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Five stages of love - attraction, romance, passion, intimacy, commitment

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What are the stages of love? Love develops between two partners in several different levels. For love to endure, each level is important. Let's break it down into five stages: attraction, romance, passion, intimacy, commitment.

ATTRACTION - a positive response to a person beyondfriendship. This can further be broken down into two areas: (a) physical attraction & (b) emotional attraction.

a. Physical Attraction - happens when your body reacts to anotherperson. Heart rate increases; temperature rises, palms getsweaty; stomach flutters; throat tightens; etc. This is the mostsuperficial of "loves" on one level, but one of the most powerfulon another. It represents the first contact.

b. Emotional Attraction - develops next if the circumstances areright. After being drawn to a person physically, you then beginto converse. If you find you have things in common -- hobbies,ideologies, career, education, or some other common ground --then an emotional attraction starts to form.

An emotional attraction can also occur even when a physicalattraction does not. And in this case, the bond may even bestronger between the two who connect, since no preconceivednotions based on physical appearance has occurred.

ROMANCE - essentially an act of trying to influence orgain favor of another by lavishing attention or gifts upon them.There are two type of romance: (a) selfish romance & (b) selflessromance.

(a) Selfish Romance - occurs when you do romantic acts solely forthe purpose of gaining something for yourself -- like to getgifts, to impress someone else, or even simply for sexual favorswhether your partner is interested or not.

(b) Selfless Romance - occurs when you do romantic acts for theenjoyment and pleasure of your partner. You receive yourenjoyment and pleasure through their happiness.

Selfish romance (& love) will quickly die out. Selfless romance(& love) will endure. Because romance is an "act," many coupleswho have been together a long time take it for granted. With aconscious effort, it can be rekindled.

PASSION - a desire for another person, which has grownto an intensity that can't be ignored. This is often where anemotional relationship turns into a physical relationship. Thepassion stage is very important. It's a plateau.

From here, the relationship will fork into two roads, and thecouple must decide which path to take. The relationship willeither burn itself out or will move onto the next stage.

INTIMACY - a close association with another person ofthe deepest nature. You share you thoughts, your feelings, yourdreams. In true intimacy, there is nothing that you cannot tellthis person (though we often hesitate because of our ownunfounded fears).

Intimacy is not total in one swoop. It is a developing process,which never ends. If you can't establish intimacy with yourpartner, your relationship may work for a while, but is unlikelyto endure throughout the years.

COMMITMENT - a pledge to remain true to your matethroughout good and bad times. Commitment is easy when times aregood. Commitment can be extremely difficult when times are bad.Learn to ride out the bad times.

If you've made it this far, why give up? Listen to each other, bewilling to compromise, and remember why you got together in thefirst place.

Love is worth the effort ...

Copyright (c) 2000, Ruth D. KerceWriter of historical and contemporary romances,and webmaster of

Views: 1916   |   Date of last update: 08/08/2006
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