10 Stages Of Love Relationship That Most Couples Go Through

Know the stage of relationship you’re in with your loved one

- | 75 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Love & Relationships

Man and woman in a Stage of love relationship

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.

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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.

Most people think they’ve found their soul mate when they are in this stage. But behind the curtains it’s actually the chemistry of love that is taking place.

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.

Captivation is the term that defines this phase, and is called by lovers as the sweetest among all stages of love relationship in life.

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.

Confrontation is the keyword that best defines this phase, because among all the stages of love relationship, this phase is really the testing period for a couple.

break up love relationship

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.

Confusion is the word I’d use to describe this phase as it’s the most critical of all stages of love relationship.

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.

Compromise best describes this stage, which sets the foundation for stability and defines an upward swing in the love relationship.

Man comforting woman in a love relationship

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.

Consolidation is the term for this phase that really sets the stage for real happiness in a love relationship.

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.

Companionship is the term that defines this phase, as it’s one of the best stages of love relationship according to me.

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.

Comparison is the word I’d use here, as this is one of the most critical of all stages of love relationship in your life.

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.

Coupling is the apt term to describe this stage of love relationship.

Senior couple in pure love relationship

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.

Completeness is how I would describe this phase, as among all the stage of love relationship this is the one where you feel complete.

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!

Conjugation or unification best defines this stage of love relationship.

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.


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75 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. priyamathi

    2014-06-23 at 10:45 am


    Nice topic. This topic really suit for me. Because i loss my loved once. By miss understanding and lack of interest on him. I m worried so much. I’ll not forget him.

  2. Isabella

    2014-02-05 at 10:31 am

    In my opinion there is one important, yet intangible, thing everybody wants more than anything else, and that is to be appreciated. Being appreciated and complimented makes a person feel important. When you feel important, you feel needed and wanted, and this gives you a reason for existing. 🙂

  3. Catalina Lindegaard

    2013-11-04 at 3:43 am

    Hi Harleena, thank you so much for this very helpful and well-informed post

    I myself suffer from a variety of mental illnesses, one of the more dominant ones being severe anxiety, which makes a few of these stages extremely difficult to live through, especially the Disturbance Stage, which sometimes opens a door for a bit of Doubting to enter. But after reading this article, I’m more convinced that I’m not in the wrong and that what I’m going through is normal and it makes me feel less guilty.

    We’re in the Disturbance stage right now, I reckon, I being the one distancing myself and my boyfriend being the one feeling upset over my lack of affection ( we’ve been together for almost four years now, but we got together when we were 13/14 so obviously the romantic phase lasted a whole lot longer since we didn’t really understand the hardships of love back then). I feel very guilty at times, but I am convinced that this is just another challenge we have to go through in order for our relationship to become stronger and greater than ever.

    If only we could all just be happy with one another without any distress, huh?!

    Thank you once again for the lovely article, it really calmed me from a lot of stress and anxiety that I’ve been dealing with since I entered this stage.
    I will definitely refer to this in the future!

  4. Yemi

    2013-10-10 at 1:55 am

    You are an insightful writer, i can’t believe i read everything from the beginning to the end. Love is magical and i really pray God should help me pass through all the stages successfully. I’ll keep visiting.

  5. Lise Banker

    2013-06-19 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Harleena, as usual, this is another eye opening post on this blog.

    I wish I read this before I ever went into love. In point of fact, I almost fail in my relationship due to my lack of understanding of all these stages you mentioned here.

    Even after my wife (then a gf) told me everything (including the seemingly ugly ones), I didn’t see any of them as something that would hurt me in the future.

    The stage one as mentioned here in-deed explains the common saying “love is blind”. It is the stage you hardly see anything wrong in your partner; even the obvious ones are easily overlooked because of the infatuation thing. I was blind and very careless to necessities in those days. Same thing happened to my partner, I guessed.

    But as we progressed to the other stages, we became more awaken to our normal senses and our hidden weaknesses and the overlooked ones became conspicuous and now irritating. The inevitable frustrations began to set in. If not that we were probably meant for each other, we’d have broke up during one of those other stages.

    We’re actually at the stage 5 now and I belief we’ll make it forever; because we get to understand each other better everyday.

    The post is still very helpful, it opened my eye to what I should expect in the nearest future.


  6. Sebastian Aiden Daniels

    2013-05-24 at 1:20 am

    Hey Harleena.

    This was a great article. I saved it to my bookmarks bar. I was wondering if you think these stages besides the sexual stuff can be applied to stages in a friendship?

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-24 at 9:27 am

      Hi Sebastian,

      Glad you liked the post and thanks for bookmarking it too 🙂

      Yes indeed, these can be very much applied to the stages in friendship too, except the sexual stage. Even the last spiritual stage comes much later in friendship I guess, or unless you’ve been friends with someone for a long time to know them well enough.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  7. Ron

    2013-05-17 at 11:34 am

    This is great!! Yesterday I was watching the game with one of my close friend at DNBs and I was thinking to myself where I would be right now If I was still with one of my ex. I started thinking about all the good times we had and how wonderful she was as a person. Now that I read your article of stage 7, made me realized how amazing the girl that I am with now!

