8. Emotional insatiability, when a woman demands constant expression of feelings from a man.
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