Love is like fuel. It keeps us going, and helps us navigate through the ups and downs of life. Of course, love is a vast emotion that embraces several relations and connections. However, romantic love, or falling in love with that one person, with whom you want to spend your entire life, is special. But love isn’t an easy ride. Often, couples go through different stages of love, as they learn from and about each other.
So what are these stages of love? And is there any science or method in the stages of love too?
Yes, several dating experts and couple therapists agree that couples go through 5 stages of love. Couples usually transition from one stage into another. And their ability to get through them helps the couple build a robust relation. But, love does not progress linearly. In fact, the stages of love are cyclic. A couple may find themselves jumping back to the first stage, even after reaching the final stages of love.
Here are the details of five stages of love that many couples go through as per experts:
Stage 1: Head over heels
The first stage of love is all about dreamy eyes and fluttering butterflies. This phase is when one is swept off their feet. Even biologically, there are changes in our body as stage 1 of love kicks in. We encounter high levels of hormones, such as dopamine. There is a feeling of excitement as the couple begins to know each other. Though fantastic, this stage is not sustainable. Usually, it lasts for around one to three months on average, but could well exceed two years. There is very little conflict and partners often ignore or rather don’t even realize each other’s shortcomings.
The second stage of love is when couples start seeing each other as real people. The infatuation gives way to recognizing the partners with all their flaws and idiosyncrasies. Biologically too, the endorphins start waning since the body cannot keep on with the ‘high’ emotions. This is the stage, when friction begins. And, the doubt of whether the partner is perfect, wriggles its way in the relationship.
When it comes to the different stages of love, stage three is one of the lowest. It is about arguments and frustration. All the issues that once seemed non-existent suddenly start hurting the couple. Couples tend to fight and flare off at the slightest provocation. The ‘I’ takes centre stage and the ‘we’ seems impossible to reconcile. At this stage, most couples part ways or take up to a year or more to find the spark again. However, couples who are sensible, understand that conflicts can be healthy and those who have strong communication are the ones that survive this stage.
Stage four is realizing, yet accepting differences. After a turbulent stage three, the couple emerges as wiser individuals, who have learned to live and grow with each other. There is stability as a sense of comfort and compatibility sets in. Yes, there might not be the ‘blind love’ anymore. Instead, there is a solid understanding and acceptance of each other.
Stage 5: The Blissful Blessing
The final stage of love is what true love is – absolutely divine! The emotion is of spirituality, where couples are under no illusion of fantasy. This stage ushers respect, commitment, and a vision of togetherness. There is maturity and mutual admiration. Being together the couple feels complete both as an individual and a team. However, don’t let complacency sets in after stage five! Keep working hard as couples usually oscillate from one stage to another, back and forth.
Romance and passion can be rekindled. Yet, it is true acceptance, respect, and agreement in disagreements that are pivotal for a relationship to thrive through all the stages. After all, ‘There is only one happiness in this life, to love and beloved.