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Building a Strong Foundation: 5 Stepping Stones in a Relationship

Are you wondering if your relationship is on track? Are you questioning whether it’s normal to have doubts and challenges?

Understanding the five stepping stones can help you answer these questions and more. Stepping stones are different from relationship stages that you may have heard of, and they are not milestones. Read on to find out what they are and how knowing about them can help you.

So, what are the relationship stepping stones?

The five stepping stones signify the progression of getting to know one another and creating a loving and mature relationship.

These stepping stones outline the process of overcoming obstacles, challenges, and differences. Because let’s face it, all couples have fights and challenges and this is very normal. The stepping stones are the path of growth within the relationship leading to a place of understanding and deep love.

The 5 Stepping Stones in a Relationship

Now, let’s learn about the five key stepping stones in a relationship and their importance. Please remember that Redlands Counselling Service is here to help you through any of these steps.

Stepping Stone 1: Developing Emotional Connection

This is the beginning of the couple being formed through emotional connection. This stepping stone moves beyond the initial hormones of attraction and infatuation that initially brings two people together.

The initial excitement and attraction at the start of a relationship are beautiful and ought to be cherished. However, to create a bond between a couple the step towards emotional connection is needed.

This stage may feel natural for some and may be very challenging for others. This stepping stone is characterised by opening up to one another, sharing your feelings, and creating emotional intimacy. It’s at this stage we start to share our hopes and fears.

Both sides must allow themselves to show vulnerability and put in the effort to be emotionally intimate with each other. This emotional connection creates the foundation of trust and feelings of closeness within the relationship.

Stepping Stone 2: Questioning and Overcoming Doubts

There will come a point in the relationship where doubts and insecurities arise. This stepping stone often comes as the honeymoon phase of a relationship ends. When our ability to easily overcome our fears and to comprise starts to fade.

As insecurities and doubts start to arise, you may question if the other person actually loves you or if you love them.

It can be helpful to understand and communicate your barriers toward intimacy to avoid sabotaging the relationship. You have to remember that no partner is perfect. Don’t expect yourself to be perfect either, remove some of the expectations from one another.

It is also at this stepping stone that you may decide the other person isn’t right for you. Remember, a key indicator of a relationship with long-term potential is good communication.

It is normal for doubts to arise, this stepping stone is about developing the communication skills needed to work through them.

Stepping stone 3. Facing Challenges and Struggles

This stepping stone is often the most difficult to overcome and may arise several times throughout a relationship. The good thing though, is that challenges are a natural stepping stone in anything in life. Overcoming them will make your relationship stronger.

This is the beginning of being willing to be there for another during tough times. You can think of these challenges as tests teaching you how to love unconditionally.

This stepping stone comes when issues arise such as: feeling neglected, underappreciated, feeling trapped, unheard, or unsupported. Financial and family challenges are also common.

It’s up to you to not only focus on the bad; make sure you see the good in the other person and your relationship.

The relationship keys that need to be developed to move through this step are patience, acceptance, and forgiveness.

Stepping Stone 4. Choosing the Relationship

After having moved through challenges together, you will come to make the important decision of staying committed to one another.

This is arguably the most important stepping stone which can be the most rewarding.

If commitment is challenging for you or your partner, it’s tempting to bypass this stepping stone. However, a clear decision must be made as it will give you the clarity needed to invest in the relationship.

A relationship is a continuous choice to be with someone; loving someone doesn’t just happen, you need to actively choose to love.

This step brings you together as a team, as you decide to be there for one another always.

Here the key is being able to make a clear commitment. Make sure that your choice aligns with your wants, needs, and best interests.

Stepping Stone 5. Growing Wholehearted Love

Finally, we have reached the nicest stepping stone of the process. This stepping stone is characterised by completely and wholeheartedly accepting and loving one another.

Growing wholehearted love is the continued effort to work on the relationship, and your life goals together. The commitment to keep growing your intimacy on all levels.

Everything will not be perfect, but all things come on an established foundation of love, trust, and respect within the relationship.

This stepping stone encompasses the continual challenge of keeping the love alive in your relationship. It is the remembering to see one another with fresh eyes as you each grow on your journey together.

To conclude

As we learn to love through these 5 stepping stones a relationship can become a source of joy and light in our life.

Know that working through these steps is a natural part of developing a healthy, stable, and loving relationship. During the process, you will develop five of the most important things in a relationship: trust, communication, forgiveness, commitment, and unconditional love.

Here at Redlands Counselling Service, we would love to support you through these stepping stones to building a happy relationship.

If you are confused about your relationship book a Relationship Check Up with us today.

Contact Redlands Counselling Service on 1300 241 667 or email for a confidential chat.

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