intensity69 saidThe lines between the "stages" aren't necessarily so clear. You can have elements of several ticking along simultaneously. In my experience, any ways...
In mine, too. And both my partners (the first one died) and I kinda skipped over the Disillusionment and Struggle stages (2 & 3), went right to Stability following Romance. And having largely avoided stages 2 & 3, there was no need for reconciliation in Stage 4.
Just a bit of adjustment for me regarding my present partner, knowing he has a hair-trigger temper and learning how to successfully deal with it. But being our ages, and with our experiences, none of this is new to us. We know people aren't saints and have flaws, the kind that initial romance can blind us to.
So we both went into things with eyes wide open. And as for the Struggle stage, we're too mature to bother with that. Instead of drawing boundaries, we build bridges between us, deliberately trying to adjust ourselves to each other. But again, we've gone through this drill so many times with others before that you just automatically do it, not something you have to give too much planning thought to.
And so we got into Commitment fairly quickly. The key word the author uses in Stage 5 is "team", and guys here know that's a word and concept I've used online quite a lot in describing a successful gay relationship. My husband & I stopped thinking of ourselves solely as individuals a long time ago.