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Love grows. The more you nurture love, the more it grows. It changes from conditional to unconditional, from casual to true – love in a relationship changes with time. In fact, there are different stages of love in a relationship. If you know and understand them, it may help you develop a beautiful loving relationship. So, here are the various stages of a relationship that most couples go through. Though they may not necessarily occur in this order and all people may not undergo all the stages, you’ll get a good idea about what to expect in a love relationship and how to work towards growing your love and the relationship. ~ Ed.
Did you know that there are different stages of love relationship that most couples go through?
Can you guess presently which stage of relationship you’re in with your loved one?
Well, no matter how the love starts, or what is your kind of love – nearly all couples go through the stages of love in their relationship as mentioned in this post.
Understanding the different phases of love helps couples to move successfully into a better long term relationship.
I won’t repeat about what love is, as I’ve done that in my post on understanding true love between two people. But, I’d certainly like to say that love always grows and changes.
The excitement and kind of romance that brings two people together in the first place is very different from the love that emerges ten or thirty years later.
I’m sure the married lots would agree with me there! But if you’re unmarried, I wonder which stage of love relationship is your best one so far – do let me know that 🙂
“Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” ~ Robert Frost.
Different Stages of Love Relationship
Without drifting away from the topic, let me share with you the various stages of love that most of you unknowingly undergo in your relationships.
I’ve also mentioned the 10 C’s in the colored boxes below each stage point, which are the terms that I feel best associate each of the stages of love relationship in every couple’s life. Hope you find them helpful. 🙂
1. Romance & infatuation stage
The romantic stage is the best one I would say, and I can see many heads nodding in agreement with me there too!
This is the first stage in every love relationship, and most of you must be having fond memories of going through it – right?
When two people are attracted to each other, they get infatuated. They put their best foot forward and are reeling with romance and passion.
What happens in such a stage you might ask? Well, simply put – you just can’t stop thinking of your partner – they are always on your mind!
The old saying “love is blind” is really apt in this stage because it truly is 🙂
This ‘enchantment’ phase brings in a lot of affection, laughter, playfulness, and all the negative traits are ignored. Lot of emphasis is laid on the similarities you both share.
People in this stage feel high when they’re together and can’t wait to be with each other when they’re apart. There are butterflies in the stomach, and your fluttery hearts don’t stop beating for each other.
As I write about it, I remember the time I went through this phase – love was always in the air.
All of this makes you feel euphoric, triggers positive moods, and boosts your energy levels. There is change in the personalities, sex drive, and you might even enter a state of fearlessness.
With the chemical changes in the brain, sometimes you might even overlook major flaws in your partner, and rush into marriage before actually crossing this phase.
I know this romantic feeling feels great while it lasts, but it doesn’t last forever even if you want it to.
2. Disturbance stage
After a few months of being together with each other when the ‘love chemicals’ wear off, couples return to their normal selves with normal moods and sex drive.
Everything starts getting back to normal, and instead of only focusing on each other, couples become more involved with their daily duties and work.
Those who aren’t aware of this normal stage of love in a relationship might think they’ve fallen out of love. Sometimes they might even get upset by their partner’s lack of attention on them.
Small bickering and fights are a normal part of this stage of love. But sometimes confrontation is healthy as it helps you understand things better.
When you learn to confront and resolve issues and conflicts, it helps your relationship mature.
If you’re in this stage, you might wonder why your sex drives doesn’t match your partners, or why theirs lessened, or why you annoy or anger your partner more now.
You might make assumptions and opinion about your partner, and your expectations also tend to increase form each other.
When these assumptions and opinions differ in real life, it might leave you feeling ecstatic or depressed.
What you need to do is hold on! The best is yet to come – even if you see a drop in your love relationship. Keep making the efforts and hope for the best.
3. Changing stage
You might be having a lot of expectations from your partner. Sometimes you might even try and mold them to be like the perfect partner you want to see them as.
It’s like a power struggle going on, and sometimes relationships end if one side dominates the other.
Instead of seeing the similarities as you did in the romance stage, you focus on the differences and flaws of your partner.
Some couples might even break up and move on at this stage. This happens especially with those who date often, or don’t fully commit, and look for love but find disappointment instead.
On the other hand, some couples survive through the pain and dissatisfaction of a relationship.
They learn that a good relationship involves compromise and sacrifice, and you can improve your relationship with kindness.
It is observed that relationships are often at their all-time low after a decade or 10 years. If you cross this stage, you might as well carry on for the rest of your life.
4. Understanding stage
Those of you who’ve crossed all the above stages of love in your relationship and reached so far – it means you’ve begun to understand your partners better now.
