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Stage 2: The Reality about Love
7 Stages of a Healthy Relationship

The reality about love not being the same as infatuation bursts into the fantasy world that is infatuation. Waking up from infatuation can be a disappointment. The oxytocin and endorphins have taken timeout and your body needs to quieten down or you will get emotionally burned out. Sanity set in. There can also be self-doubt and some anxiety. The person we thought we knew has, horrors, some flaws.

This stage has been described as disappointment, disillusionment or the burst balloon stage. For anyone raised on Barbara Cartland and Hollywood chick movies this rude awakening comes as a dreadful shock. There can be feelings of being cheated and an actual grieving for the loss of the excitement of infatuation.

This is where the relationship takes a turn towards reality. The lovers must also learn to be each other’s best friend as well.

This is where the relationship really begins. There are many processes occurring at the same time:

In this stage, it is common to feel as if someone or something or even Life itself has cheated you or robbed you of something precious, almost like a stage of grieving the loss of something innocent and wonderful. There is a desire to be close again but confusion as how to create that. It is the first time that fears of intimacy begin to arise. Suddenly the couple must learn how to deal with very real differences, how to deal with conflict, and how to integrate being an independent person as well as someone in an intimate relationship.

You may have rushed into the relationship too fast and too far. This is when we should re-evaluate our new partner. Most people are decent and we all have to make some compromises in every healthy relationship. But what if this is the wrong person. Now when you have woken up from the passion induced daze called infatuation, now is the time to make sure you are with the right person for you.

Delaying this re-evaluation can mean you getting into a relationship where you may get hurt if your relationship ends abruptly, or worse, you get yourself snared in the web of deceit an abuser could spin. Listen to family and friends if they have doubts. Learn the signs to recognise the controlling mind of an abuser.

But apart from those dangerous individuals, most people are decent and getting on with your relationship requires that you start looking at yourselves as a couple, which means you notice each others flaws and quirks. This is the time when you might find that just that quirk you found so cuuuute, is beginning to irritate you. Welcome back to the world.

You and your partner might begin to behave differently towards each other, like not opening the car door for you, causing distress, uncertainty, confusion and a sense of loss of the intensity you had so recently. Do not worry unduly, the reality of love in an everyday world is like a roller coaster, there are ups and downs. Trying to work out the lines go between you as individuals and as a couple is a confusing process.

Romance should come back as you settle in as a couple. This phase is the time to get to know each other, as in really get to know each other. Until now you only saw the good side of your partner, but you also only showed your good side. You are calmer, you are regaining control of your brain and start to see your partner as s/he really is. Now love is beginning to appear between you. Before in the romance stage, infatuation’s passionate storm swamped love’s gentle warm, strengthening passion.

The Reality of Love

Love is:

This is where you build the foundation for your future relationship. This stage is very important for preventing problems occurring in the future. Because both are opening up and learning to communicate with each other and working out smaller conflicts that crop up. This is an important preparation for a strong relationship in the future. The reality of love, unlike the fantasy of infatuation, is that 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.

This phase lasts usually from one to six months, but can last as long as two years. 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?

This stage merges into the relationships first conflict stage.

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. Resolving conflict and learning to work through them is important in our growth, both personal and as a couple, but not living in a ralationship causing confusion, conflict and emotional abuse. That is where family and friends come in. 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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