What Are The Stages Of Love? (And How To Level Up)

Updated April 5, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Love can be a wonderful thing, and you and your partner may want to experience it in the best way possible. That could require you to understand each other and express the love you feel for each other. Perhaps another important thing to understand about your relationship is the love stage that you are in. Maybe your relationship is just getting started, or you may have been together for a long time.  No matter where you are in your relationship, this love stage may affect the way you express your love for your partner.

Realizing that there are different stages of love can help you better navigate your relationship. Some relationships may end because people think that they have fallen out of love. It could be that their love stage is simply changing, though. If you're willing to stick with it and work through various love stages with your partner, you may experience a deeper love in the long run.

Your love stage

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Love can overcome challenges

There are five different stages of love that you may want to consider in order to understand where you and your partner currently are. We'll look at each of the phases and how they can improve your love for each other. By examining each of the stages of love, you may be able to help each other express what you feel and begin to grow stronger as a couple. This may be the foundation for developing unconditional love

The five stages are:

  1. Falling in love
  2. Becoming a couple
  3. The end?
  4. Making it last
  5. Changing the world

Falling in love

The first stage of love begins when you and your partner first start to fall in love with each other. In this stage, you may feel love for your partner regardless of what else may be going on in your life.  You may feel all the wonderful and happy emotions that come along with finding that special someone. You might feel elated, and you may begin to imagine all the happy and positive things in store for yourself and your partner. 

This stage of a relationship may be referred to as "young love" or "puppy love". During this stage, you may think about the person all the time. They could be the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing you think of at night. When you are in this place, you might overlook the imperfections of your partner and the tendencies they have that might normally drive you crazy. This may mark an idealistic stage in the relationship, and it might not last long.

Becoming a couple

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You start to become a couple in the next stage, and this is when you might start experiencing changes in the relationship. This can be one of the more confusing relationship stages. There are two ways that relationships go from here. Some relationships may end as the endorphins die down and you start to pick up on the imperfections in one another. As a result, you may realize that the person isn't the one you want to be with. Still, other relationships may settle into a more comfortable form of love.

You may start to recognize that your relationship is different, and you could become stronger for it. You might start to feel more content and comfortable with your partner. Some of the heady feelings of infatuation may wane, but they could be replaced with feelings of security and hope for the future of your relationship.  

The end?

The third stage marks a time when you might think your relationship is ending. Still, it could turn out to be another beginning if you are willing to stick with it. During this stage, you and your partner may experience more problems. You may find that you are starting to argue more. If you lack good communication within your relationship, this could be setting you up for failure. Or, if you don't believe that couples with good relationships argue, then you might be willing to throw in the towel and look for a relationship that will be "easier". It could be helpful to remember that this is just one of the typical stages of love that every relationship moves through.

The key to getting through this stage is making sure that you keep working at it. This is where things can get difficult, but it doesn’t have to be the end. You could emerge from this stage better and stronger than ever.

Making it last

Next up in the stages of a relationship is one that could lead to your future. This is where you and your partner may start to understand what caused the problems in the third stage and start to improve your relationship. You may have to put in more effort here, but it could prove worthwhile. You may be getting into the home stretch when it comes to making a loving and lasting relationship that will continue for the rest of your lives.

A few things to keep in mind as you work through this stage is that you may feel a little disappointed that the infatuation that marked the first stage of love has diminished. Still, it might be important to acknowledge why those butterflies in your stomach at the mention of your partner's name have disappeared. It could mean you’re more comfortable with your partner and your love is deepening. Now that you have a history with each other and have made it through some challenges as a couple, you might be ready to move on. 

Changing the world

The final stage of a relationship is when you recognize that you are meant to be and that you're going to last. This is also where you may begin to recognize what you can do for the rest of the world. With so much love and beauty in your relationship, it's a time when you may be able to help other people on their path to get to the place where you are.

Many couples may not make it to this stage and therefore miss out on experiencing unconditional love. This stage isn't reached easily or quickly. It may take time and the willingness to overcome challenges together to reach the deepest stage of love.

When you do get here, you realize that you don't miss the first stage anymore because you have something much better. To have those puppy love feelings again would mean starting over, and you may be plenty happy where you are. You might be aware of faults and imperfections in your partner, but you can accept them.

Your relationship needs

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Love can overcome challenges

You might want to consider where you are on your relationship path. Perhaps you are still in the early stages of dating. Maybe you’re in the first stage of puppy love, or perhaps you’re stuck in stage three trying to figure out what happened to make your love sour. You may need to work your way through each of these stages to get to the best part of your relationship together. It may take some hard work and effort, but the best things in life usually do.

Getting help

If you and your partner seem to be struggling in your relationship, then it could be time to reach out for some help. A professional relationship counselor can help you move along the path through each of the different stages. 

There could be some barriers that prevent you and your partner from getting the help that you need, though. For example, one or both of you may feel nervous about discussing the problems in the relationship with an outsider. Or you may just both have busy lives and struggle to find the time to attend sessions. These circumstances might make you good candidates for online relationship counseling. With this form of counseling, you may feel more at ease talking about sensitive topics like intimacy, for example. You might also find it more convenient since it can be connected from home at a time that works best for the both of you. 

Research shows that online counseling can be just as effective as in-person counseling for couples. A recent study compared couples undergoing either online or traditional counseling and found no significant differences. Both groups experienced positive outcomes, including increased relationship satisfaction. 

Takeaway

Most all relationships experience hurdles. You may have a better chance of successfully overcoming challenges in a relationship with a professional counselor by your side. Whatever stage of love you’re in, Regain can help you navigate challenges so you can experience the love you deserve. Reach out today

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