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My husband and I always talk about the progression of couples. We have been together for eleven years and married for almost six, so we obviously know everything there is to know about every relationship on Earth. (Insert sarcasm here, if you didn’t pick up on it. I’m not that good at it yet…ha!) Honestly though, we have noticed that many couples follow a path very similar to ours. We often catch each other’s eye with a knowing smile when we see our friends or family moving into the next stage.

The Relationship Path

  • “I met this guy/girl.”
  • “We’re taking it slow/just friends/not labeling anything.”
  • “We are wildly, madly, passionately in love and I’ve never met anyone like him/her ever before in my life and I don’t know what I would do or did do without him/her in my life.” (Also known as the Goo-Goo Ga-Ga stage, Gag Me stage, Honeymoon phase, the Butterfly Feelings phase.)
  • “We’re moving in together! It won’t be that big of a deal because we’re around each other all of the time anyway…”
  • “Huh…this person is not perfect after all. He/She leaves the toothpaste un-capped and there is hair all over the sink. We can’t agree on how to fold the towels/replace the toilet paper roll/decorate the second bedroom. I had no idea what a slob he/she is. I had no idea he/she had so many/few friends. I didn’t realize he/she was so particular about _____. I’m not completely sure I want to deal with this for the rest of my life.”

So, at this point many couples call it a wrap and move on. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; (and again after that) everyone has their annoying shit. It all depends on if you can deal with that particular brand or not. For the couples that cannot get over the annoying shit being dealt out after the move in, they break up and go back to the beginning. For the couples that decide the annoying shit isn’t as bad as it could be. They move on to the next stage.

  • “Let’s get a dog/cat/goldfish!” (This is basically a test to see if you can equally love and provide for another living thing.)
  • “I’m tired of people asking when we’re getting married. Are we doing this thing or what?”

Another crossroad. Some decide they would rather go back to the beginning and try again before making “the big leap.” The other person becomes an angry drinker for a little while. For the couples that move on…

  • “We’re engaged!” (For a brief amount of time they go back to Goo-Goo Ga-Ga stage and tell everyone about their fiancé.)
  • “Holy shit wedding planning sucks. We may not make it down the aisle if she/he doesn’t stop DOING EVERYTHING WRONG!
  • “Our wedding was the most beautiful/fun/awesome wedding ever. Way better than Bill and Gina’s wedding. The pictures are hung up all over our house and we’ve successfully broken Facebook with the non-stop wedding related content. We are married! What are we supposed to do now?”
  • “Marriage is boring. Let’s have a baby! I’m sure it is close to the same thing as having a dog/cat/goldfish.”

Then the couple may or may not decide to move into parenthood, and that’s a whole different story. So, I’m not really a relationship expert (if you hadn’t guessed) but I feel like I’m pretty accurate here. What path did you take or are you currently taking? Was yours similar to this one or completely different?