The understanding stage is a lot about give and take, and each partner tries to change the other to suit his or her needs.
Couples in this stage remain blissful and happy with each other, and they keep making efforts to work on their relationships to make things work.
In this stage, both partners recognize and accept each other for who and what they are. They need to avoid misunderstanding and understand each other better than before.
The stages of love in a relationship aren’t easy, but if you know how to move from one stage to another, it’s not all that tough either.
To get past this stage, accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses. You need to focus on the positives, let go of the negatives, and explore each other’s goals and interest.
5. Discovery stage
Once a couple passes the above stages of love relationship, all the unrealistic expectations tend to fade away.
Both sides start to discover more of each other and make efforts knowing how they both can fit and work things together.
Couples start defining and clarifying their roles, commitment, and compatibility towards each other. They need to explore their relationship needs and their partners too.
They need to decide on questions like how much time do they like to spend together or remain apart, how does each side like to express love, or receive it etc.
Once couples are able to communicate their needs effectively to one another, they can avoid a lot of other things that can make a relationship bitter.
They need to avoid unhealthy behaviors like avoidance, withdrawals, criticism, and defensiveness. Instead, focus on acceptance, compassion, forgiveness, and patience.
6. Connection stage
Next comes the phase of love in a relationship in which the couples go deeper into trust, commitment, and connect with each other.
This is the stage when they experience intimacy. They are more supportive of each other and share each other’s experiences as well.
Problems or ups and downs are part and parcel of every relationship. However, the trust both partners will have and the loyalty towards each other will carry them through these small problems.
In this stage, you stop thinking about your own individual selves and shift the focus to what works best for the relationship.
It’s actually a stage of attachment when you feel connected, are one-to-one, and love each other a great deal. There is more of team spirit and oneness that further strengthens the relationship.
This perhaps is the stage when you feel like a perfect match or made for each other. Some of you might even decide to get married once you have come this far.
7. Doubting stage
Ah..don’t most of you come across this stage when doubt starts to creep in? Mostly, this stage comes after many years of being together with each other in a relationship.
You might start thinking about your exes, your past relationships, or start comparing your present partner with another. Even suspicions could infect the relationship and the man could start looking for ways to find a cheating wife – the disturbance has the potential to lead to divorce!
In this stage, everything is related to your relationship. If you’re unhappy and hurt in your relationship – you tend to blame it on your partner for putting you through such trying times.
You might even start comparing your relationship with other couples, and other relationships. Remember, you can cross this stage of love in your relationship if you aren’t dull and boring.
8. Sexual stage
In this stage, your sex life plays a major role. Either the sex drives of both partners may change or one of you might get disinterested or over interested in sex.
One of you may give up on sex, or keep looking for ways to make it more exciting. However, if there is a difference in sexual interests, one of you might even end up having an affair.
The answer lies to find creative ways to make your sex life more exciting, which might make your relationship better and bond both of you better.
9. Trust stage
This is the ultimate stage when both partners love and trust each other totally. However, sometimes this kind of complete trust can also make you take each other for granted – so be careful there.
From all the above stages of love in a relationship, it’s in this stage that you know the direction of your relationship. You are happy with each other, and know what to expect from each other too.
Even though there is total bliss and understanding in this stage, don’t stop appreciating and take your partner lightly. That’s because love needs to be worked up or nurtured all the time.
Remember, love is like a plant that needs nourishment to keep it alive!
If you don’t keep your love fresh and alive, and fail to express your love to your lover more often, it can be rekindled by someone else.
10. Spiritual stage
This is among the toughest stages of love relationship to achieve for most people, though not impossible.
It’s more a willingness to help your partner fulfill his/her potential, without any selfish motive.
There is ongoing personal and spiritual growth for both partners. Unconditional love is perhaps achieved in this stage when you become the best version of yourself.
I haven’t reached this stage yet, so can’t write about it much!
I’m sure those who have been in a relationship for a while, must’ve gone through all or most of these relationship stages. And for those who are still to fall in love, I’m sure you’d be well prepared now. 🙂
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” ~ C.G. Jung
Once you are aware of these stages of love in a relationship, you know what to avoid and what to do so that you can easily move into a long term relationship, and let your love deepen and blossom further.
Remember, good relationships need to be worked on all the time. You need to take out time, be aware, practice the skills, and take the risks too. Most importantly – just love your partner with all your heart.
“Love, and you shall be loved.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Over to you –
Do you believe there are different stages of love relationships, and have you gone through them? If you are in love, how would you best define the stage of your love relationship? Share your experiences.