In his book The Laws of Human Nature, Robert Greene claims that trying to influence others is actually human nature, so everybody wants to do it and there is nothing wrong with that.
Although that point sounds valid and reasonable, this is the most dangerous stage of a relationship, because of this challenge…
Relationship Challenge: Failure to Mold Each Other in the “Right” Way
Many people try to mold their partners into an ideal or perfect partner due to a wish list inspired by desires identified from previous failed relationships. That’s why many couples break up at this stage and never go on to enjoy Stage 3.
The reality is that many partners eventually become lax in their efforts to relate. They stop focusing on their partner’s positive attributes and start focusing more and more attention to their unwanted traits. This leads to ongoing feelings of resistance and arguments and is generally why relationships begin to breakdown.
At this second stage of a relationship (Power Struggle Stage), as both partners battle to feel heard, to be understood and to have their needs met, tension and tempers can rise. What appears to be a small issue to one partner can quickly escalate and be blown out of proportion by the other when something hasn’t been clearly articulated or understood. This often leads to blaming and or false accusations.
How to Keep the Peace at Stage 2
It’s important to start being in control of your emotions and influence your partner in the right way to develop and maintain a happy and healthy relationship.
If your partner doesn’t understand you or appears to repeatedly make the same mistake, aim to support them (as you would in Stage 1 Relationship) instead of assuming they are not trustworthy and are trying to sabotage your relationship!
Deal with your own emotions as they are triggered to make sure your communication remains open, sincere and straightforward. This is the best way to understand each other and know what you can both work toward in the long run.
Yes, a relationship can be a lot of work, but it won’t feel like hard work if both of you choose to communicate effectively. This includes respecting each other’s values and ways of doing things and working together as a team.
Stage 3: Harmonious Love
After you have gone through the Power Struggle Stage, you may safely arrive at Stage 3 – Harmonious Love Stage. This is when you have for the most part figured out how to get along well with each other in almost every area of your life.
For example, both you and your partner agree that one person does most of the cooking because they enjoy cooking, and the other will do the dishes. Both of you agree that having sex 3 to 4 times a week is ideal. You both agree that having a date night once a week is a good thing.
Although this may sound like a flawless relationship, there is still a common problem at this stage.
Relationship Challenge: Lack of Excitement and Spontaneity
As your relationship becomes stable, it can also become boring.
International best-selling author Ginie Sayles argues in her book How to Marry the Rich: The Rich Will Marry Someone, Why Not You? that what you have in common builds rapport, whereas your differences make the relationship interesting.
Clearly, lack of excitement at this stage may lead to boredom, and that’s when some individuals begin to cheat on their partner.
How to Keep the Peace at Stage 3
We are naturally motivated by variety and mystery. In order to keep the peace at Harmonious Love Stage, you must introduce novelty back into the relationship.
For example, you can travel together and create new experiences that you share with your partner. Shared experiences are the foundation of a deep emotional connection.
Growing together is the key to a long-lasting and happy relationship. For instance, attending personal development seminars, reading books and even starting a business together. In this way, you both grow in the same direction with lots of interesting things to do together.