What you will get from this article:
- Find out how to assess your relationship
- Discover the 6 stages of a relationship
- Learn how to evaluate your feelings and how it affects your relationship
- Understand how to create more joy in your relationship
How do you feel about your relationship? Does it bring you passion and joy? Is it a relationship based on convenience? Are you planning your escape? If you took a relationship test that helped you answer these questions, where would it tell you your relationship is at now, at this very moment? More importantly, where would you like your relationship to be?
By stepping back and asking yourself these questions – not from a place of judgment, but from a place of pure awareness – you can take a more honest relationship assessment and really ask yourself if this is where you want to be with your partner.
The reality is, there is always room for improvement in any relationship. No relationship ever plateaus; it’s either growing or it’s dying. And by recognizing where your relationship is at right now, you can determine how to take a more proactive approach toward creating the relationship that you desire. And it starts with making the smallest shifts. Much like dropping a stone into a pond – at that moment, it may just appear like an insignificant splash. But if you watch what happens, that small action has a ripple effect that extends outward. And if you consistently put effort into your relationship, the continuous concentric circles will build up to create the waves of a new life.
So where is your relationship at? To help you make your relationship assessment, Tony Robbins laid out the Six Stages of a Relationship. Which of the following stages best describes the current state of your relationship?
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Stage One: Love and passion
This is the ideal position, the one that every single one of us crave. It’s a relationship filled with passion and love, not a relationship test. In this stage, you and your partner are completely engaged in one another. You desire each other. The intimacy is immense. You are in tune with each other’s needs and are acting on behalf of serving those needs. You have a connection that is strong and so electric that you feel it even when you are not in each other’s presence.
Stage Two: Not enough passion
In this position, you and your partner are in a relationship where there is love, and perhaps some passion, but by no means is there enough. There is not a level of intimacy that you really desire deep in your soul. You feel connected but something major is missing.
Stage Three: A relationship of convenience
In position three of this relationship assessment, you are in a relationship where, if you are really honest with yourself, you know it’s not the right relationship for you. But you stay because it is convenient. You stay because you have kids, because you have mutual friends or because of financial restrictions. You don’t want to go through the pain of separation. You may still care for each other, but it’s nothing close to position one or two. You’ve fallen into bad habits that you aren’t sure how to change.
Stage Four: Planning your escape
In this position, you are planning your exit from the relationship. There may be some pleasure, at some points, but there is also pain. If you have even thought about ending the relationship, then you are in this position. You don’t have to have a concrete plan or even a final relationship assessment. You don’t have to even be thinking about the precise way that you will escape. In fact, few people are actively working on a plan to escape. But if you are even contemplating life without your partner, then you are in this position and should start seriously thinking about a way to leave the relationship.
Stage Five: You are not in a relationship but want to be in one
You may not be in a committed, exclusive relationship, but you desire a close connection with someone. You are craving intimacy and a special bond with a partner. You have hope. You have faith. And you are open to finding your ideal partner and establishing a real relationship with him or her.
Stage Six: You are not in a relationship and don’t want to be in one
In this last and final position, you are not in a relationship and have absolutely zero desire to have a partner. In order to be in position six, you’d have to have certain beliefs about a relationship. You’d have to be living with the data of the past instead of the present moment. You’d have to be in a suffering state because you are essentially letting fear guide your decisions. You are not allowing openness or courage or love or awe or curiosity to lead you.
How does your own relationship test?
Which position are you really in right now? Why are you in that position?
Which stage are you committed to being in? What is it going to take to get you there?
Start with yourself. Any time you and your partner are experiencing difficulties, step back and ask yourself: “Where am I right now?” Try to answer this question, not from a place of judgment, but from a place of pure awareness. Only then will your relationship assessment help you towards the state you desire.
Everything you say and everything you do filters through your own state. If you can gain some objectivity and recognize the state you are in, then you can take a more proactive approach to shifting into a more positive state. Whether it’s changing your physiology (breathing, eating, hydrating, going for a walk and returning in a calmer state), changing the meanings you attach to an experience (“he/she is doing this to hurt me” vs. “he/she is really hurting and is crying out for help”), or changing the language you use “this is really annoying me” vs. “this is sort of inconvenient, but we will get through it”) – you alone have the power to elevate your state.
Even if you can get yourself into an outstanding state while your partner struggles with a poor state, you will be in a place to focus on your partner’s needs without fear, anger or frustration, since those emotions ultimately make the upset worse. Get through this relationship test and you can then help your partner get back to their true self. This will create even more trust and appreciation between the two of you and help you find even higher levels of love, passion and joy.
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