You wonâ€™t fully settle into a relationship until you and your partner have passed through three key stages, according to a love expert.
Savannah Gamblin, a self-help psychologist, who shares advice on relationships on her TikTok channel, said when she was younger, her mum pulled her aside and said, â€œyouâ€™ve got to stop holding on to these shit men because it was â€˜good in the beginningâ€™.â€
â€œHereâ€™s the thing,â€ says Gamblin, â€œyou do not understand your relationship until youâ€™ve gone through these three phases.â€
The three phases in a new relationship, according to Gamblin:
1. Honeymoon â€“ â€œWe all know that one.â€
2. Unravelling â€“ â€œThis is when shit goes down and you start to see those bad habits your partner has and the flaws in the relationship,â€ says Gamblin. â€œTheyâ€™re there, look harder.â€
3. Realisation â€“ â€œThis is when youâ€™re like, â€˜Oh shit, this is what Iâ€™m dealing withâ€™. Often times, during this realisation stage, we go back to the honeymoon stage and weâ€™re like, â€˜but thatâ€™s what itâ€™s like!â€™ No, thatâ€™s an illusion. Realisation stage is where you keep having the same fight and the same problems arise and we need to learn how to get ourselves out of that.â€
Makes sense, doesnâ€™t it? So, what does a relationships expert think of it?
Holly Roberts, a Relate-trained couples counsellor, said generally, she agrees with the three phases â€“ but, she adds, they are â€œoverly simplifiedâ€ and â€œdonâ€™t allow for any nuances and variations which are present in all relationshipsâ€.
Most relationships have a honeymoon stage, says Roberts, but the unravelling and realisation stages may never come for some people.
â€œMany of us donâ€™t want to see the negative aspects of our relationships, so we may gloss over the issues or blame ourselves for whatâ€™s going wrong,â€ she says. â€œDifficult and unhelpful behaviours may well be there, but the impact might not be obvious, or we choose to ignore the effect this has on us.
â€œThere is probably a â€˜just getting on with itâ€™ relationship phase that most of us are in most of the time,â€ she adds.
Even if we get to the realisation phase, we may not have a clue about what to do once weâ€™re in it, says Roberts. â€œThereâ€™s only so much change we can expect our partners to make. Perhaps itâ€™s useful to start looking at ourselves and be curious about how much we contribute to the issues we have in our relationships and what we can do to address this,â€ she says.
Itâ€™s important to remember difficulties in relationships are to be expected â€“ there is no perfect relationship.
â€œThe key thing to take out of Savannahâ€™s idea is all about having a greater awareness about your behaviour and the behaviour of your partner,â€ adds Roberts. â€œUnderstanding more about why you both do what you do is important to be able to find ways to make changes and create a happy relationship.â€