Have you ever been confused by the demise of the relationship of what seemed to be the perfect couple? The folks at Bright Side have set forth what they believe to be the answer for why this happens. They suggest the problem is that many couples, who are genuinely in love, fail to keep their relationship together through all five stages of love, often only reaching the third. For a couple to persevere, it is suggested that they work through all five of the following stages:
FALLING IN LOVE
Falling in love is the stage when you find yourself living through a cloud of happiness hormones. This is the time when you project all of your desires and hopes onto your partner. Your partner rapidly becomes the ideal person for you; they simply have no flaws of any kind. You believe he or she will always be able to fulfill your every wish, and you believe every word they say. You so believe in the power of true love right now that no skeptical voices can make you stop and think more cautiously.
BECOMING A COUPLE
At this stage, love becomes stronger ... and your presence begins to have an effect on all aspects of your partner’s life. This is a time of unity and joy. At some point, after many months or years, this period may witness the appearance of children, which can only strengthen the bond between you. You feel protected and desired. And you believe that you’ve definitely found the person for you — that your relationship was decided by fate.
This is the period when your hopes begin to be dashed. It’s when you start to get the impression that your feelings may one day dissipate, never to return. That your partner is becoming so totally predictable, and their behavior annoys you in so many ways. You start to feel like you want a break from them or even tell yourself that they’re not the one for you. The further thought occurs that there’s no point in torturing yourself and your partner in a relationship that’s run out of steam.
CREATING REAL, LASTING LOVE
If you close your eyes and try your hardest to carry on despite your reluctance, you might get through the third stage and come to the following one. Your mind is freed from those illusions which you projected onto your partner in the earlier stages. The person standing in front of you is not the one you imagined being with, but a real person. You accept — and more importantly — understand their shortcomings. Now is the time to heal and to move on to the final stage.
USING THE POWER OF TWO TO CHANGE THE WORLD
Now that you realize that you’ve learned to overcome your disagreements and found a deep, strong, long-lasting connection, you’ll reach a further liberating conclusion: that the two of you have the power to change something in this world. You’re not just going along together through this life for the sake of it, but you live in a partnership for the sake of a bigger cause. It might be that you work together, write together, create something together — it could be anything. But it’s when you start to function as a whole, having transcended all the previous stages, that you can say with 100% certainty that "this is the person for me."
From a secular point of view, this is a pretty good overview of how romantic love fades and what to do about it. To take full advantage of the wisdom found here, add the mutual experience of God’s love to the relationship as early as possible. It will empower and deepen the love that’s already there, provide extra incentive for the healing and forgiveness needed in stages 3 and 4, and become a built-in “higher purpose” as the couple discovers how they are uniquely equipped to join forces and take God’s love to the world.
"Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love" (Proverbs 5:18-19, NLT).