When you first enter into a relationship, you have all of your hopes and dreams ahead of you. You are still learning to love each other, and you enjoy all the blissful moments of new, budding romance. However, as relationships continue, they become more comfortable. While this can be a beautiful thing, it can also pose challenges that many couples are not ready for. As an expert in marriage counseling, Dr. Phillips is here to help by teaching you to recognize the different stages of love. These are the different stages of love as your relationship ages.
The first stage of love, captivation, occurs when you feel that strong attraction towards one another. You are likely intrigued, passionate, and enthralled by each other. This stage allows you to ignore any of the negative aspects, as you are too focused on all the romantic, positive things that are bubbling in your new relationship. Although this is an exciting chapter, it also will not last forever.
During this phase, couples will decide whether they want to commit or just have fun. This part is when dating becomes more serious, as the topics of conversation start to shift towards talks of hopes and desires for the future. It may also mean becoming more involved in one another’s life, which can add complication as well.
Once the serious conversations are past, the couple will then undergo the commitment phase as they take their relationship to the next level. Typically, this will involve a promise, often in the form of an engagement or marriage, that marks their commitment to one another for a long period of time. This phase also starts the transition from being a ‘me’ to a ‘we.’
After the commitment, most couples then take on the role of becoming parents. This will add a new dynamic to their partnership, as they are now the sole people responsible for other lives. Becoming new parents introduces new challenges to daily life, such as less sleep, more responsibility, more serious decisions, and less time for one another.
The final, and often times, longest stage of the relationship is mature love. In this type of love, couples undergo many different life situations. They raise their children, become empty nesters, and cope with the challenges of aging and the health battles that may come along with that phase. Mature love can also pose challenges that some couples have difficulty coping with, as they may have spent years without working on their relationship. If this occurs, you may have to do a little work to get back to the place you were before.
By understanding these stages, you can recognize the changing needs of your relationship. When you hit rough patches, you can look towards each other to overcome any new challenges or changes that come your way. If you are looking for help with your marriage, contact our expert in marriage counseling, Dr. Phillips, to make an appointment today.
Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at 407-592-8997 for more information.