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There Are 5 Stages Of Love, But Sadly Many Couples Stop At Stage 3

There Are 5 Stages Of Love, But Sadly Many Couples Stop At Stage 3

“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” – Audrey Hepburn

Ahh, love. It makes the world go around. It has inspired many poems, the most-read genre of books, and movies that make you grab a box of tissues. Nothing in life can compare to finding love. And when you locate that perfect partner, you plan to hold on tight forever. Till death do you part. So why do 40-50% of marriages end in divorce [1]? Couples tend to end their relationships when they become disillusioned, not realizing it is simply one of many steps to a deeper, truer love.

The 5 Stages of Love

There are 5 stages of love that all relationships will eventually experience. Knowing this in advance can save you future heartache and problems.  It also can provide you with hope that the situation you find yourself in will pass. If you face adversity together and hang on, life will get better. You will become closer and love will endure.

Stage 1: Passion and playfulness

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    You meet the man of your dreams. He’s cute, fun and downright sexy. He’s filled your waking thoughts. You can’t think straight and getting a text from him will make your heart flutter. You are falling fast.

    In this first stage of love, your hormones run the show. You flirt, get butterflies in your stomach and heart, toss your hair back often and laugh a lot more. Falling in love makes you glow. Full of playfulness and passion, stage one of love, often called the honeymoon stage, tends to be everyone’s favorite because it’s fun.

    Stage 2: Getting serious

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      Enter stage two. You still make a great couple. You hold hands in the park and cuddle up together to watch a movie, but something has changed. You’ve moved in together, maybe even got married and invested in a house. There might be a new baby in the picture or one on the way. The craziness of that honeymoon phase has calmed down.

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      You still have sex, but it’s more loving, more meaningful. And probably more rushed if you have a child. But now there are bills to worry about. Rent. Babysitters. Adult- stuff. That fun time has run its course and your relationship has entered the serious zone.

      Stage 3: What happened?

      Life seems to have rushed by and left you somewhere in the dust. You have friends living in Bali, others attending fun after-work parties and you are stuck going home each night to clean up a house, do laundry and make dinner that no one seems to appreciate. You feel as if your partner takes you for granted. What happened to those cuddles on the couch? And the last time he held your hand was to show you the mess the kids made in the bathroom. Stage three makes you seriously wonder if you lost that loving feeling!

      What happened? Did you fall out of love? Most couples begin to feel resentment towards their partners at this stage in their relationship. They wonder what they missed in life had they stayed single, and wonder if being single would be a better place to be.

      By this point, all illusions have been stripped away. You find yourself arguing more. The bills may be piling up, and kids proving to be a challenge. Romance seems like work and you can’t be bothered to squeeze in the time. You just want it to end. And most people do just that, end their relationship.

      Stage 4: Climbing down from the pedestal

      If you’ve stuck it out through the tough times of stage three, you will be rewarded. You and your partner have fallen from the pedestals that you placed each other on. You become real people, not gods descended from Mount Olympus. All veils are stripped away. You acknowledge that your partner has dreams and also problems, just like you. Stage three let you see the frustrations in your relationship. Stage four allows you to accept them and work through them.

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      You and your partner can face life and battle adversity as a team. You have reached the stage of real love, not love held up on romance and passion or stuck together because of a child, but love based on mutual understanding and acceptance of each other.

      Stage 5: Working together as a team

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        Now that you’ve both embraced each other’s weaknesses and faults along with strengths and desires, you can combine forces and make the world a better place.

        What social issues are you both passionate about? Do you both believe in healthy food choices? Get involved in a CSA co-op and help out on an organic farm or making farm fresh produce deliveries to people who can’t get out. Love the arts? Join a local cultural club or start a project or take a class together. Collaborate on an e-book. Volunteer at a national park.

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        As the old saying goes: “couples who play together, stay together.” By all means, keep your separate hobbies, but find a common ground and make it a project to work on together.

        Don’t let your relationship become a statistic. When you arm yourself about the stages of love, it will help you get through those tough times to reach the other side. Love can be beautiful, but it is far from perfect. Nothing worth having comes easy. Hang on and love will endure.

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pixabay.com

        Reference

        [1] American Psychological Association: Research on Marriage and Divorce

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        Sally White

        writer, artist & blogger

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        Last Updated on October 17, 2019

        How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

        How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

        You see your partner every single day. They are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you kiss goodnight.

        But does seeing each other day in and day out equal a healthy relationship? Not necessarily.

        Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong. This means going above and beyond sitting together while you watch Netflix or going out for the occasional dinner. You deserve more from your relationship – and so does your spouse!

