Every human, starting since their childhood, has been led to in fairy tales of perfect love! There is always some sort of big troubles they go through before their journey finally leads them to one another and they live happily ever after!
We, too, try to visualize some similar situations for our lives. That all of our rejections, dead-end relationships, hurts and heartbreaks will hopefully lead us to the perfect love that has been destined for us!
Then, how come that since all of us are in love with the idea of the perfect love, relationships fail, partners cheat after being years and years in a great relationship and the divorce rate is higher than ever?
Jed Diamond, a marriage counselor, has been working with couples for 40 years and over the course of that period, he has found out that all relationships have 5 stages, but most couples tend to get stuck at stage 3.
This is because stage 3 seems like an end to the journey. But it really is not! And giving up at stage 3 is what causes the relationships to get worse and eventually lead to an end.
Here are Jed Diamond’s 5 stages of love, in order:
1. Falling in love
This is the obvious first stage of every relationship. Falling in love is easy.
This process, helped out by the so called “feel-good” or pleasure hormones in our body including dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, is part of our natural biological makeup, helping us to select a mate and procreate.
This is where we wear the proverbial, not to mention quite dangerous, rose-tinted glasses. This is when all red flags appear to be just flags or not even notice them at all!
Everything about our partner seems “handmade for somebody like you” and “every day you discovering something brand new and exciting about them”.
This stage is also referred to as the honeymoon stage.
2. Being a couple
This is the next stage of bonding. This is when you get used to the idea of being with someone. When you two become a couple; coming together as two wholes to make one, instead of just being two individuals.
This is also the stage of a wide range of gestures that show commitment, from adopting pets, to moving in together, getting married, having children etc.
By this time, the wild passion that happens in stage 1, has subsided, leaving behind feelings of trust, security and faith in each other. This is the stage of real bonding; of really choosing one another.
This is the reality check. And not the good type of one unfortunately.
This is when most of the passion of the previous stages has worn off.
By this time a lot of the care, love, romantic affection has kinda worn off, and it has been replaced by things like anger, resentment and dissatisfaction.
Most couples throw the towel at this point, thinking nothing can be salvaged and they rarely ever even want to try to. But if one is willing to work, even miracles are possible!
This is the stage where most relationships fail and marriages end. But it is very important to get past this stage!
4. Creating real and lasting love
This is where you assist each other even more and don’t let go of one another. You fight through the trials and tribulations and you adjust, compromise, communicate and most importantly – listen!
You listen to the expectations of your partner and also communicate your own needs and wants.
By this time, you heal each other and you heal yourself. You ease into things and try and rejuvenate the romance; maybe do things you used to do in phases 1 and 2 like going on dates again, buying flowers and presents!
You create a life which is so secure and good that none of us would ever think of leaving. You realize just once again why you chose this person in the first place and you appreciate them and your life more than ever!
5. Using the Power as a Couple to Change The World
Once you have succeeded, you help others work through their issues and overcome them. You try to use your love to actively change the world around.
You let others see the story they want in their lives and in doing so, you inspire them into bettering their own selves.
THIS is the fullest potential of love!