The Three Stages of Every Relationship

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There are elevated levels of dopamine, which is the chemical that activates pleasure and the brain's reward system, similar to a cocaine rush.

Stage 1: Falling in Love

Lust and touch dominate, sometimes blunting people's discernment and awareness of red flags and incompatibilities.

With some data indicating that couples whose limerence phase lasts the longest are more successful in their relationships.

Good news for long-time couples: they can re-ignite this phase with effort, like romantic acts and lots of physical contact.

Stage 2: Developing Trust

Whereas in the limerence phase, partners are obsessed with their loved ones, now they see how their new relationships work into their lives.

Essentially, they put their partner's trustworthiness to the test, assessing whether they'll be reliable.

Since this phase entails stress-testing the relationship, it's the most common period when breakups occur.

But, if both partners establish their trustworthiness, they should segue to the next phase—unless they realize they have different goals.

Stage 3: Building Commitment

In this final phase, partners choose to be together by committing to and remaining loyal to each other.

They don't consider about other potential partners. In a nutshell, they're deciding whether they,

see their loved one as their best life choice or someone to hang out with until something greater comes along.

If a couple navigates all three phases well, their relationship has a higher success rate.

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