Stages of Love in Relationships

Relationships go through three stages of love: the initial feelings of lust or romantic feelings, physical attraction, and finally a deeper emotional attachment.

Reaching the final stage of love isn't just about luck or unconditional acceptance. But to be enjoyed, the three stages of love must first be understood.

What Are the Stages of Love?

The three stages of love are the same for everyone: lust or romantic feelings, physical attraction, and emotional attachment. The stages of love aren't necessarily separated by markers like anniversaries or events (such as getting married). Rather, the three stages of love blend together in one long stroke of love.

Not everyone reaches or stays in the final stage of love, which is when separation or divorce becomes the choice.

The Three Stages of Love in Relationships

Romantic feelings or lust is the first stage of love. Romantic love is driven by testosterone and estrogen. Mating is the evolutionary purpose of this stage of love; it creates strong physical attraction and sets the stage for emotional attachment. In this stage of love, endorphins soak your brain and you're immersed in intense pleasurable sensations. Your lover is perfect, ideal, made for you. In this stage of love you feel exhilarated and even "high" (similar to the feeling you get after you eat really good chocolate or have a great workout). You feel infatuated in this stage of love.

Physical attraction and power struggles make up the second stage of love (the "lovesick" phase). You may lose your appetite, need less sleep, and daydream about your lover on the bus, during meetings, in the shower. In this stage of love, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are racing through your body and brain. You're also trying to shape your lover into your ideal partner which is where the power struggles come in. In this stage of relationship, you're becoming more realistic, and you two may fight about things like whether or not to buy organic food or listen to country music. The infatuation is wearing off, a strong emotional attachment begins to set in, and feelings of infatuation fade.

Emotional attachment or unconditional acceptance is the third stage of love. Emotional attachment involves commitment, partnership, and even children (a fear of intimacy prevents many from reaching this stage of love). In this stage of love, you're aware of both positive and negative traits in your partner, and you've decided you want to build a life together. Confrontation is most likely to occur in this stage of love (though if you're authentic and honest, it'll also happen in the second stage of love). You and your partner will either work towards a healthy, loving relationship or decide to call it quits.

Love isn't just a vehicle that brings happiness and contentment to your life (or bitterness and pain!). Love is a living, dynamic creature that changes, grows, and needs attention -- and you must nurture it.


Letting Go Of Your Past - Moving On With Life

Letting go of your past whether that means quitting an addictive relationship or grieving a death can be one of the hardest things you'll ever do. Even if it was an unhealthy relationship, you may still struggle to move on with your life.

It's not easy, but there are practical ways to let go of your past. Before you delve into letting go and saying good-bye to your past, however, you may need to face your memories and experiences.

Six Steps to Letting Go of Your Past

Write, talk, draw, paint, or otherwise tap into your thoughts and memories. Letting go of your past means honoring your memories.

Let go of the emotions and feelings of painful memories by letting them wash over you you'll feel horrible during, but relieved and peaceful afterwards. Let go of your past by reliving it.

Go back and talk to the people involved, if possible. Letting go of your past can mean going back.

Share your real feelings; confess if it's appropriate. Letting go of your past means expressing your emotions. If you have to deal with your mistakes, then own up to your shame or guilt.

Apologize and ask forgiveness if you need to. Letting go of your past means being vulnerable.

Get help with uncontrollable urges to overeat, get stoned or drunk, or otherwise hurt yourself.

Tips for Moving On With Life

Accept that there's nothing you can do to change the past. You did the best you could. When you're facing your failures, know that you were as good, loving, and effective as you could have been. If you were to go back, you couldn't do anything differently because that's who you were and that's what you knew then. It's done. Let go of your past.

Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Ruminating on what you could've or should've done is ineffective and unhealthy. If you're dealing with your mistakes or facing your failures, try to forgive yourself.

Be aware of your thoughts. When you find yourself dwelling or obsessing over the past or the person you lost, gently draw your thoughts back to the present. Let go of your obsession, whether it's an addictive relationship or lost child.

Trust the nature of time. You will heal and move on. Your wound will slowly close up and soon only a faint scar will remain - if you let go of your past.

Make new connections with people. You don't necessarily have to make a whole new set of friends; you can initiate a new type of friendship with a colleague or invite a neighbor over for coffee.

Explore a new world. Take a new course at the community college or start a new hobby. To let go of the past, start looking in new directions!


Recognize the Signs of Depression and When to Ask for Help

Depression affects a persons mental and physical capability. According to mental health professionals, depression is a mood disorder that affects the body, emotions, behavior and relationships.

Non-environmental depression occurs when there is a malfunction to the brain. The brain chemicals and cells stop communicating. Though depression can be a feeling of isolation, it has been reported that 16% of Americans will experience the condition during their life.

