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7 Stages of a Healthy Relationship
Stage 1: Infatuation

Infatuation. That wonderful, fervent excitement. The passion. The butterflies fluttering in your stomach. But is it Love?

The first stage of love is infatuation. This is the stuff of romantic novels, Hollywood movies and celebrity gossip. Infatuation is intense, with a passionate buzz, but all good things come to an end, and so it is with the buzz of infatuation.

It is a fact of life that we wake up to one morning and find the excitement gone.

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Romantic novels gush these passionate emotions of infatuation until we get to the “and they lived happily ever after.” And then we get upset when we do not “live happily ever after” ourselves. In fiction the development of their relationship, the actual nitty-gritty of life, is left hanging. Assuming that they continue in infatuation’s intensity is living in pure fiction. If we do not wind down we will become dysfunctional and burn out emotionally.

No relationship on Earth can flourish if no effort is put in.

Feelings are fickle. Expecting feelings by themselves to keep a marriage together is unrealistic.

Infatuation plays a vital role in bonding two souls together. It is the first of many relationship development stages. The two lovers see only the best in the other. This is where the “love is blind” expression comes from. They feel like two peas in a pod and are perfectly suited for each other. Infatuation in spite of its intensity is superficial. When infatuation has served its purpose and we wake up one morning without our body a-quivering and those besotted thoughts about our LOVE, then the ending of infatuation is actually a self-defence mechanism kicking in to bring us back to reality. Staying infatuated will otherwise lead to emotional burnout.

This infatuation phase is the time for a bond to develop which should be strong enough to keep the couple together as they enter the subsequent relationship phases when their love deepens, blossoms and matures. Love should be so strong that it helps carry us over the life’s rough road.

Love can do that. Infatuation cannot, it has the passion, but lacks the maturity and depth needed to tackle the realities of life. A look at the definition of infatuation shows us that living “happily ever after” in infatuation is a fairy tale.

Instead of your partner’s presence making your heart thump and skip a beat (which is not conducive to longevity) we get a warm glow and feel energy fill our soul.

Definition of infatuation:

Infatuation is the noun derived from the verb to infatuate, which means:

The word infatuate originates from the Latin word infatuatus, the past participle of infatuare, from in- and fatuus. Fatuus means foolish, idiotic or silly.

How long does infatuation last?

This phase usually lasts from one to six months, but can last as long as two years, or as short as two days. Take it easy in this stage. This is when basic mistakes are made; sound judgment and common sense are having timeout. If you are right for each other you have your lives ahead of you, so what’s the rush?

The next stage is back to reality when we start to experience of the reality of love.

WARNING: This is the time to listen to friends. To spot if someone is bad news is something we feel intuitively. Read in the abuser’s mind to get an idea what to look out for. For the one head over heels in love, the warning system is switched off. That is what family and friends are for. If your family and friends feel uneasy in his presence, be aware that you have been warned. If he is not what he appears to be, you can save yourself much heartache by listening to family and friends.

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