Just as with life where there are times and seasons – a time to be young and a time to be old, to be pregnant and be delivered of the baby and on and on like that, so are there stages to love and relationships.
It’s what the experts say. And they add that with relationships, there are five stages. According to YourTango’s Jed Diamond, here are the five stages of love:
Stage 1: Falling
This is the part where everything is new and covered in beauty and so much… mushiness. Butterflies in the belly? This is the stage where you get them. You are uncontrollably thinking about the other person, getting your head in the clouds at the prospect of what could be…
“Falling in love is nature’s trick to get humans to pick a mate so that our species carries on. It feels so wonderful because we are awash in ‘love hormones’, such as dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, testosterone, and estrogen,” Diamond explains.
Everything is rosy and perfect in the first stage of love. That’s because everything is still very very new. [Credit: Shutterstock]
Stage Two: Become a couple
At this stage, things are official. Two people in an exclusive relationship with each other.
“During this phase,” Diamond tells YourTango, “we experience less of the falling head-over-heels “in love” feelings. We feel more bonded with our partner. We feel warm and cuddly. The sex may not be as wild, but it’s deeply satisfying.
We feel safe, cared for, cherished, and appreciated. We feel close and protected. We often think this is the ultimate level of love and we expect it to go on forever.”
Stage Three: Disillusionment
By the time you get to this stage, what you find is that the newness of the whole thing has worn off and reality is starkly revealed to you. You’re deep enough in the relationship to see the flaws, the not-so-great things about your partner, their humanity.
And this is where things are most tricky. Fears and doubts and questions begin to form in your head.
Diamond says: “For too many relationships, this is the beginning of the end. This is a period where things begin to feel bad. It can occur slowly or can feel like a switch is flipped and everything goes wrong. Little things begin to bother us. We feel less loved and cared for. We feel trapped and want to escape.”
But of course, within this relationship crisis there is an opportunity to love more and more deeply. If you break through, you find a love that isn’t dependent upon someone being perfect, but loved perfectly.
The stage of disillusionment is the most tricky of every relationship [Credit: Lifehack]
Stage Four: Longevity
This is the stage of lasting love. It is where you find yourself when you push past the difficulties in stage three. You become more understanding of each other, more trusting, more patient and more… unified.
“There’s nothing more satisfying than being with a partner who sees you and loves you for who you are. They understand that your hurtful behavior is not because you are mean and unloving, but because you have been wounded in the past and the past still lives with you. As we better understand and accept our partner, we can learn to love ourselves ever more deeply,” Diamond explains.
Partners whose relationship or marriage work can serve as a model for other partners to work with. [Credit: Unsplash]
Stage 5: Exemplary love
“If we can learn to overcome our differences and find real, lasting love in our relationships, perhaps we can work together to find real, lasting love in the world,” Diamond says, pointing out the importance of having relationships that can inspire other relationships.
Partners whose relationship or marriage work can serve as a model for other partners to work with.
At this stage, you and your partner are that couple – Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva kinda thing.