Falling or being in love may not be as simple as it appears. For some, it can take many lives before finding the right one. Love is possible at the ages of twenty, thirty, or fifty, it just depends on the person. When you find that love, it is rarely as simple as loving someone. There are stages that are complex and a lover with emotions separate from your own. Understanding the stages can help you appreciate the relationship and know how much goes into loving another while realizing someone not returning that love is so painful. It takes time to work through the stages of love, but each will be shared to help you gain understanding.
Stage One: Newlywed Stage
This stag is well known by most. The relationship is new and everything is wonderful. This first stage is present in every relationship type and is often about wanting to spend every waking moment together. This may get to the point that friends and family roll their eyes about how consumed your life has become. The bond you share may seem perfect and that nothing will ever break the bond of love.
One issue of this stage is that people ignore red flags and warning signs. At this point, the relationship is most focused on physical attraction and you are focused mostly on the physical. You have not had time to learn about them as a person or determine if anything is truly annoying. This stage varies in length from a few months to a few years. It is the most fun, but largely unsustainable which is why some people jump between relationships to keep the excitement going. This is also a time when conflict is often avoided because it is such a blissful time.
Stage Two: Settling In Stage
This stage does not come at a specific time, but you will know it when you see it. This is when you become more aware of your partner as a person with positives and negatives. The attraction is still present, but you can see more of who the other person is and what they like. This can be the setting up of future success or failure. During this phase, you figure out is you are truly compatible. The stage often lasts for around six months, but it can take longer to determine if this is a forever partner. This is the stage where many relationships come to an end.
Learning to accept the flaws of others can be the foundation of a healthy relationship, but can also end things for many. In the first stage, biology is on your side, but as you settle in, the endorphin release has slowed and you are really getting to know one another.
Stage Three: Disappointment Stage
This is a tough stage to go through, but is not as bad as it may seem. This is a time when both people are forced to grow as individuals and as partners. You make the decision whether issues between the two of you are worth working through and advancing to the next stage or ending it because fighting and working through things are not worth the effort. Expressing anger is not necessarily bad, if it is done in a healthy way, but some feel any fighting means the relationship is over. If necessary, seek communication help from a counselor in this stage to work things out.
Stage Four: Stability Stage
Never underestimate what it takes to reach this stage, but if you do make it here there is a foundation and strength worth working for over time. At this point, through fighting and making up, couples are more comfortable with themselves and together. You have a history with one another, difference bond you, and working through things does not mean an end. Even though the fantasy is gone, you are willing to accept it for what it is because you feel the connection. Though some couples get bored at this stage, it is much more stable than the newlywed stage.
Stage Five: Commitment Stage
Sadly, there are married couples that do not reach this stage, but a true team will get to this point. You understand each other and a long term couple vision is becoming a reality. You want to be with the person you are with, even though the romance stage is over. You connect on every level, depend on and trust the other person, and know they will be there through whatever comes.
There is variance to each stage because all couples are different, but each relationship goes through them if they last. Love is worth this necessary work and we should be thankful because not everyone gets the experience.