Learn and practice how to navigate the various states or phases of falling in love. To co-create a lasting, healthy, and happy love relationship, it is important to understand in which state or phase of love you and your partner are, and how to navigate them successfully. Most of these states are driven by “love” hormones. Individuals can be in different phases and experience them in different durations and intensities as they get to know each other and become increasingly intimate, and sometimes also challenged.
- Lust, longing and yearning are driven by the sex hormone testosterone in males and estrogen in females. They stimulate seductiveness, openness, receptiveness, and longing for physical closeness/sex.
- Infatuation is experienced if we find a person who meets our sexual and romantic desires. It is driven by norepinephrine which increases our heart rate and blood pressure, lowers our appetite and causes sleeplessness, and exhilaration. It also stimulates more “fight or flight” responses, which often leads new lovers to be over-reactive or edgy.
- Romance is driven by dopamine and serotonin and causes new lovers to obsessively think about each other all the time. While they are crazy about each other, it also renders them temporarily insane, so that they ignore clear warning signs about incompatibilities and red flags.
- Uncertainty and conflict often arise at the end of the romance phase when the love hormones wear off and couples get to know each other better in day-to-day life where they show more realistic versions of themselves. The key to navigating this phase successfully is to show curiosity and openness, and to express feelings and unmet needs.
- Exclusivity and engagement are entered when couples make an agreement to no longer be open to other partners and to date each other exclusively.
- Commitment and marriage are driven by the bonding and monogamy hormones Oxytocin and Vasopressin, which increase before and during orgasm. Long-term partnerships can stay satisfying and exciting beyond the romance phase if couples are compatible in crucial developmental lines, share common interests, values and passions, are dedicated to ongoing learning, healing, growing and awakening, and share a purpose that makes the world a better place.