Sunday, October 18, 2009

stages of love in psychology

Stages of Love
Part of the reason many couples divorce is ignorance of the stages of love. We can’t love with the same passionate intensity that we did at the beginning. It's not abnormal behavior when chemistry fades into routine love; many books and articles reveal how to keep the romance alive. These psychology articles help you become aware of the stages of love; that alone can keep your relationship healthy and strong.

3 Stages of Love
Romantic Feelings, Physical Attraction, and Emotional Attachment

Falling in love involves three stages: the initial feelings of lust or romantic feelings, physical attraction, and finally a deeper emotional attachment.
Reaching the final stage of love isn't just about luck or unconditional acceptance. You can reach the final stage of love with these seven tips for a healthy love life. But to be enjoyed, the three stages of love must first be understood.
What Are the Three Stages of Love?
The three stages of love are the same for everyone: lust or romantic feelings, physical attraction, and emotional attachment. The stages of love aren't necessarily separated by markers like anniversaries or events (such as getting married). Rather, the three stages of love blend together in one long stroke of love.
Not everyone reaches or stays in the final stage of love, which is when separation or divorce becomes the choice.
The Three Stages of Love
Romantic feelings or lust is the first stage of love. Romantic love is driven by testosterone and estrogen. Mating is the evolutionary purpose of this stage of love; it creates strong physical attraction and sets the stage for emotional attachment. In this stage of love, endorphins soak your brain and you're immersed in intense pleasurable sensations. Your lover is perfect, ideal, made for you. In this stage of love you feel exhilarated and even "high" (similar to the feeling you get after you eat really good chocolate or have a great workout). You feel infatuated in this stage of love.
Physical attraction and power struggles make up the second stage of love (the "lovesick" phase). You may lose your appetite, need less sleep, and daydream about your lover on the bus, during meetings, in the shower. In this stage of love, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are racing through your body and brain. You're also trying to shape your lover into your ideal partner – which is where the power struggles come in. In this stage of relationship, you're becoming more realistic, and you two may fight about things like whether or not to buy organic food or listen to country music. The infatuation is wearing off, a strong emotional attachment begins to set in, and feelings of infatuation fade.
Emotional attachment or unconditional acceptance is the third stage of love. Emotional attachment involves commitment, partnership, and even children (a
fear of intimacy prevents many from reaching this stage of love). In this stage of love, you're aware of both positive and negative traits in your partner, and you've decided you want to build a life together. Confrontation is most likely to occur in this stage of love (though if you're authentic and honest, it'll also happen in the second stage of love). You and your partner will either work towards a healthy, loving relationship or decide to call it quits.
The Three Stages of Love: Staying in Love
Love isn't just a vehicle that brings happiness and contentment to your life (or bitterness and pain!). Love is a living, dynamic creature that changes, grows, and needs attention -- and you must nurture it. In all three stages of love, your love reveals who you really are, in all your glory and weakness.
All stages of love can help you accept your strengths and weaknesses. All stages of love also reveal your partner's strengths and weaknesses.