Falling in Love: The Signs, Science and Stages of the Romantic Feeling
We’ve all heard the phrase “falling in love” but what does it mean exactly? When you fall in love you develop sudden, deep romantic feelings for another person. While you might just think of falling in love as a feeling, love (and falling in love) actually has physiological and psychological effects on one’s body. Falling in love releases specific hormones in the brain, meaning that, yes, your brain chemistry actually is affected by love. This chemical effect can cause a change in our cognition and the preferences and rewarding mechanisms in our brain. While these changes can be profound, it can be hard to recognize when your brain chemicals change. These psychological and physiological changes often manifest in similar ways. If you are falling in love you may feel as if your partner can do no wrong. You also may not find if they do something that you find unattractive. If you are falling in love, you may feel as if time spent together flies by. And if you aren’t with them, they are constantly on your mind. You may also feel as if you would do anything to please them or make them happy.
All of these feelings are due to the chemicals released in your brain when you are in the process of falling in love. It’s important to note that there are different stages to falling in love, that are characterized by different things. Understanding the stages of falling in love can help you recognize where you are in the process, and can help prepare you for what is to come. As we all know, falling in love isn’t always easy and often comes with periods of doubt and insecurity. And while there are some downs to falling in love, there are also some huge ups that make falling in love fun and playful.
Here are the different stages of falling in love:
The first stage of falling in love is realizing that it’s happening. Whether you are falling for a friend, or falling for someone that you are dating, there comes a point when you realize that your feelings are getting stronger. If you realize that you are falling in love with a platonic friend, the realization stage can be absolutely critical in defining the future of your relationship, whether it’s platonic or romantic. If you realize that you are falling for them, it’s often a good idea to tell them how you are feeling, even if it’s scary. It’s hard to stop the process of falling in love, so it will only get harder to talk about as time goes on. If you realize that you are falling in love with someone that you are dating, it’s often much easier. It’s also a good idea to communicate to a new partner that your feelings are growing so that they are on the same page, and to offer some reassurance for your relationship.
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During the preoccupation phase, the other person is constantly on your mind. Even if you actively try to stop thinking about them, they creep their way back into your thoughts. During this stage you are completely infatuated with the other person and are constantly wondering what they are up to and if they are thinking about you. You may spend time daydreaming about them, reliving conversations you have had together or thinking of what you will do once you are together again. This phase of falling in love is very time-consuming, and may lead you to drop the ball on other responsibilities.
During the idolization phase, your partner can do no wrong. Everything they do seems cute, and attractive and even sexy and you find yourself handing on their every word. People close to you might start to think you are obsessed with your partner because of how much you talk about them and all of the cute things that they do. During the idolization phase, you find things that are objectively not cute to be absolutely adorable. Things you may have found unattractive in the past become charming or even endearing when it’s your partner doing it. This is definitely the phase in which you are lovey dovey, head over heels for anything that your partner does.
During the idolization phase you may start to feel embarrassed or awkward about your true feelings for your partner. These feelings of awkwardness often lead you to feel insecure about yourself, your feelings and your relationship in general. If you start to experience feelings of doubt, or if you notice that you feel uncomfortable around your partner in a new way, then you are in the awkward/insecure phase of falling in love. This stage is admittedly terrible, after all, no one likes to doubt themselves or their feelings. During this stage you may start to rethink and overthink all your words and actions which is also not a fun feeling... but know that if you are in this stage you really are falling in love with your partner! And they are probably falling in love with you, which means that they may be feeling similarly. Remember that like the other phases, this too will come to an end, and you will start to feel self assured and comfortable around your partner again in no time flat.
While moving through these stages of falling in love might come naturally to some, it doesn’t for others. Even if it does come naturally, it is always helpful to have a professional help you navigate different stages of every relationship, including the different stages of falling in love. If you are looking for advice during any of these stages, or any other stage in a relationship, then you should turn to Relish. Relish is a relationship coaching app that pairs you and your partner with a relationship coach to help you strengthen your relationship and achieve your #relationshipgoals. With your relationship coach, you discuss your relationship and develop goals as a team that are specifically catered to your weaknesses as a couple.
Relish offers achievable personal goals so you can make progress towards finding your ideal relationship, even if you have a busy schedule. Try our award winning relationship self care app free for one week. Ready to get started?