The 8 stages of Relationships by David Baines

Rainbow Tai Chi and


As long as I have a “Relationship” or “I am in a relationship” no matter with whom, I suffer, this I have learnt.

“We “Love” another person in order to get something ourselves…There can be no greater mistake than that, for love is incapable of asking for anything”

( from A Course in Miracles – book.)

There are eight stages of any Relationship. Every relationship goes through eight very fluid emotional, physical and spiritual stages.

(1) Romance; Moonlight and Red Roses. We first have the experience of “Falling in love” some candlelight dinners a lovely holiday together. We feel wonderful, beautiful, and magical. We’re sexually and emotionally thrilled. We catalogue our hopes for the future. We risk taking on a relationship – as opposed to an ordinary daily life. This stage is a story you will love to remember. “We’ll have a beautiful future together” (this is the Personality talking) the Personality is having a magical experience, it thinks it’s going to get all its needs met.

(2) Commitment: The Pledge. The second stage is commitment. It may be referred to as marriage – or some form of living together, some kind of pledge. In this stage our romantic expectations are off and running. “We’ll live in UK or any country in the world, we’ll buy or rent that little house, I’ll get a job to help out etc. There’s an acknowledgement from you that a relationship exists and it is going to be pursued whatever the cost to yourself. (This is where our Emotional selves write the story) But on the grand scale of things our Soul is up to something else, like it is operating back stage of the theatre. (the Soul is like a happy child playing peek a-boo behind curtains) In spite of all this you take the first step of the commitment. And despite the Personality’s hesitation, the person (you) is ultimately responding to the back stage call of his or her Soul.

(3) Crisis; A Crack in the Vase. At some point in every new relationship, there’s always an opening crisis. One person is madly in love and the other has cold feet; there’s the problem with a step child, there’s a death in the family, or a financial struggle etc. Whatever the form of the crisis, there’s now a crack in the vase. The relationship has gone through something that reveals to the partners that they are not going to live together in total bliss. It’s at this point that the differences between the two people are revealed, suddenly, painfully it becomes clear they don’t in fact understand each other. They’re two different people with two different agendas. From the starry heavens of love and bliss steps the truth and reality. However this moment of crisis eventually plays out, but it is the first moment of disillusionment. It now becomes a theme of its own. First, how are two people who have fallen in love going to handle the fact that their love isn’t perfect? Second, who’s way of doing things is going to prevail? As each person discovers his or her own nasty feelings about whatever it is that has been revealed, the glossy movie film of “how love was supposed to be” is gradually drawn back. The Personality is disillusioned and now the Soul truly begins. We begin to contain this difficulty in what we know to be love. Can we still love the person who has turned out to be a mere mortal, who wants something that disappoints us? And what is the larger meaning of all this?

(4) Ordeal; The Power Struggle. The ordeal is the long, phase of a relationship in which an issue keeps surfacing, apparently unable to be resolved (the same fights happen – you don’t love me etc?) Resentments deepen; exhaustion sets in and so does outrage with tiredness the norm. Here lie all the events and experiences by which you will discover your differences, work them through one way or another. The ordeal is always a journey of intense emotional growth – a power struggle because our Personalities are invested in protecting us from feeling pain. If you were abandoned, you will bring all your powers – nice or nasty – to bear in a desperate endeavor not to feel abandoned again. As the relationship goes through the ordeal, it is no longer being carried along on the wings of romance and great expectations; it is being dragged along by disappointment and disillusion. Why hasn’t our love fulfilled our dreams and become the perfect fairy tale? The dark side of the Personality reveals its murky face. Unconscious expectations are revealed as disappointments are being expressed. “How can you do this to me?”

Through its grueling repetitive instances we confront our emotional issues; this also becomes an invitation to the Spiritual phase. Before we move past this power struggle we must begin to understand that along with our partner’s limitations, flaws, faults and failings, we have personal imperfections of our own. This introduces us to the phase of forgiveness, one of the highest attributes of Spiritual love. Each time we resolve an emotional issue, we come closer to our Spiritual selves. Love is unconditional acceptance; the ordeal is to move to that place – to unconditionally accept yourself and the other person. For many of us this growth to love takes a number of relationships – the dashing of dreams and expectations. – until we finally surrender to Love’s higher agenda. The Personality doesn’t give in easily! It’s so sure of its self of what a relationship should be that it’s only when we have been battered, scathed, and humbled that we’re finally willing to give up these notions and truly love.

