Although the particulars of falling in love can be as individual as the people who become love-struck, certain common stages have been identified. Familiarizing yourself with the phases of love can help you gauge the staying power of your own feelings and might help you see into the future of your relationship.
Stars in Your Eyes
Sometimes known as the “honeymoon stage,” infatuation is typically regarded as the first step of falling for someone, notes Alan Kent Cassell in the Applied Social Psychology article “Falling in Love and Staying There.” When you’re in this stage, you tend to feel intensely attracted to the other person and wrapped up in her to the point of preoccupation. It is when this phase begins to cool that some couples fizzle and some move to deeper levels of intimacy.
Accommodation, the second step of a loving relationship, is when you realize that the object of your affection is not perfect, notes licensed marriage therapist Marty Tashman in “The Five Stages of Relationships.” At this point, you each acknowledge the other’s tics and habits and decide whether or not you can live with them.
The third stage, known as “burying,” occurs when daily matters seem to take the main stage in your relationship. In the Psych Central article “The 5 Stages of Intimacy,” therapist Zoe Hicks advises not thinking of this phase as a detrimental one, tempted though you may be to worry. This is a stage that occurs when the relationship has lasting power; when you acknowledge this stage and take steps to keep the relationship fresh and exciting, you resist becoming bored with each other.
A Second Start
“Resurfacing,” or noticing the other individual as if for the first time, can significantly strengthen your relationship, suggests Hicks. This stage typically happens in well-established relationships, sometimes when you have been able to work through a sizable problem together or one of you recently feared losing the other.
The Real Deal
Lasting love involves reflecting in gratitude and satisfaction on the relationship you have built with the other person.This type of love is able to integrate changes and challenges, growing stronger with each turn of the road, says therapist Danielle B. Grossman in “14 Truths About Romantic True Love” for Psych Central.
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