That night at his friend’s party for the first time in a long time someone matched his steps. Her eloquent eyes met his and sparks flew. As they danced matching step to step from side to side, the undeniable chemistry between them frizzled like fireworks and the connection was almost instant.
They decided to meet for coffee. Thanks to Starbucks! The coffee was great, but her company was better! And thus began a series of coffee dates which were followed by movies and before they knew the lavish dinners had crept in. Each time felt better than the last and left them both yearning for each other’s company.
They had so much in common! A smashing sense of humor and a resembling taste in movies, matching taste buds, love for traveling and so on. Well, they had their differences too. They were human after all! She really liked spending a lot of time with her family but he didn’t. He was very punctual. She was a little tardy. He was quite close to his sister, she had no siblings. He was a corporate kin and she was a free-spirited entrepreneur.
Seasons flew swiftly and before they knew a year had passed. In this one year they had grown to become more comfortable in each other’s company but there were some unspoken disengagements. Her family knew about their relationship, his didn’t. She felt he was a dynamic man and should explore his options but was happy with his slice of the corporate pie. The surprise element had diminished. There were arguments and a whole lot of time spent on proving each other wrong. There were a lot of unmet expectations.
On his weekend boys night out as he guzzled his third or maybe fourth beer, he confessed
His married friends told him. “Welcome to the gang buddy”. She had a similar thing to say to her cousins over their Sunday brunch ritual “he is not the same person anymore”. To this her married cousin grumbled “all men are alike, this is just the beginning”.
This was how they envisioned their future-Soon they will get hitched new responsibilities, new family, a new house and foreign vacations. Posting pictures of a happy couple at exotic locations only to trend on the Facebook and Instagram accounts of friends and family. Keeping a check on the number of “likes” and reading the “comments” from time to time. Feeling low if they get anything less than a 100 “likes”. Putting up a charade before the world, but would never dare to discuss the happiness between the two and finally, parenthood. IT WAS ALL PLANNED. Destined! This entire sequence ran played before them like the typical Bollywood U/A rated family drama and they were terrified! They didn’t want this kind of future.
THE FORMING STAGE
The first stage of this relationship is called the “Forming” stage. It’s a stage where people put their best foot forward in order to be “liked” by another person. They go that extra mile to look amazing and feel remarkable. They are full of hope, positivity and zeal to get everything right. They exhibit what they want the other person to see in them. Simultaneously, on a subconscious level they are also evaluating the other person. On the outside everything looks hunky dory. But everything is uni dimensional.
THE STORMING STAGE
Soon, the relationship reaches the second stage called the “Storming” stage or as I call it the “Read Deal”. Here the differences start surfacing as the real self takes over and adjustment levels stoop. A person starts to exhibit other dimensions of his/her personality. This stage witnesses maximum arguments, disagreements and negativity. Most relationships perish under pressure as coping up with disagreements, fights and negativity requires superior maturity and commitment. Some couples go on ‘a break’ or experience a ‘rough patch’ but they keep getting back together, only to realize that they will have to go through the drill all over again and face the storm! Again!
THE NORMING STAGE
There are some couples who manage to sail through the storming phase. These couples then move on to the “Norming” stage. This is the time when couples realize that disagreements and fights and futile. There need to be rules which will help season their relationship and take it to the next level. Now don’t get me wrong! These rules are not conceived in a boardroom, they are subtle they slyly make their way into your relationship as time takes its course! They are simple and honest. For instance you can go out for a drink with your friends or watch late night football matches at times. Rules like you can spend time with your family but every once in a purple moon your partner will accompany you. Rules like it’s ok to split the bills at times and every once in a while make ad hoc plans without waiting for weekends also surprising each other at every opportunity.
Come to think of it, these are not rules, these are realizations. A realization that my partner is different from me, she is unique and that’s what I loved about her in the first place. If I try to change anything about her, it will change her as a person and she won’t be the same anymore! She will not be the woman I loved.
THE PERFORMING STAGE
With these realizations and acceptance, the relationship goes on to the final stage called the “Performing”stage. There is thought alignment, mutual respect, trust and love.
Fortunately or unfortunately, life is not linear. When you think you’ve got it right with your girlfriend, there comes marriage and with that comes the “in-laws”. New players, same old game. Just when you think you’ve got it right with your wife and “In – Laws”, there comes the first baby.New team, you start all over again from “Forming”. Kids grow up and along come their boyfriends/girlfriends…New team and yet again…”Forming” to “Performing”.
I know this whole thing sounds like a never-ending, exhausting – marathon. On the contrary it’s a beautiful, funny, crazy journey full of experiences and memories. The good news is that if you are happy in your life, it means that you are doing this right, already.
P.S: The same process is applicable in all kinds of teams be it office teams, sports teams, friends etc.
All images are sourced from google