(5) Chaos; Loss of Control. At some point in this ordeal you may descend into the big black hole of chaos. Chaos is when you feel as though everything you thought, imagined, expected and dreamed would happen in your relationship obviously, clearly has not come to pass and all your efforts are in vain. You have no idea what to do, you don’t know whether to get out or stay in. You are lost – in the chaos. At some point some people choose marriage guidance – by “working on” the marriage which is often already over. Sometimes the chaos is the void from which springs a new beginning. At others it is the end. Chaos is yet another invitation to the Spiritual level. There’s an opportunity to say “You’ve disappointed me; but what is the greater meaning of this agony? Most of us can’t do this at the time – too lost in the chaos, too busy holding onto the shreds of our dreams. And yet, this loss of control matures and expands in spite of ourselves. The agony it delivers on the emotional level throws open a window to the Spiritual level.

(6) The Surrender; The awakening. Surrender is the act of giving up, giving in. When you surrender, you give up your expectations, give way to the process, and give in to what has occurred. It is Spiritual because it assumes that a force greater than yourself is guiding all the actions and will be there to catch you, that you’re NOT alone on the tightrope of your Personality without a net. The moment you have surrendered, light begins to dawn in your relationship. Patterns suddenly emerge that were never visible before. You’re able to see everything you went through, as chaotic and difficult and as painful as it was, did amount to something. You hoped and expected that one thing would happen – you’d get married, have two children and live happily ever after. But what happened was that through all the conflicts – all those fights about money – you gained the emotional strength that you never before had possessed. You also discovered that there was purposefulness and continuity to what occurred – the ordeal was very specific in its demands on you. One day you were in impossible situations, you rose up and found your voice and for the first time in your life you spoke up for yourself, and then when your darling persisted in the behavior that had always driven you crazy, you found your voice again and spoke up again! Until finally, something in you was developed that had never been there before. The awaking is that time in a relationship when we see the true purpose of the ordeal. Something different has become of us. We’re not sure what it is, it’s something different, something we didn’t necessarily want to be, but here we are, born anew. As we break through these limitations, we clear the space in which our Souls can blossom.

(7) Transformation; True Love after the ordeal, chaos and surrender comes transformation. The person – and situation – has been forever changed. In transformation we fully integrate the growth that has occurred. The strength you’ve developed becomes your own; the tragedy you’ve lived through loses its power to emotionally drain you. You are now a person who contains emotional and spiritual attributes which before, you did not posses. You have now arrived at an entirely different level from where you were when you entered it. Not only has this change become an irrevocable part of you, but in a larger sense you have grown a new Personality; you have walked closer to your Soul. From this time on you will be different. Just as physical growth can’t be measured during the exact moments when it is occurring, so too, Emotional and Spiritual growth mysteriously creeps up on us all. One day you wake up and you’re no longer afraid of being stupid in front of people or that, miraculously you really do feel good about yourself. You are at peace with your sexuality, your creative world. What’s beautiful about transformation is that it is absolute, a one way street.

You never go back to the way you were before.

(8) I am Love, You are Love, All is Love. (The Great Mystery)

The words of I am Love, You are Love, All is Love begins to blossom in every cell of your body. The flowering of Consciousness – It is the physical heart’s blueprint of who you really are – love and beauty will never leave you. Being loving. Being beautiful, the essence of all stars, planets, mountains, valleys, rivers, seas, trees, plants, blades of grass and all creatures great and small on this amazing planet which we call Earth.

Allow stillness to direct your thoughts and actions.

David A Baines


  1. I consider this to be a definitive source to all relationships. Whether it is the relationship with the chair you are sitting on right now, the pen with which you write with or the person of your dreams. (Are these latter items just a means to an end; to discard when used, or are they a beautiful fluid frequency enriching your life every moment?)

  1. I will greatly appreciate any constructive feedback to this subject however small – as we grow together.

    p1010014David A. Baines is a Rainbow Tai Chi Master as well as a Qi healer. He has more than over 20 years experience in the area of Qi Healing and how Tai Chi can help to improve the well-being of our body. David is available for One-to-One Healing Sessions in person in his personal inner smile Retreat ( read more) in Saltburn. He offers his gudiance and wisdom globally via skype. If you have further questions or want to book a Session with David please send an email to

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