The five phases of a relationship

Have you been through them all?

Rachel Hosie
Saturday 09 December 2017 12:53

A survey has revealed the five stages most relationships go through - and what each one entails.

Dating site eHarmony conducted a survey on over 1,000 Australians to find out when various milestones occur.

“There are a lot of commonalities among Australians when it comes to the important phases we go through in our dating journey,” eHarmony relationship expert and psychologist Jacqui Manning said.

“While some are more fun than others, it’s crucial not to rush through any phase – take the time to actually be single and enjoy the dating experience, not just the final destination.”

The researchers were able to break a relationship down into five phases:

The spark phase

This is the very start of a relationship, where both parties realise they fancy each other and get the ball rolling.

The study found that one in four people kiss on a first date, but one in 10 say they tend to wait over three weeks to kiss.

The majority of people surveyed said they would wait three months before having sex with a new partner, but nine per cent admitted they would sleep with someone within a week of meeting them.

The honeymoon phase

Not given its name for nothing, this is the blissful phase where you’re happy and comfortable with your partner, but it’s still exciting.

Reaching the phase can be tricky though, with a third of people believing you need to have “the talk” before becoming exclusive.

The average person takes three months to deactivate their online dating profiles too, with men being more likely to do so than women - 28 per cent of men deactivate their accounts three weeks into dating someone, versus 17 per cent of women.

29 per cent of new couples will share a photo featuring their partner after four months together.

The intimacy phase

The average couple will say “I love you” after three months together, and men usually say it first.

And as a relationship develops, people start feeling more comfortable with each other - the average person will keep a toothbrush at their partner’s house after five months of dating and just one month later will fart in front of their partner.

Younger people are even less self-conscious, with half of under-24-year-olds happy to pass wind in front of their partner within the first three months of a relationship.

The commitment phase

The survey found that many people aren’t afraid of committing to their partner relatively early in a relationship - 45 per cent of people will be engaged after a year, or have a joint bank account or a property together.

28 per cent of people would move in with their partner six months into the relationship, 13 per cent would get engaged and 15 per cent would even get a pet together within half a year.

Half of people wait six months to introduce their partner to their family, but meeting the mates usually happens in half that time.

The heartbreak phase

Sadly, the fact of the matter is that most relationships end.

However, 67 per cent of people move on and start dating someone new within a year - men do so quicker than women too.

Millennials move on faster than older generations, with a third happy to date again a month after breaking up with someone.

But even if we are quick to try and move on, the survey found that the average person takes two years to fully get over an ex.

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