The relationship between Charles and Joan initially was based on friendship. The two were teaching at a local school after completing their college education. They became fond of each other and preferred working as a team in cases where this was possible. Given the fact that the couple was staying at the residential quarters within the school, their closeness grew day by day. According to Casto (2008), the first stage of a romantic relationship is always the infatuation stage. There was undoubtedly a strong attraction between these two individuals. They would spend every little opportunity they had trying to make each other happy. They were interested in understanding each other better. They went through the disturbance stage when the two became increasingly jealous of closeness that any of them developed towards others. The two would quarrel every moment the other seemed to give attention to others. Joan would demand that Charles should avoid the company of other women.
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Similarly, Charles would complain any moment Joan gave other men attention. This meant that one of the most common characteristics of romantic relationships is jealousy. One partner would feel that the other partner is his or hers and should not be shared in any way by others. The couple moved very fast to the next stage of opinion-making. They developed opinions of each other, which lead them to the molding stage. This was evident as they tried to understand each other and ensure that they avoided what would injure the feelings of the other partner. The couple would go a long way to ensure that the other partner is happy. It would even involve making personal sacrifice. This brings out another characteristic of romantic relationships as the ability of the partners to make sacrifices for one another.
Charles and Joan’s relationship blossomed as time went by. They entered the happy stage of a romantic relationship. During this time, the couple would vow to each other to remain faithful and forget any past relationships that could have existed. At this time, it was apparent to everyone that the couple was in a romantic relationship. The two were so close that even students could easily detect that theirs was more than just being staff mates. The next stage involves many doubts (Rathus, Nevid & Fichner-Rathus, 2013). Both wanted to take their relationship to the next level but they were not sure if they were making the right decision. Charles would be seen making consultation with his friends about the possibility of Joan being the right life partner for him. Joan was also doing the same. At this time, the two would spend considerable time with other peers, probably to get as much opinion as possible.
They then went through the sexual exploration stage. This brings out sex as another characteristic of romantic relationships. At this stage, the two found themselves strongly attracted to each other. They developed strong emotions towards each other during this time. The next stage was complete trust. The two individuals developed unique trust towards each other. Although the school had assigned both teachers different houses within the school, it was evident that Joan had moved in with Charles. This makes trust another core characteristic of a romantic relationship. The couple has been together now for two years and as time pass by their relationship seems to grow stronger.
Casto, M. L. (2008). Get smart! about modern romantic relationships: Your personal guide to finding right and real love. Princeton: Xlibris Corp.
Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J. S., & Fichner-Rathus, L. (2013). Human sexuality in a world of diversity. Boston: Pearson Allyn and Bacon.