The 5 Stages Of Love – Sadly, Many Couples Separate At Stage 3
The beginning of a new relationship can feel like a waterfall of excitement, adventure, and passion. Relationships go through five stages, and stage three is when relationships often head toward the offramp.
If your love can persist past stage three, and onto stage four and five, you will emerge with a relationship that is stable, secure, and honest. Knowing these stages are normal and expected can help you to navigate through them.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. – Lao Tzu.
Stage 1: Everything is New and Exciting
You've met someone new, and the flutter in your chest seems to be running the show!
Your still in the dating stage, and every touch is electric and kisses are passionate and filled with excitement and possibility.
You might find that just getting through the day without him has you reaching for your phone every few minutes to see if he is thinking of you too.
And you count down the minutes until you will see each other again.
You might try on different parts of your personality to figure out how the two of you interact best together, and the entire experience is like a fun game full of twists, turns, flirting, and likely, lots of romance.
Maybe this new person really brings out your sense of humor, and you find yourself laughing more than usual, or they ignite your sense of adventure, and you try things you wouldn't typically try.
You relish the high you feel around them, and don't want it to end.
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Stage 2: Falling Harder and Settling Down
In stage two, you have officially entered 'couplehood.' You have decided this is the person you love and have committed to each other.
Intimacy might still be frequent, but like the rest of life, has become more routine, but more profound and more meaningful. Marriage and children generally happen during this stage.
Routines start to take the place of spontaneity, and you have let down your walls and are comfortable being your truest selves around each other. Adult responsibilities begin to creep back in as you figure out your roles.
Stage 3: Life Takes Hold
Stage three is, sadly, when most relationships fall apart. Though you may still love the person you are with, things are different.
Life has gotten in the way of romance, parenthood and work commitments take center stage, and you start to wonder what happened to the relationship that used to have you buzzing from head to toe.
Maybe it has been ages since a date consisted of anything other than streaming tv shows and eating dessert in bed. Perhaps you feel resentment for chances in life that you feel like you might have missed and now seem like they might not ever happen.
The little annoyances you used to tolerate now feel large and intrusive. You might dream about other things you could be doing with your life, and feel tied down and trapped.
At stage three, you might wonder - did I make the right decision? This is when many couples call it quits.
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Stage 4: A Deeper Understanding
If you make it through stage three, you will start to see each other for who you really are.
You might not be the same people you were during stage two, for a lot has likely happened since then - career changes, children, moves, or other life events.
You no longer expect the world of each other and have gotten better about communicating your needs and wants.
Stage four allows you to acknowledge the unhappiness you felt in stage three, and find methods for moving forward together, flaws and all.
You have acknowledged that neither of you is perfect, and have decided to rediscover what you love about each other.
Often resentment in a marriage is not about the person that you are with, but frustration with yourself for not following through on promises you made to yourself when you were younger about who you wanted to be.
Let your partner in on your desires, and who knows where life might lead you. Perhaps there are passions you both share that you haven't explored fully.
Maybe you make a commitment to travel more or to prioritize playing together. Finding ways to grow individually, while also spending time together, is a beautiful way to rekindle a romance.
New love is the brightest, and long love is the greatest, but revived love is the tenderest thing known on earth. —Thomas Hardy
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