"Happily ever after" is the fairytale ending we all grew up wishing for. Maybe we fantasized about our very own prince charming or planned our ride into the sunset. While those fairy tale beginnings and endings are rarely the case for us regular humans, it is still possible to find true love. Everyone is different, and each journey is unique, but most love stories will go through these 10 phases at one point or another.
1. The meet-cute
In movies, the meet-cute is the first time two people meet. Maybe it goes somewhere right then, maybe it doesn't and maybe it isn't even cute, but the meet-cute is something you will always remember because it is the first time you laid eyes on him.
2. The "get to know you" phase
This is the stage where he can do nothing wrong in your eyes and vice versa. It is a perfect world full of excitement, questions and firsts.
3. Being inseparable
The timid world of texting, flirting and playing the dating game comes to an end and the two of you are now inseparable. You don't have to call him on Monday to reserve Saturday night - you both know you will be spending every waking minute together. When you aren't together, you keep the distance short by texting non-stop.
4. Saying "I love you"
You have said the words in your head a hundred times and you both know the feeling is mutual, so saying it out loud shouldn't change the relationship, but it does. It is a verbal commitment to one another. You no longer have to wonder where you stand with each other. You know when you call him randomly, he wants to talk to you. The guessing game is over and, and whether you've been together for months or even years, this is when the real commitment begins.
5. Have a momentary freak out
After being together for a while, a comfortable routine sets in. You can predict their emotions and reactions to basically all events. You can't remember life without the other person, but you start to question whether this is the right path for the rest of your life.This is natural. You might have a talk, or a fight, or take a break or buy a puppy, but whatever your freak out is, afterwards you'll realize that he completes you and don't want anything else.
Onto the next level of commitment. You have been through some ups and downs together and have come out on top, so you decided to get engaged. Whether it's long or short, the excitement surrounding this big next step will usually lead to more feelings of excitement like when you were first falling in love. Being engaged is a stressful, blissful and exciting time.
7. The honeymoon phase
A honeymoon comes after the wedding, but the honeymoon phase hopefully lasts a little longer than your destination vacation. You shared a first honeymoon period came right after you started dating, and this second honeymoon is much like the first. Passions run high and it is easy to push annoyances and concerns to the side and just love blissfully. Some people have a honeymoon phases that lasts years, others maybe only a couple of weeks, but it always ends when you can't ignore life any longer.
8. Now real life hits
Real life encompasses so many things. You both get busy doing your own jobs and hobbies, then maybe you have kids and they take up most of your time. Life becomes less about just the two of you, so it is easy to drift apart during this stage. Life will happen and there is nothing you can or should do about it, but don't give up on your marriage during this time. Do what it takes to keep the fire alive and make it to stage nine.
Again, this stage happens at different times for everyone. It may be while the kids are still young, it might be when tragedy strikes (like a lost job), or it can be a conscious decision at any point in your life. It doesn't matter when it happens, but at some point, after years and years of being together, a recommitment is necessary. When couples consciously or subconsciously recommit for life, they'll get a marriage that will last forever.
10. Get your happily ever after
We all dream of a happily ever after and the ones who make it all the way through these steps are the ones who will achieve that dream.
True love is a once in a lifetime accomplishment that each of us can have if we go through these steps, so work hard and make it to your happily ever after.