Stages of a Relationship
Aug. 06, 2020 .4 min read
There are two major stages of a relationship.
The Acquaintance Stage is the stage where the individuals in a relationship have a peripheral knowledge of each other. Some relationships never grow past this stage. This is where most colleagues at work or school, and neighbors remain. There’s a restriction on how much of yourself you want to commit to the other person via words and actions.
The next stage is The Intimacy Stage, where the parties involved begin to know more than the common things about their partner. This is where personality traits, likes and dislikes, visions, challenges, burdens, secrets desires, etc. become easy to tell each other. The partners involved, at this stage, become more concerned about the welfare and pleasure of the other. This brings us to the point of true friendship.
There’s a huge limit to what we can do with an acquaintance, as opposed to one who has become a friend. As much as we’ll definitely have people in the acquaintance zone, our focus is to have friends, for it is only in a friendship that a man can sharpen the countenance of his friend (Prov. 27:17), and only a friend can love at all times. (Prov.17:17).
This is one of the reasons why, even in marital relationships, the goal is for both parties to become intimate friends. The transition from being an acquaintance to being a friend doesn’t have a definite length of time, and it doesn’t have a particular formula.
However, we could, because of petty things, keep relationships that should have undergone a metamorphosis in the acquaintance stage, or become friends with those that should be acquaintances. It is wisdom to know which relationships should be in either of the stages. This applies to God, ourselves, and others.
How then do we know those to relate with as acquaintances or those to cultivate friendship with? Wisdom is profitable to direct! (Eccl. 10:10)
The first question wisdom will seek to ask us is “Who are you?” “Who are you” doesn’t simply refer to your name, class, school, locality, or family. It is first about your inner man. Who is your inner man? Who rules there, God/the devil? What have you committed to it? What values have you built over time? What’s your focus? What’s the essence of the life you live?
Answering these questions will give you a glimpse of who you are and who you can bring in to know the real you. Poor relationship with yourself (not knowing who you are) is the reason you can’t separate the sheep from the goats.
It’s also essential to note that untill you relate well with God, you can’t come into a good grasp of who you are and who you should be. This means that the quality of the decisions you make, even in relationships, is proportional to the quality of your relationship with God, who should be the very essence of your being.
God is not a man, and God is not an object. He is a personality that we can relate with. We were created in His image (Gen. 1:27), thus, He desires relationship as much as we desire it. Above all else, we need to be deliberate to build this relationship with God into maturity.
It’s beyond saying, “I accept You as my Lord and Savior,” It is about moving Him from the acquaintance level to the friendship level. As a man, your first friend, in fact, your first love should be God. He is the very essence of your being. The acceptance, love, etc. that you look for in other places should first be gotten from Him. Thus, we hear severally, “Love the Lord Your God, with all Your heart, soul, strength and mind!” Luke 10:27