4 Stages of Love

Jasbina Ahluwalia asks Dr. Pat Love, author of The Truth About Love: Awareness of that is key. There is nothing wrong with someone going through those stages. In fact, it’s to be expected. I think awareness is really important.

There was a story in your book that caught my eye. There was a happily married woman who told you that she divorced and remarried her husband four times in 22 years. Tell us about that. What was happening there?



Dr. Pat Love

4 Stages of Love

  1. Falling in love
  2. Post-Rapture
  3. Discovery
  4. Connection

I think it goes back to your interest in the stages.


4 Stages of Love: Falling In Love

We often think that love is that falling in love period. The truth is, that’s simply a stage. That is euphoria.


4 Stages of Love: Other Cultures

Many cultures consider that romantic love period simply as a force to be dealt with. They don’t consider it the major criteria for a long-term relationship.

Many cultures believe that you find a good match and then you create love. You expect love to follow.


4 Stages of Love: Stuck at One

What would happen is that they would fall in love, hit the wall and divorce. Again, they would fall in love, hit the wall and divorce.

By “hit the wall,” I mean that you run the course of that natural, free high where nothing takes effort.

Going to Wal-Mart is an existential experience when you’re falling in love. It takes no effort.

This was a couple who didn’t have the skills to get past that second stage, which is post-rapture.


4 Stages of Love: Post-Rapture

In the post-rapture stage, a person who may be a workaholic goes back to working all the time. A person who is really a complainer starts complaining all the time.

It doesn’t mean that you have to stay that way. Until you learn that you have to take time for your relationship and not just work, and until you learn that behind every criticism is a desire, and you have to express the desire and not the criticism, until you develop these skills, you can’t get back to love.


4 Stages of Love: Discovery

You may have a perfectly good partner, but if you don’t have the skills, you don’t enter the third stage of discovery.


4 Stages of Love: Connection

If you haven’t discovered what it is that keeps you connected and in that loving space then you’re never going to get to the fourth stage, which is connection.

For some of us, we grew up in a healthy family. We saw many models of our families showing us how to show and receive love, be best friends, confidants, playmates, financial partners and social partners. We saw it all modeled. We learned it that way.


4 Stages of Love: Parents’ Influence

Our parents were good enough. They were there for us. They protected us. They showed us love. They gave us boundaries. They gave us that love and protection that all kids need.

If you had that then it just feels natural to go into a loving relationship.


4 Stages of Love: Learning Interruptions

For many of us, we had interruptions in that process.

We had a parent who died. We had a divorce. We had a preoccupied parent or a parent that was alcoholic, abusive, angry or didn’t have the skills themselves. We have these deficits.

The good news is that we can learn it. A lot of us came were lucky. We were in the lucky gene club. We grew up learning it. The rest of us have to learn it as adults.

The good news is that we can learn it and the skills are out there.


Tell Us:

Can you identify the 4 stages of love in your relationship? Share with us what stage you’re experiencing in the comments section below.


The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Dr. Pat Love.

The entire interview transcript is at: Dr. Pat Love Interview – Love: The Highs, the Lows, and How You Can Make It Last Forever

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: Love: The Highs, the Lows, and How You Can Make It Last Forever – Dr. Pat Love

Listen to the entire interview on iTunes