Not everyone learns from past mistakes in their relationships. But if you can bring yourself to do that, you'll find that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
When we start falling in love the first feeling is of euphoria. Everything your partner does is right and they can do no wrong. The rush of emotions, thanks to all the all hormones in our body, makes us fall head over heels no matter our age. Whether we are in our 20s, 30s, 50s, or 70s, the love bug can bite at any time. However, thanks to books and films, we end up thinking that love has conquered its purpose the moment the two people get together. We are told they lived happily ever after but nobody talks about the fights and struggles every couple goes through.
Many give up after they start feeling disillusioned with their partner and relationship. They end up questioning themselves for choosing that person in the first place. However, they are unaware that there are five phases to love and being unsure about your choice of partner is only the third one. When couples are able to get past the third phase, their relationship becomes stronger. That is when they have been forged together.
Here are the five stages of love that you can't escape:
1. Passionate beginning
Many people assume that the first stage is what love is all about. When the passion wears off, they feel lost and confused. The beginning is when you can't keep your hands off each other, and love to spend time together. Seeing your partner or even thinking about them makes your heart skip a beat; you even feel butterflies in your stomach.
All you can do is think about them, according to Men Alive. The feelings and thoughts are likely to be very intense. We are so blinded by the rose-tinted glasses at this point that we ignore their negatives and weaknesses. Them wanting to spend all their time becomes affection and not neediness, them telling you to stay home with them is also love and not a reflection of their insecurities during that period.
The two of you become an island but how long can humans live as castaways?
2. Getting serious
This is when the bond deepens and you decide to be together exclusively. From making decisions for only yourself, all your life choices are now for two. You make plans with them in mind. In a longterm relationship, this is the stage where you get married, have children and raise them together. While raising children together is a trying phase, those who lunge past it feel themselves coming together. They think they can conquer anything together.
You even become more enamored by your partner and it develops into respect. From passionate intense love, you move on to the comforting, warm and cuddly love. Your emotional and physical bond makes you deeply satisfied. The deep satiation of emotions doesn't, however, prepare you enough for the third stage.
3. Disillusioned and lost
This stage has many names, including the seven-year itch. This is when partners start questioning and doubting the relationship. They wonder "What if?" constantly and are curious about what would life be like if they were with someone else. This is also when you start finding the small idiosyncrasies of your partner annoying. They cough too loudly or their work laugh is ridiculous, the reasons you pick on them could be silly but you still do it because you are dissatisfied, according to Life Hack.
You even start thinking about ending the relationship and many people actually do that at this stage because they are not ready to put in the effort. Some people might just accept that they will be dissatisfied and continue feeling miserable. And yet, they would not have an honest conversation or change anything. Then there are those who want to take action, but prefer going separate ways than resolving their issues.
However, if you take the third route and choose to stay in the relationship and work on it, you'll have greater rewards.
4. Enduring love
At this point, after going through so much together and peeling all the layers of hurt, you realize that real love is thicker than blood and runs deep. It endures through the rocky times too. By now, you know the good and the bad about each other and accept each other just the way you are. Getting here is hard work because both partners have to learn to forgive and forget. We have to learn to move on to see the positive rather than the negatives.
If he stuck by you when you lost a parent and has provided for the family, these are the qualities you might want to focus on rather than how rarely he folds laundry or walks the dog. And, since we are no saints, women too need to seek forgiveness from their partners for what we do wrong.
As a couple, you would have to go through deliberate reflections and choices that will keep you together.
5. Making a difference together
Everyone wants to do something greater than themselves and couples who know how to stay together through conflicts can have a lot to contribute to the world. Even in their own small way, together they can work towards finding lasting love for the people of the world.
They can use the power of two to touch the lives of others, according to Better Help. Together, you can accomplish a lot more than what one of you could. And, having a goal together would help you continue to have common grounds to build your relationship on.
Jodi Rose, originally from Sydney, married Le Pont du Diable - translated to 'The Devil's Bridge' - on the Tech River in Ceret, southern France in 2013.