Movies make romantic love look so easy to manage. You fall in love, go on several dates, the next thing you know you’re already engaged, a few moments later you’re married and living happily ever after with the man of your dreams.
But in reality, finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with is only the beginning of your beautiful love story.
There’s more to romantic relationships than merely finding a partner who has the traits, qualities, and appearance that you find attractive. The moment you start dating, you enter something called the five stages of a romantic relationship.
1. Falling In Love
We have our creative ways to describe the magic of falling in love, but it’s nature’s way of allowing us to find a suitable life partner so we can reproduce.
Sure, falling in love does feel great because of all the hormones that we release such as Oxycontin, dopamine, and serotonin. This is also a time when we dream and hope for a better tomorrow with our partner.
Since we are under this magic spell, we firmly believe that our partner will be the one who will complete us. We think he will be the one to give us the things we never got when we were younger.
2. Starting A Life Together
Your romantic relationship starts the moment you confess to each other your mutual feelings for one another. This is the time when you go on more frequent dates. You get to know each other a bit more. Before you know it, you are both confident that you want to live the rest of your lives together.
You get married and eventually have kids. It’s a time of joy and togetherness. It is during this stage when your relationship strengthens and deepens. You will get to know each other from a new perspective.
It’s no longer a life of “me and you.” Instead, the focus of your life now revolves on “the two of us.” You have gone way past the “head-over-heels in love” phase. Instead, what you feel for each other are deep bonding and connection with your partner. This is usually the kind of love you expect to go on for eternity.
3. The Love Hangover
People call it the power struggle stage, but it is most commonly known as the love hangover. Just like how an alcoholic drink or drug can give you hangovers, so does love. When the illusion of “our love goes on forever” wears off, it is often replaced with pain, disappointment, and anger.
During the initial phase of the romantic relationship, you can see nothing but your similarities. In your eyes, your partner was the epitome of perfection.
But now that the illusion has worn off, your partner’s flaws are now visible to you. It’s no wonder most divorces in the United States happen during the love hangover stage. What usually happens is, you try to change your partner to the way he was when you first met him. It’s either that or you get mad at him for not being the way you expect him to.
The usual scenario is when one tries to ask for space while the other one chases her partner in an attempt to make things better. For a romantic relationship to live on, it is imperative to move past this stage, which you can do by establishing independence within yourself without having to break the love connection.
This is quite a challenging phase for any couple, but once you decide to grow and overcome this stage, what comes later are years of happiness and love.
4. The Beginning Of Real And Lasting Love
The best thing about moving out of the love hangover stage is that you finally see your partner in their worst selves. Having gone through a lot of struggles together, it has now become easier for you to accept your partner for who he is. There’s no fear of being judged because each of you has already learned to love each other’s flaws and imperfections.
5. The Blissful Stage
The world isn’t perfect. No matter how you try to surround yourself with your friends and people you love, there will always be conflict. The world used to be a lonely place to live in. Anywhere you look, there’s chaos. There’s racial violence. There’s physical violence. There’s even emotional and mental violence.
But now that you have each other, you found that the world wasn’t so bad after all. This is what we call the power of two. Even though there’s bad and good in the world, you can make it a pleasant place to live in if you decide to conquer the world together.
Keeping a romantic relationship strong isn’t as easy as it seems, but we still decide to fall in love no matter what. Love is what we live for. You will see a lot of challenges along the way before you get from one love stage to another, but it’s all worth it in the end if you are with the one who may not be perfect… but is perfect for you!