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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 9, 2018

        27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down

        27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down

        Who has never gone through some ups and downs in the life? But some people can feel better in a quicker way than others because they’ve found their own remedies to heal the bad feelings.

        If you haven’t found yours, these ways will help you instantly feel better and ditch that negative self talk when you’re feeling bad about yourself:

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        1. Listen to the songs you loved when you were in high school or university, this will recall you of the old good times.
        2. Write something. Write down how you feel as a way to express your thoughts if you don’t feel like talking to anyone.
        3. Draw something. Draw anything you want because no one’s going to judge your drawing skills.
        4. Read the postcards or letters your friends or family sent you before, remind yourself there are people who always remember you.
        5. Silently think of a day or moment which you truly enjoyed and try to recapture that very first feeling. Was it the day of your graduation? The moment you traveled with your loved one?
        6. Take out your photo albums and go over your childhood photos.
        7. Cry when you feel like doing so. There’s nothing wrong with crying; cry out all your fear and stress and just face the truth after crying.
        8. Sing loudly like no one can hear you. Do you know that in Japan, people always sing karaoke to relieve stress?
        9. Cook a nice meal for yourself or for your family.
        10. Read your previous diary entries and look at your great memories.
        11. Dress up nicely to feel happier.
        12. Don’t stay in your bed! Get your laptop or a book and sit in a coffee place.
        13. Take a walk outside and feel the fresh air.
        14. Sweat yourself! Go jogging or play some sports.
        15. Pick up the musical instrument you used to play a lot and start to play it.
        16. Tidy up your desk or wardrobe, you’ll feel good that you’re being productive and actually doing something.
        17. Watch some funny videos, sure you can find a lot of them on Youtube.
        18. Eat something you like, be it a chocolate cake, or an ice-cream. Just please yourself with the flavour you like.
        19. Re-read your favorite book and write down the sentences or passages that you love.
        20. Watch a new movie, there must be a movie which you’ve always interested in but had no time to watch it.
        21. Do something nice that no one will notice, say picking up a rubbish in the street and throw it to a trash bin.
        22. Call your best friend and just talk whatever you want! Human beings are social animals after all, connecting with people close to you will make you feel better.
        23. Do voluntary work and help people in need, you’ll feel happy and satisfied.
        24. Get drunk with your close friends at home – a safe place for you to get drunk and get crazy. Let loose and have fun with your very close friends.
        25. Write an email or a note to a friend who you care about.
        26. Get out of your routine life and meet new friends. Get out of your comfort zone! Meeting new people can give you new inspirations in life.
        27. Look into the mirror and smile. Act like today’s already a wonderful day. How we act affects how we feel. It’s difficult to go on feeling sad if you’re trying to smile!

        Remember:

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        It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.  — Epictetus

        If you want to feel better, change what you’re doing because obviously what you’re doing doesn’t make you happy!

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        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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