Had an FB request come in during a chat, for a blog post about the stages of a relationship. Liked the idea a lot, but it ain’t normally my beat, not being something to be sarcastic about. So, I called in my lady to assist on this one. Sarcasm is mine, any sappy bits are hers. Promise.

1/ The Hunt

The very first stage. Finding your prey. We have all written at length on this, so I am not going to repeat things here. How to Hunt I’ll compile at some stage from the collective wisdom.

2/ Adventure

There is a stage in every relationship where you are not quite in love yet, but getting there. Finding out the high points of each others characters and moving, sometimes swiftly, sometimes slowly to the edge of the precipice. If things don’t work out here, back to step one with a light heart.

3/ Passion

OK, you jumped over the cliff, hopefully holding hands. The first full on flush of love is like some freakish fever taking over your life. Not just using passion in the sexual sense here – everything is heightened. Foolish things like calling him up at 4 AM just to hear him breathing. The blast of profanity for waking him at 4 AM is considered worth it. Like all fevers, it fades in time, so you won’t be a besotted idiot forever.

4/ Learning

Now comes the tricky stage. Learning to deal with all the small quirks and annoyances you never noticed during the high fever of passion. Some of the quirks and annoyances are not small, when really looked at. You might need to take time off then head back to step 1, with a heavy heart but a little bit wiser.

For those who don’t and forge ahead, I’ll be welcoming you back to this stage often. Something come up? It always does, and each and every life change in both of you involves learning each other all over again. Got bad news for you, you are going to spend most of your relationship life right here in zone 4. Consider it your respawn point.

5/ Soulmate

Included at a certain person’s insistance. I detest this term passionately and don’t believe it exists as a valid point. Ain’t no such thing. However, my “soulmate” insists, so:

“Somebody who makes you laugh, even when you feel like crying. Someone who fits what you are missing.”

I got nothing. I prefer 5a.

5a/ Partnership

You work together. Fit together. Sure, there are odd arguments, but on the level of “Take out the trash,” “Wash the dishes.” or “Why do you detest Rush Limbaugh?” (her words, not mine – and she is the deluded Democrat). But you know someone has got your back and you got theirs. Someone you just trust. It makes going back to step 4 much easier.

OK, it is a terminology thing from a bitter clinger. If it doesn’t work, cut your losses and get back to step 4 – then maybe step one.

6/ Home

You remember step 4? Haul your a*s back there, you are gonna be there for a while. It is a long process, and eventually, if you are lucky, you reach an equilibrium. Loving each other, respecting each other and able to cope with differences between each other.

7/ Bliss

Again, not my definition. But:

“Floating on a cloud, seeing everything through pink glasses and your man can do no wrong.”

Crap. I married Laura Ingalls Wilder.

7a/ Contentment

I’d not call it bliss, considering we just spent the last three hours arguing furiously to write this – amongst other things. Just, well, fun. Maybe not fun for the neighbors, we get loud in our disagreements. But fun.


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