3 STAGES OF LOVE. Let us start by answering these questions: is your relationship or marriage failing? Or is it maturing as it is meant to?
At this moment, are you in a committed relationship or married? If you are, what brought you guys together and what is currently keeping you together? Many people determine their own level of attraction based on the looks, sex appeal or personality of their partners but you might be unaware of what exactly it is that keeps the relationship going.
Have you ever wondered how long term couples still radiate appreciation and love for each other after so many years?
Today we’ll be shedding some light on the phases through which relationships go. The passion that brought you together as a couple in the first place is completely different from the love that appears twenty or sixty years into the relationship.
Love in relationships passes through 3 interesting stages which are very important and none of which can be avoided if you want your relationship to flourish.3 STAGES OF LOVE.
STAGE 1: WILDLY PASSIONATE LOVE
This first stage is usually the easy part. In the beginning, you are attracted by sexual vibes and good looks. At this point, you feel a strong emotional and physical attraction to your partner resulting in the saturation of endorphins in your brain that creates the sense of intense pleasure that always accompanies infatuation.
The sense of well-being that you feel in this first stage is akin to the feelings you experience after a very rigorous exercise of after consuming something absolutely delicious like ice cream or chocolate.
Yeah, that feeling.
So your emotional state is highly charged, this means you now have the tendency to project expectations, images and even your ideals of the model mate onto your spouse or partner.
Most times these projections have less to do with who your spouse really is but because of your present emotional state, it’s really hard to determine what is real because you are both behaving at your best.
In this state of intense romance and passion, both of you are very responsive to each other and it’s not until you reach stage 2 that you find out what your partner is really like.
STAGE 2: THE STRUGGLE FOR POWER AND DISAPPOINTMENT
As the romance and hot passion subside, healthy relationships go through a phase of adjustments, power struggles, disappointments, and resentments. During this stage, it is quite common for one partner to try to mold the other into their perfect mate. During this phase, you might find out that the spouse you once found exciting now seems boring.
Or maybe your partner has gotten fat and isn’t sexy anymore. Or your husband didn’t get that promotion at work so he isn’t making enough money to support the lifestyle you had expected. Or maybe your sex life went down the drain.
For whatever reason, it is at this stage that couples begin to bicker and fight. One of the mistakes some people make at this stage is to go silent and avoid areas sensitive to conflict. But the problem is, if neither of you is ready to risk a confrontation, you’ll find your lives drifting apart and you’ll begin to lose the intimacy and sharing that bonds relationships.
Even if you both agree to avoid conflict and arguments on some level, the tension and hurt will remain. The problem might go underground for a while but it would end up erupting when you least expect it.
Some people would even use criticism and guilt to try and control their partner in a misguided effort to recapture the feelings they experienced in Stage 1 because who wouldn’t long for the days when being together with your partner was new and intoxicating? If you are feeling this way right now, just remember that it is perfectly normal to fall out of love – passionate love – and be involved in conflict.
Besides clashes are healthy in that they help you to understand your partner better when you both get things out on the table. Learning to confront and resolve arguments during this period helps your relationship or marriage to grow.
The important thing is discovering what you can change in the relationship and what you must accept. This means facing your fears, being honest with yourself, letting go of your urge to control the relationship and your willingness to face and communicate with your spouse or partner.
It is when you deny these feelings that resentment starts to surface.
STAGE 3: WHOLEHEARTED ACCEPTANCE
Stage 3 is the stage where both partners are now very aware of the various traits they have; the ones you like and the ones you don’t like. This is the part where your expectations undergo a transformation and you are both more realistic about each other.
This stage also involves grieving for the loss of the expectations that your partner cannot meet and forgiving them for not conforming to your ideals.
This is the part where you make peace with the loss of all the idealistic fantasies that took you years to build and you adjust to your partner.
This third stage is mainly about unconditional acceptance and enjoying the partnership and support of your partner.
As you go through the path to fully developed love, these three stages can sometimes blend into each other. In some cases, all three can even happen at the same time. For example, romance can still happen in both the second and third stages.
No one is saying romance dies forever and you should let it go. No. If you want to maintain your passion for each other, change up your routine once in a while and give each other pleasant surprises. There’s nothing wrong with going out for a date night once in a while or doing fun things together.
At the same time, even though you are in the third stage, dealing with issues that get in the way of experiencing a fulfilling relationship is still important.
Basically no matter what stage, communication, working on your own problems and building appreciation are important for a healthy and long-lasting relationship.
3 STAGES OF LOVE. So which stage are you?