In any romantic relationship, there will be different stages and specific goals you want to achieve, and plenty of advice to choose from. There are essential 5-7 stages in any relationship, including passionate love, discovery, commitment, power struggles, stability and growth, romantic love, and crisis and recovery.
But how to do you know what’s right for you to live your life? Well, first you need to understand what type of relationship you are in.
What are the 3 types of relationships?
There are three types of relationships, and each influences how we love each other and ourselves: traditional relationships, conscious relationships, and transcendent relationships.
Each kind of love is specific to the people within them. That is, each serves its own purpose.
Take a look at the descriptions below and ask yourself what kind of relationship you’re in, and what kind of relationships you would like to be in.
Remember, some people can’t or don’t want to do the necessary work to get to the next level. Are you willing to do what it takes to have the relationship of your dreams?
Here are the 3 different types of relationships, and what you need to know about yours:
1. Traditional relationships
This is the most familiar dynamic found in traditional marriages and relationships. In this relationship, people focus on shared interests and values rather than personal growth.
In traditional relationships, neither person has done the necessary psychological or spiritual work to bond either with themselves or another. This means that the couple connects at the personality rather than the emotional and spiritual levels.
When two people relate from the personality or “I” level, the individual’s focus remains on him or herself rather than on the other. Each person is primarily focused on getting his or her own needs met, which prevents the “we” of the relationship from forming.
As a result, these relationships often become stagnant and power struggles occur frequently.
To remain together, partners in traditional relationships avoid looking at key issues, pretending they don’t exist.
Many couples feel safe and secure in a traditional relationship. It is all they ever want or need and they can remain at this level forever. These couples will not naturally progress to the next two levels of the relationship.
Traditional relationships end when one partner embarks on his or her psycho-spiritual journey and it becomes impossible to continue growing while remaining in the relationship.
2. Conscious relationships
When soulmates come together, they join in a conscious relationship.
Soulmates are those who relate from the soul level. Though many seek a soulmate, the requirement for this kind of relationship is that both people must have done some psychological and spiritual work prior to meeting in order to relate soul to soul.
In conscious relationships, the focus is on emotional and spiritual growth, both as individuals and as a couple. Those in conscious relationships are engaged in learning lessons. Their goal is to transcend the physical and emotional levels to the spiritual plane.
As they actively work through issues together, conscious couples are increasingly able to lean in and trust one another to create the “we” of the relationship.
One of the great challenges of conscious relationships is that they are transitioning from an I-based to a we-based relationship as they learn not only to work on their own individual issues but also as they learn to apply what they learn to the relationship as a whole.
As this happens, power struggles occur.
Though profound, conscious relationships do not necessarily last forever. They might end when both partners are no longer able to grow together or when one person does not meet the other person’s essential needs.
Just because people are conscious partners does not mean that they can automatically fulfill the other person’s requirements. Reaching the level of conscious partnership is a significant accomplishment and can lead to a nourishing and lasting long-term relationship.
3. Transcendent relationships
Not everyone wants to do the work to reach this third type of relationship.
Transcendent partners love one another unconditionally. They are “guardians of each other’s souls.”
Because transcendent partners have mastered the art of taking personal responsibility, they generate their identity, happiness, and emotional stability from within and there is no fear of losing themselves in the relationship.
With such a strong sense of their individual selves, transcendent partners can fully surrender to the “we” of the relationship, forming a union where the individual is not lost and the whole is profoundly greater than the sum of its parts.
Skilled in unconditional acceptance, power struggles rarely occur.
Transcendent partners fully support each other in going for their dreams. They live in truth and can share anything without fear of shame or blame.
Transcendent partners relate at the spiritual level and have evolved beyond the need to work at the relationship. Both partners are guided not by outer but by inner forces and by each other.
Knowing that what they have together is enough, transcendent partners are content and can commit to one another for life.
A transcendent partnership is focused on gratitude and on giving back to society. There are few models in our society for this type of partnership. Conscious partners can and do evolve into transcendent partnerships when both people do their individual work.
Remember, you have not failed if you achieve a traditional or conscious relationship. A transcendent partnership is not — and should not be — for everyone.
However, no matter what type of romantic relationships or what stages you are in, every healthy relationship needs 3 things to create a strong foundation: trust, commitment, and vulnerability. It’s also good to remember the 3 Cs: communication, compromise, and commitment.
A good relationship doesn’t survive on only love (no matter what type of love or how strong it is), respect is also needed.
Lisa Shield is a dating coach with a Masters in Spiritual Psychology and certification as a life and relationship coach through The Coaches Training Institute. For more information on how she can help you, visit her website.
This article was originally published at Lisa Shield. Reprinted with permission from the author.