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The Stages of a Relationship: From Getting Down to Getting Serious (& Everything In Between)

I guess I have never really considered myself to have ever been the relationship girl. I also guess you could say that I value my sanity and the ability to sprawl out all limbs in bed very high on my list; I also think it takes a special kind of sociopath to convince me to keep interest for longer than a few weeks lol. I’ve been talking to a few of my friends lately who are all in way different places in terms of their relationships about their current status with their partner. I must have been super observant that day because it got me thinking how we all literally go through the same stages of dating and thus, the idea for this post was born.

Whether you relate to the specifics of one or all sections of this post, I could almost bet money that you’ve hit at least one of these stages in your dating life. For entertainment sake (and because I’m running out of fake names to use on these posts):

Ladies and gentlemen, your relationship stages with our good pal Brad.

1. Situationships

Alright stage one of any relationship is gonna start with two people who are at least somewhat attracted to one another. Brad’s douchey hair cut and Sperries slightly intrigues you enough to have an intoxicated convo probably in some sketch basement or a shitty bar (exact location can be up to your own imagination I’m not doing all the work for you lol). Brad probably says some B-list pick up line and gets your number. Since you have an ounce or two of respect for yourself, you don’t go home with him the first night. If you don’t keep the chase up, don’t expect them to keep up with you. Js. A week or two in, you might develop some sort of ‘like’ towards Brad. Brad might lend you a frat hoodie or two, and you may even be seen together here and there at the bar and labeled by the other strat stars as ~an item~ but at this point you make a decision on whether or not you like Brad, or if you just like that Brad likes you. Situationships are complicated because a lot of the time this is the stage we spend the most time in. You get a little taste of what it would be like if you were actually dating but there isn’t enough commitment laid out for you to feel obligated to bring him around outside your college town. Situationships are when shit is fun. You don’t know about their deep sticky trust issues or the mole they have behind their ear or that their ex-girlfriend has the same name as your mom. It’s the relationship without the mess, the commitment, or the psycho tendencies. You feel on top of the world!

Until ya know… you don’t.

2. “So like… What are we?”

Like all things in life, nothing ever lasts; and eventually, your situationship is either going to fizzle because Brad took Jessica to date party instead of you, or your situation is going to result to the dreaded conversation starter- “what are we?” I avoid getting to this point at all cost because I have a sick twisted mentality that when someone finally likes me back, I’m super bored. Like I said before, it takes a special kind of psychopath to trick me into sticking around and unless I’m black out, the “what are we” convo is dodged at all cost. This is the part where you get uncomfy, you get exposed, vulnerable, and you question whether you really like Brad or you just like their company lol. So in your inebriated state you give good old Brad a chance; and boom! You’ve just been bamboozled into dating someone.

3. The Honeymoon stage

Lol. So if you can get your frigid little heart to warm up enough to the idea of being in a relationship, the confusion you had goin’ on in the “what are we?” Stage will most definitely go away. The honeymoon stage unfortunately is where a lot of relationships go to die which is ironic because the HM stage is the shit. It’s when you are weirdly attached to one another and start to pick up on each other’s mannerisms, lingo, etc. You bring them everywhere like a little sidekick and you go with them everywhere like another appendage of their body. It’s a mutual feeling of sort of obsessive but not in an unhealthy way yet and it’s where you start to really get to know the person you’re dating. The honeymoon stage is also where you probably develop a chronic UTI and skip a tonnnnn of morning classes because of all the insane sex you’re having (Jesus Christ I pray my mother never reads this). The honeymoon stage seems like It’ll last forever, like everyday things get more and more exciting just so effortlessly, until like- It’s not. lol.

4. Am I comfortable or am I bored?

I hate to break the news to you, but if you aren’t ready for a relationship but ya date someone anyway, this is the part where you and Brad are going to get rocky asf. You see, relationships are not all flowers and unicorns and sunshine rainbows (idk what a sunshine rainbow is but you get the point). The honeymoon stage is great because it’s exciting. It’s exciting to get to know someone and collect every piece of them in your little hands just to read them like a book, but what happens when things aren’t new anymore? What happens when you have little to nothing to uncover about your significant other? What happens when you get bored? When the sex becomes a chore, the date nights turn into ‘just getting food’ and going out to the bars ends with a fight?

Well my sweet little suburbs flowers, I will tell you this; when it comes to relationships, and that goes for relationships with your friends, your family, and romantically- there is a little thing called effort.

Yes, the people you surround yourself with, and the connections you create with them should come naturally, but when it comes to keeping up with those connections, you are only going to get back what you put into it. A lot of couples don’t understand that after the sparks die down and things get real, it’s up to them to make their own sparks, to make plans, and shake up routines, and take their own relationship to different places.

Recently, weirdly enough I’ve had a lot of girls reach out to me who are in this stage of their relationships. They express how things “aren’t the same as when they first started dating” or how some “just aren’t sure anymore.” I’ve even had one friend that has said her significant other is “too perfect.” (I can’t wait for all my friends boyfriend’s to read this and think they are the perfect one LMFAO).

I guess my advice to all those people would be this: in life, not everything is not going to be 100% good 100% of the time. You’re going to have days where you hate your job, and others where you feel like the biggest bad ass for killing your project; you’re going to have days where you feel like your body is hitting a plateau and days where you want to walk around naked because you feel like Adriana Lima, and you’re going to have days where you feel bored, or confused, or questionable in your relationships and you need to ask yourself this: is love really enough?

To answer the question, no, it actually isn’t.

As cynical and sarcastic as I am, I do believe in love, don’t get me wrong, but I do believe that sometimes we don’t end up with those people our hearts ache for because there are people in this world who are good at love, and there are people who are good at relationships. People who are good at love will have the fieriest, most intoxicating connections with people, but if they aren’t good at being in a relationship, there is nothing to hold all that love together. I guess it happens the other way around too, when people are good at relationships, but aren’t good at love. They can have the most perfect, cookie cutter, fantasy Pinterest life from the outside, but the passion just isn’t there.

It’s when you’re good at both, that you’ve found the magic bottle of glue to hold all that shit together. It’s when you know how to love, but you also know how to put in effort, and make a commitment to keep things afloat. I wish that I could say this stage is easy, and that everyone is good at love and good at relationships at the same time, but it’s not. Nothing worth having and keeping will ever come easy to you, but I can promise you this, if you can get through the stage of your relationship where things get real: where you take off your rose colored glasses, and the fireworks show, and the sparkles, and magic all subside, you will be alright.

In the end, the relationships we keep are only as significant in our lives as we make them.

So to all my gals, guys, and Brad’s, no matter if you’re in one of these stages of your relationship or drinking wine out of the bottle reading this post right now, our life is a constant learning lesson. Learn, adapt, love, grow. And don’t be a fucking douche.

Okay bye, sorry this took so long to upload I have severe commitment issues.

Good luck with finals all my collegiate hoes.

Peace, Love, Brad.


Carlie Bradshaw

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