Signs of Depression

There are times when people comment that they are feeling a bit under the weather. Taken lightly or ignored can leave the issue undiagnosed. Though the severity of depression varies by the individual, typical signs of depression are: powerless, sad, hopeless, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, frustration, loss of appetite, thoughts of Suicide

According to Stephen L. Bernhardt, author of Depression: Understanding Thoughts of Suicide in the December 3, 2008 article in HealthyPlace, suicide is not an option. He states option denotes we have a choice and death robs us of both, option and choice. Death is an irreversible act that does not end the pain, for it remains in those who are left behind.

Types of Depression

Major depression can affect a persons physical and mental abilities; lack of sleep or appetite and feelings of irritability.

Dysthymia prevents a person from functioning. Though a longer lasting effect, this type is considered less severe, by mental health professionals.

Manic depression (also known as Bipolar) affects the mood of a person. Often the person experiences a series of emotions that include a combination of happiness and sadness.

Causes of Depression

Reports claim that there is no exact science as to why depression occurs, but different aspects have been examined:

Chemical imbalance that affects the brain

Changes in the bodys hormones, like menopause, thyroids or pregnancy


Stress contributed to financial problems, loss of loved ones or abuse

Major Health concerns like cancer, AIDS or heart disease.

Whatever the cause, scientists have determined that dealing with depression can be difficult. As they continue to study brain chemistry and the effects of antidepressants they will better understand the biochemical relationship to depression.

Feelings of sadness, joy, anger or and depression are natural emotions felt from time to time. If any of the symptoms interfere with a persons ability to function or cope daily and last longer than 2 weeks, this may be a sign to seek help for depression.

Depression can make a person feel at loss of control over their life. Thoughts that the symptoms will disappear and fear of confiding in friends and family can leave the depression undiagnosed. By understanding what depression is and recognizing the signs, a person can seek the appropriate help to manage their depression.


Why Shy Lisa Simspson falls for a Bad Boy!

"Why do good girls fall for the bad boy?" is a question that has been asked for ages. The answer lies with the of the archetypes termed by Carl Jung. Carl C. Jung was a profoundly influential Swiss psychologist who founded Jungian Psychology a form of analytical psychology that involves the study of the subconscious mind and the deepest inclinations and motivations of human behavior.

In the episode "Lisa's Date with Density", our sweet little Lisa Simpson develops a crush on Springfield's favorite vested menace, Nelson Muntz. Any fan with even a smidgen of understanding of Lisa's personality would automatically scratch their heads at the thought of this pairing. What was she thinking? She wasn't! Let's dissect this attraction and gain some insight into the inner workings of the female mind...

Attraction is all in the Archetypes!

The episode begins with Nelson getting busted for stealing superintendent Chalmers' Luxurious 1979 Honda Accord hood ornament. (The nerve of that kid!) After witnessing his nonchalant and uber cool attitude, we see Lisa, even against her logical judgment, entranced by him. First of all, the Nelson character is the Archetypal "Bad-boy" seen in films such as Rebel without a cause. The indifferent personality and recklessness, bypasses Lisa's rationalism and affects her brain on a subconscious level.

One of the great Carl Jung's theories was the concept of the anima/animus archetype. Male and female energies lodged deep with the subconscious mind, often brought up during dreaming. When a woman feels attraction for a "bad boy" and doesn't know why, her animus (Masculine characteristics in a female) is activated on an energetic level. Which is mainly why women can't seem to logically pinpoint why they feel attracted to a type that is seemingly so bad for them.

Lisa being an introvert, was captivated by the Nelsons extroversion and apparent disgust for authority. What attracts her to him is his external freedom of expression, which Lisa's reserved personality lacks.

The Nice guy

We see Millhouse playing the tragic role of "Friend" or "Nice guy". Now, while the author is of the quieter variety, it is very true that women love tension in their outward experience that electric "spark" that sends their emotions shooting life fireworks on the fourth of July. Millhouse represents the lack of such a spark. This spark doesn't mean guys need to be the classical "jerk" label, but will need to modify their persona to create that all so important tension.

Lisa then attempts to try and change Nelson into the ideal mixture of prince charming/bad boy,(Which is the only case of a female trying to change a male by the way!) which seemingly works, until the bad boy nature is finally revealed as an horse that cannot be tamed, and decides to end the relationship.

This episode provides a clever, in-depth look at the mind of the female/male dynamic and the role of social philosophy on our culture.


How Does Anorexia Start?

Identifying the causes of anorexia nervosa can help with the treatment of this eating disorder. Here is new information about how anorexia starts, plus insight into how a person with anorexia thinks.

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