There are certain relationship stages that all couples have to go through—from the first kiss to having children. All of that occurs one by one and every next phase brings new happy moments and new problems.

But what about intimacy?

Most people associate intimacy with physical closeness but that is not true. Intimacy is much more than just raw physical connection.

Intimacy is when you connect on all levels, when you emotionally feel each other. And as the intimacy grows, as it goes from one stage to the next, you get stronger as a couple.

The more stages you go through, the chances are higher that you’re going to stay together.

At what level of intimacy are you and how many more of them will you go through?

1. The moment when your eyes first meet

This is usually when everything begins. That moment when you look at him and something inside you changes, something tells you that this guy you’re looking at is something special.

There is no particular reason why you think that, there is nothing special about him at first sight, but that unexplainable chemistry appears, which draws your attention. From that moment on, your life is going to be different.

2. The friend phase

Then you find a way to get close to him and he does the same. That chemistry I was talking about pulls you close to each other.

You begin to know each other. You go out, you hang out in a group and then you hang out alone. You listen to each other and you remember everything because you really want to get to know the person who has caught your attention.

Do you want to find out why they are so special, what it is about them that captures you? There is no answer to this question. It is what it is, an unexplainable bond.

3. From friends to lovers

Now things are getting more serious. You’ve finally given in to your desires and you’ve decided to give it a try. At this point, your relationship is just perfect.

You have the feeling that nothing can go wrong. You don’t even think about the future, you just live in the moment and that moment is perfect.

You spend a lot of time together and you can’t get enough of each other. You’re bonding at the speed of light and every little detail is exactly what you expected it to be.

4. Trouble in paradise

The fairy tale comes to an end. Quirks and flaws come to life and you start to realize that nothing is ever perfect and neither are either of you.

You start noticing things that bother you. But the thing is, they were always there, you just didn’t see them. They existed all this time but you ignored them because you were too busy being happy. Who could blame you?

The imperfections cannot stay hidden forever and problems come to the surface sooner or later. It’s up to you how you’ll deal with them because no matter how hard things are, nothing is beyond repair. It’s worth at least trying to fix what can be fixed.

5. Ignoring the troubles

This is the denial phase. This is when you close your eyes and hope everything will just go away. This is when you desperately try to go back to the beginning when everything was perfect.

But that never works and by doing that you’re only piling problems up and sweeping them under the rug until they become too big to hide. Then it’s over.

6. The troubles are not going anywhere

This is your reality check. This is your reminder that life is not easy and nothing comes without a price. This is when you realize that problems need to be dealt with because they are not going anywhere.

Either you have it in you or you don’t. Whoever goes through this phase is most likely to come out the other side.

7. Compromise

This is the real deal. That moment when you realize that you can’t be right all the time and neither can he. The moment when you both realize that a successful relationship takes hard work and sacrifice.

That’s when you start compromising and taking each other’s feelings into consideration. But if this becomes a one-way street and only one of you is willing to give in from time to time, then you have a problem.

It always takes two to tango.

8. Fighting again

It’s peaceful, it’s calm, just like before the storm. Your life couldn’t be better. You’re getting along, you trust each other and you’re supportive of each other. The compromise thing really works.

But then, out of the blue, a tiny problem appears and you lose it. You fight, you scream and at the time it seems beyond repair. You lose all hope that your relationship is ever going to work.

But as the passion settles in, you kiss and you make up. Just like nothing ever happened.

9. Realization

Then you realize that you have everything you ever wanted. You remember why you fell in love with him in the first place. You remember the first time when you laid your eyes on him and how you felt when he smiled at you.

You realize how far you’ve come and how many things you’ve survived together. You know you wouldn’t trade him for anything, despite his quirks, despite his flaws. You realize that you love him.

10. In it until the end

You’re no longer two people who are together. Now you’re one soul in two bodies. You’re soulmates because you’ve been through so much and nothing broke you.

You stayed together and there is a reason for that.

True. Love.

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