Review of the theory of family psychologist Jed Diamond, a detailed analysis of each of the 5 stages of love. Recommendations for overcoming family crises.
Family psychologist Jed Diamond has devoted a lot of time and energy to the study of family relationships. As a result, he identified 5 stages of love through which each couple passes. Many couples do not even make it to Stage 4 because, unknowingly, they perceive the normative crisis as a sign of the end of the relationship, and not as one of the stages of their development.
Stage 1: falling in love
This is an attraction that arises between people at a biological level, chemical reactions that are not even recognized by a person. Dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, testosterone, estrogen - these neurotransmitters are included in the work and make people see each other as partners, attractive from the point of view of evolution, procreation.
A little later, the social part of the person is connected: we transfer our expectations to the partner. We are sure that it is he who can cover all our needs, give the necessary attention, love, care. We build illusions, we idealize a person. Hormones interfere with thinking objectively, a person looks at the world through rose-colored glasses.
Stage 2: pairing
The effect of hormones begins to weaken, chemical reactions are no longer so violent. But they still work. Excitement and passion subside, joy, pleasure, tenderness appear. People make joint plans, choose common goals, get married, and some of the couples even have children. Partners like the feeling of stability and confidence, even if there is no longer that intensity of passions in the relationship.
Stage 3: Disappointment
Rose-colored glasses fall and break with a characteristic sound, fragments scatter in all directions. Partners stop idealizing each other and begin to notice the "dark sides". What was once perceived as cute features is turning into annoying nonsense.
It seems that disgust for each other and irritation arose abruptly, for no reason, no reason. Partners start bombarding each other with expressions like “You weren’t like that / you weren’t like this before.” Quarrels often occur in a couple. Some partners cheat, others stay late at work to spend less time with the family, or disappear with friends.
Both participants in the relationship feel exhausted, unhappy. It seems like this is the end. Many couples break up at this stage, but those who find the strength to talk openly and are aware of the peculiarities of this period move to a new level of relationship.
How to get through this period? Each of the partners must honestly answer the question: "Can I accept the characteristics of this person?" Don't try to change and remake each other. Yes, it is possible that each of the participants can make minor concessions and changes, but something global should not be expected. You either accept each other for who you are (all people have shortcomings, but we cannot accept all the shortcomings), or you part - there is no third way. However, it is wrong to part immediately and surrender without a fight.
Stage 4: true love
The tension has eased, now you can calmly talk about everything. Partners discuss what happened between them, analyze their behavior and reactions, exchange opinions, make new joint plans. Now they know each other 100%: sore points, what they like and what they don't like, advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses, etc. Now each partner can draw up a "instruction manual" in relation to the other and strictly follow it. Partners open up to each other, they can calmly talk on any topic.
Stage 5: love that can change the world
The couple becomes an example for others, a role model. It seems that no one and nothing can separate them. Partners motivate each other and inspire other people.They say about such people: "Gone are the fire, water and copper pipes." Or less romantic: “We got up out of shit together. Were two ragamuffins who achieved everything on their own, and even managed to keep their feelings."
In a relationship at this stage, everything is quiet and peaceful. Partners value and respect each other. Indeed, nothing and no one can embroil them. Some couples open a joint business or find another common cause: charity, creativity, political activity.
Few get to this stage. Most people either break up on third or get stuck on it. What does it mean? This means that the partners, it seems, have lived together all their lives (even to others it seems that the couple has gone through a lot), but in fact it is just a union of two unhappy people. They continue to endure the discomfort just as they did at the beginning of the third stage. Why is this happening? For whom how: someone lives according to the stereotype "marriage should be one and for life", someone is afraid of loneliness, someone maintains an alliance for the sake of children, etc.
Surely, you are interested in the question "How are these stages calculated in years?" D. Diamond did not make such marks. In my opinion, by years it is something like this: the first year of a relationship, 2-3 years (hence the expression "love lives for three years"), 3-10 years, 10-20 years, more than 20 years. These periods are similar to family crises.