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-24 at 9:23 am

      Hi Ron,

      Glad to know that you could resonate with the post 🙂

      Relationships need to be nurtured more than anything else, and while some work, some aren’t just meant to be. Nice to know that when you went through these stages of love relationship you realized some things. Hope it helps you in your future relationships too.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  8. Kristine

    2013-05-13 at 7:05 am

    What an enjoyable read this was.

    I think I have gone through most of these stages with elements from each stage, but not necessarily in order – pretty close though. I am sure that everyone would love to get to the final unconditional love stage with their partners but it would be very hard to achieve as one would have to take out their ego. It would take a strong willed person who can learn to give themselves without some hint of ego involved.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-13 at 6:48 pm

      Welcome to the blog Kristine!

      I agree with you there – most of us have gone through these stages of love relationship, though the order may be a little different, or we might have even skipped a few stages.

      Ah…the final stage is surely the toughest to cross, but yes, couples do come to that one with age and time for sure. I’ve seen my parents come very close to that stage, though sadly, my Mom passed away a few years back, or else they would be true living examples within my family. You’re right…there is no question of any kind of ego from both sides in this stage 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  9. Leon

    2013-05-06 at 8:56 am

    Glad to have found your blog! Lots of good reading to catch up on!

    I love reading positive blogs that can help people improve on their livelihood and future.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-06 at 9:01 am

      It surely is nice of you to have stopped by. Hope you enjoy the other posts too 🙂

      Thanks once again 🙂

  10. Leon

    2013-05-06 at 8:39 am

    Incredible writing. This has definitely enlightened me and gave me something to think about before I even think about diving into my next relationship. Thank you!

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-06 at 8:46 am

      Welcome to the blog Leon!

      Thank you for your kind words 🙂

      I’m glad you could find something of value from this post, which am sure would help you in your future relationships. Wishing you all the very best.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  11. Adrienne

    2013-05-01 at 1:42 am

    I never put any titles to these stages Harleena but I’ll definitely agree with you about these.

    This may be rather sad but I think I’ve only been infatuated with maybe one guy in my entire life. Oh I was excited to go out with them for the first time but I was never the girl to fall for a guy instantly. I was the kind that thought with my head and not my heart. Way too realistic I guess.

    It’s been so long now I don’t even really remember too much of what I went through. Yeah, that’s kind of sad but great tips here. Especially great advice for the young ones. 😉 Read up kids!


    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-01 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Adrienne,

      I agree with you there, nor did I. But when I was researching for this post, there were mainly three to five stages most experts had written about but all scientifically, which I felt should be simplified and broken up further for better understanding.

      Ah…am sure that stage must have been a nice one to be in while it lasted. I can understand that as I too was like that, though my heart always ruled over my head 🙂

      I just hope those who are going through these stages of love relationship in their lives find some help thought this post, and don’t give up soon enough.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us 🙂

  12. Jodi

    2013-04-30 at 11:55 pm


    I am curious where you get your research from about these stages? I have never heard of them before! I am am so interested! I do agree with Sherman, and think they may not be universal or linear. Very thorough post! And you;ve gotten great feedback!

    Thanks for writing it!

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-01 at 6:25 pm

      Hi Jodi,

      I’m glad you liked the post and yes, I’m overwhelmed with the response. I love my readers and blog community to be so open and interactive even on personal issues like this. I’m sure it helps other readers to learn from the knowledge and experience of others.

      Ah… my only source of research is the Google search engine. Though I did research the topic well, I did add up my own thoughts and experiences from life. I agree with you and Sherman that these stages may not be universal, linear, or in the order as presented in this post. But as the feedback has it, majority of people have really gone through most of these stages in their married lives, some time or the other.

      Thanks for stopping by and reflecting on the post. 🙂

  13. Debbie

    2013-04-30 at 10:42 pm

    Wonderful article Harleena!

    Sorry to have missed it earlier. After almost 42 years together and 40 married, (in a few months), we have certainly gone through every single stage you mentioned and are at our greatest stage of contentment ever! 🙂 Many people break up at stage two, because they have such unrealistic expectations. One could possibly blame this on a lack of maturity.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-01 at 6:19 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      No worries about missing it – as it’s always here anytime you visit 🙂

      Wow – awesome I must say! You surely seem to have gone through it all, and perhaps must be reaching the last stage now. I agree, most people give up too soon or perhaps they don’t want to try harder and make those efforts we made when we started of. I guess times have changed and so has the patience of people, though I wish they would wait a while.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us 🙂

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10 Stages Of Love Relationship That Most Couples Go Through

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