        What does quality time mean? It means spending time with your spouse without interruption. It’s a chance for you to come together and talk. Communication will build emotional intimacy and trust.

        Quality time is also about expressing love in a physical way. Not sex, necessarily (but that’s great, too!) but through hand-holding, cuddling, caressing, and tickling. Studies show that these displays of affection will boost partner satisfaction.[1]

        So how do you spend quality time with your partner? Here are 13 relationship tips on making the most out of your time with your partner.

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        1. Recognize the Signs

        If you want a healthy relationship, you have to learn how to recognize the signs that you need to spend more quality time together.

        Some telltale signs include:

        • You’re always on your phones.
        • You value friendships or hobbies over quality time with your spouse.
        • You aren’t together during important events.
        • You are arguing more often or lack connection.
        • You don’t make plans or date nights.
        • You’re not happy.

        If you are experiencing any of these relationship symptoms, know that quality time together can reverse the negative effects of the signs above.

        2. Try New Things Together

        Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language? How about skydive or ballroom dance?

        Instead of viewing these as solo hobbies and interests, why not involve your partner?

        Trying new activities together builds healthy relationships because it encourages spouses to rely on one another for emotional and physical support.

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        Shared hobbies also promote marital friendship, and the Journal of Happiness Studies found that marital satisfaction was twice as high for couples who viewed each other as best friends.[2]

        3. Schedule in Tech-Free Time

        Your phone is a great way to listen to music, watch videos, and keep up-to-date with friends and family. But is your phone good for your relationship?

        Many couples phone snub, or ‘phub’, one another. Studies show that phubbing can lower relationship satisfaction and increase one’s chances of depression.[3]

        Reduce those chances by removing distractions when spending quality time together and showing your partner they have your full attention.

        4. Hit the Gym as a Couple

        One way you can spend more time together as a couple is by becoming workout partners. Studies show that couples are more likely to stay with their exercise routine if they work out together.[4] Couples also work out harder than they would solo. One study found that 95 percent of couples who work out together maintained weight loss compares to the 66 percent of singles who did.[5]

        Join a gym, do at-home couples’ workouts, try couples yoga, hit the hiking trails, or get your bikes out. No matter which way you choose to exercise, these healthy activities can promote a healthy relationship.

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        5. Cook Meals Together

        Pop open a bottle of wine or put some romantic music on while you get busy – in the kitchen, of course!

        One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together.[6]

        Spice things up and try and prepare a four-course meal or a fancy French dish together. Not only is this a fun way to spend your time together, but it also promotes teamwork.

        If all goes well, you’ll have a romantic date night meal at home that you prepared with your four hands. And if the food didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you are guaranteed to have a laugh and create new memories together.

        6. Have a Regular Date Night

        Couples experience a greater sense of happiness and less stress when they are spending quality time together.[7] One of the biggest relationship tips for a healthy partnership is to include a date night in your weekly routine.

        The National Marriage Project found that having a weekly date night can make your relationship seem more exciting and helps prevent relationship boredom.[8] It also lowers the probability of divorce, improves your sex life, and increases healthy communication.

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        Some great ideas for what to do on your date night include:

        • Have a movie marathon – Gather up your favorite flicks and cuddle up on the couch.
        • Play games together – Cards, board games, video games, and other creative outlets are a fun way to spend quality time together.
        • Recreate your first date – Go back to that restaurant and order the same meal you did when you first got together. You can spice up your evening by pretending you’re strangers meeting for the first time and see how sexy the night gets.
        • Plan a weekend getaway – There’s nothing better than traveling with the one you love.
        • Dinner and a movie – A classic!
        • Try a new restaurant – Make it your mission to rate and try all of the Mexican restaurants/Irish pubs/Italian trattorias in your area.
        • Have a long sex session – Intimacy promotes the release of the oxytocin hormone which is responsible for a myriad of great feelings.[9]

        Here’re even more date night ideas for your reference: 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

        Final Thoughts

        The benefits of spending quality time together are endless. Here are just some of the ways it can contribute to a healthy relationship:

        • Improves emotional and physical intimacy
        • Lowers divorce rates
        • Improves communication
        • Reduces marital boredom
        • Bonds couples closer
        • Improves friendship
        • Boosts health
        • Reduces stress

        These are all excellent reasons to start making date night a regular part of your week.

        It’s easy to have a healthy relationship when you set aside dedicated time to share with your spouse. Try new things together, make your spouse your workout buddy, and look for innovative ways to be close and connected.

        These relationship tips will bring great benefits to your marriage.

        Featured photo credit: Allen Taylor via unsplash.com

        Reference

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