The different stages of love in real life are not what you see in romantic comedies. Experts say the big stages of a relationship are part of a normal process.
While every couple is different, the crucial phases of a relationship tend to follow certain patterns.
A famous Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, once said, “Change is the only constant in life.”
Another one named Plato elaborated on the same premise and added, “Heraclitus, I believe, says that all things pass and nothing stays and comparing existing things to the flow of a river, he says you could not step twice into the same river.”
Like in other aspects of life, it is normal to evolve and grow in love. Moreover, there are ups and downs. Therefore, it is necessary to adapt and be very flexible to some extent.
The bad moments offer an opportunity for growth and to solidify the relationship. While the fire and energy of the early stages in a relationship do not last forever, they can sometimes make way for something deeper.
The end of the honeymoon stage in a relationship will test if the couple is ready to build a stronger connection. Here are the 5 stages of love.
What are the Stages of a Relationship?
Below are the five relationship stages;
1) The Honeymoon Stage: Falling in Love:
The honeymoon stage in a relationship can last between two months and two years. This phase is filled with excitement and hope. The romance is new, and the two lovebirds cannot get enough of each other. Therefore, they try to spend as much time together as possible.
Dopamine levels are higher than before, and the two partners see the best in the other one. The attraction and desire are so strong that red flags are ignored, and personality issues are swept under the rug.
In a long-lasting relationship, it is usually the shortest phase. At the end of this stage, the new couple faces the first real test in the relationship.
2) The Couple Stage: Settling in Love:
The couple stage can last anywhere between a few months to up to 50 years in some cases. The excitement has died down, and the partners are starting to see each other for who they really are.
Flaws are no longer ignored, and reality has started to settle in. This phase involves a lot of adjustment, and the two partners have slowly stopped putting all of their focus on each other.
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Other priorities like work-life and in-laws start to reassert themselves. Infatuation is now a distant memory. However, there are still some upsides.
The partners are now more comfortable showing their true self to the other one. It is time to move a bit from the physical connection to building an emotional bond.
3) The Disappointment Stage: Struggling in Love:
Some also call it the disillusionment stage. This is a difficult phase for most couples. It requires a lot of inner work and for the partners to come to terms with their own shortcomings.
The power struggle in the relationship is palpable, and the “I” is more present. In the clear, that is a make-or-break period for most relationships.
It is possible that some partners may give up. However, others will see this as a moment to change and evolve. Some couples stay in that phase forever because of the impossibility of moving on.
They feel trapped and obligated to stay together because of children and other life commitments. In those cases, love is really out of the door.
However, those who are able to make it out of this phase are now more prepared to stay in the relationship for the long run.
4) The Comfort Stage: Building in Love:
After making it through the previous phase and deciding to stay together, the couple has now settled into the daily routine. However, it is not negative because the two partners are comfortable with each other.
The animosity and tension are gone and have been replaced by a more serene and calm setting. This is not really about huge progress and breakthroughs, and it has more to do with stability.
The partners know their role in the relationship and are content with it. However, since it is not the final stage of love, it is important to keep growing and building a relationship together.
A routine does not have to be boring or stale. It is necessary to introduce new ways to keep the fire of love burning.
5) The Spiritual Stage: Partnering in Love:
This is the last stage of the relationship, and it is when the two partners find unconditional love for each other. The two partners have seen the best and worst in the other one, and they have gone through ups and downs.
Yet, the love is stronger, and the connection is now deeper. At this point, the lovebirds have found a partner for life. To keep growing, the couple needs to find a purpose that is bigger than their story.
This common goal will strengthen their bond and help them prepare for the future. However, it is still important to keep building on their foundation. It is totally conceivable that the relationship could slide back into the disillusionment stage if enough effort is not put into it.
Above all, the work of love is never done, and there are always new places to go together.
The Stages of Love: Additional Tidbits:
After covering the 5 stepping stones in a relationship, it is important to mention that many factors play in a love story. There is even a great deal of science in the journey.
Moreover, there is no fixed relationship timeline, and it is often a work in progress. The steps in a relationship are a guide for couples to understand some of their emotions better.
Some even say that the stages of love differ slightly depending on whether it is a woman or a man. Is there any truth to this?
> Stages of a Relationship for a Man:
The stages of love are quite similar for a man or a woman. However, some experts have pointed out that appearance can play a bigger role for men in the initial phase of the relationship.
Read More: How to be a Good Boyfriend
> Stages of a Relationship for a Woman:
The slight difference here for a woman might take a little longer to feel the same level of infatuation at the beginning of the romance. A few experts argue that some women prefer to be courted in the initial stage of the relationship.
However, it must be pointed out that society is changing, and those distinctions might be less clear now.
Read More: How to be a Good Girlfriend to Your Partner?
How long does it take to fall in love?
According to a survey, it takes 4 to 9 weeks to fall in love. Some reports suggest that men do fall in love more quickly. A study revealed that it takes a man 88 days to say “I love you.” For a woman, the number goes up to 134.
How long do most relationships last?
Married or not, the average relationship lasts 2 years and 9 months, according to a British survey published by the Daily Mail. The so-called seven-year itch adage no longer applies. Modern relationships follow different rules and feel the pressure of social media.
Am I ready for a relationship?
This is a question that gets a lot of attention. While there is no simple answer. It is safe to say that you need to be excited about falling in love and dating (again). It is also necessary to deal with some of your past emotional issues, including those stemming from previous relationships. Moreover, it is easier to find love when you are confident and know what you are bringing to the table when it comes to a relationship.
What is the talking stage?
The “talking stage” is a new phrase coined by members of Gen Z to describe the early phase of a relationship. It is the period before dating when feelings are being developed. So, how long is the talking stage? Some experts say it should not last more than three months. They say that is more than enough to understand the contours of a situationship.
What are the Things to Look For in a Relationship?
Several experts say that communication, respect, and support for each other should be at the center of a relationship. They can be pillars of the love that unites partners.
t is also essential to be able to enjoy each other’s company and fight in a constructive manner without being disagreeable. Trust and admiration do contribute in a significant way to the strength of a relationship.
Relationship Advice for Couples
According to a recent survey, the top advice that was given by married couples is to be realistic. It is essential to be kind and accept the other one with flaws and all. Talking is also a key element in a healthy relationship. Flexibility is also very important.
The matters of love are never simple, and they have never been. From the wise words of English poet William Shakespeare to the memes of the TikTok generation, the search for love has always been a balancing act.
Understanding the stages of love is a great way to make the journey less rocky.