Think You Found the One? Don’t Miss These Stages of Falling in Love!

Dating 101
12 Apr 2023
10 min read
Are you in love? Here are some common stages of falling in love you might go through

Falling in love is a beautiful thing and makes the world around you seem prettier and happier. People fall in love out of the blue, so it’s not rare to question whether they are really in love. At times, it’s hard to believe you’ve found the one and figure out whether they feel the same. To know for sure, here are some stages of falling in love you won’t miss.

In the earlier stages, it can be hard tell apart the signs of falling in love and understand another person’s motive. Let’s clearly define and check out these signs so you can make the right decision!

What does falling in love feel like?

“Not every story has a happy ending. Some only hold a happy beginning.”

Rachel Higginson, author of The Five Stages of Falling in Love

First and foremost, it is essential to understand your feelings and relate them to the attachment stages. Just falling for someone and having a crush on this person for a while feels differently.

For some, falling in love might feel like a scene from a romantic comedy. You look at that one person and everything just somehow feels right. For others, it might feel like an impossible task. In this scenario, you never know whether they will reciprocate your love.

In any case, falling in love should feel easy and effortless. In no way should you feel like you are making yourself grow feelings for someone. You should see the small things from this person that make  you look at them in a differently at them. You have to feel all those little butterflies in your stomach.

How long does it take to fall in love with someone?

Going from developing feelings for someone to being in loving and committed relationships doesn’t happen overnight. Each person deserves moving things at their own pace and enter next stage slowly and carefully. Of course, there are people who fall in love frequently and hard. But most of us, especially women, are more hesitant to open up about their attachment.

According to studies found in the New Scientist, men need about 88 days to say they have fallen in love while women require almost double that, at 134 days. While a lot of women believe in love at first sight, they prefer to play it safe until they feel like they indeed are in love with someone.

All in all, every person might need a different amount of time to feel being in love. For some, it might happen immediately. For others, it might take a few months and quite a few dates to get to the point where they know their feelings for someone are true.

Crush is among the early stages of falling in love

Stage #1 The Crush

The first stage of falling in love is pretty simple yet anxiety-inducing. It usually starts off the same way: you meet someone new who has caught your eye. You are trying to find ways to approach them. You enjoy spending more time talking and being around them.

The circumstances of your meeting don’t matter much. You might have met this person at work. Alternatively, it can happen at a new activity you are attending. They might even be a mutual friend – it’s not rare when it’s someone you have known for a while but never really noticed.

The crush might be just a simple interest that can grow into something more over time. It might also develop over just a few days into something much stronger than you expected or have experienced in the past. No matter how much time it takes, it is normal and might take more time for some than others.

Stage #2 The Realization

At the second love stage, you finally realize your crush is becoming something more for you. Your feelings start to become deeper, and you tend to have more time with them. This way, you feel ready for this to turn into something more.

The realization usually happens at a point when you are able to bond more with the other person. You’re still not close enough to be considered close friends, but falling for things you notice they do. You start seeing aspects of their personality you didn’t have the chance to notice sooner.

It is also a stage filled with anxiety. You don’t know how to help your brain process everything you’re feeling about this new potential partner.

Stage #3 The Friendship

The third stage of falling in love is the friendship stage, where you two are now officially friends. This gives you an idea about how much time you will be able to get to talking. You can finally be around them more, without having to worry about what they think of you approaching them.

This is a more difficult stage. You begin to grow closer but you are not yet sure if they share the same feelings as you. As you are getting to know them better, you are falling in love faster. Here, you have the opportunity to show them how you feel through small yet important actions.

There are two possibilities you might come across, which can trouble your brain and mess with your emotions. You might very easily get friend zoned, and this can complicate the relationship between you. Alternatively, they might like you back. If they share your feelings, you can focus your energy on this new love and move on to the next stage easily.

Stage 4# The Awkwardness

The truth is that after you show the other person you have feelings for them, this can cause a lot of awkwardness. This next stage can keep you up at night and make you wonder what will come next. There are two possibilities here: either one of you realizes the other person has feelings or you both end up having feelings for one another.

On the one hand, it can happen that the feelings are unreciprocated. This makes things a lot more awkward as oftentimes the outcome is not romantic love. But the good thing is having the courage to talk about thoughts and let a crush understand the true feelings.

In situations where both parties have feelings for each other, things are easy and more romantic. Yet, this can still be quite awkward. If you’re used to being someone’s friend, seeing them in a romantic way is something totally new, even if you have been around one another for a while.

After early stages, the in-between stage takes place

Stage #5 The In-Between

At the fifth stage, technically, you are still in the early stages of the “relationship”, but neither of you really knows what to call it. Are you friends, dating, or just seeing each other on the down low? Everything is a little insecure and in an in-between here. All you know is that you might both have found a common ground on being physical. However, lust can cloud your judgment of the relationship.

The truth is that this is the beginning of most romantic relationships, During the early stages, you are not certain if you’re both on the same page. While it isn’t anyone’s favorite stage and the insecurity can eat you up, it is a sign of healthy love. So, focus on taking things slow. The best course of action here is to talk about everything, see where you each fall and what you would like to plan for the future.

Some people will want to take things slow. Others will embrace the new relationship with open arms. Make sure you give each other as much time as you desire to feel ready to jump into the relationship. If it starts for either of you with a feeling of doubt, or like everything happened too fast, it can make things more complicated in the future.

Stage #6 The Honeymoon

The next stage is that of the beginning of the relationship. The complicated phase is finally over, and you are both ready to fall in love harder, without having to wonder.

Out of all the stages, this is probably the most exciting one for most people. Both of you are crazy for one another, and life is full of excitement. This is how fairy tales describe love, and your attachment is not far from that feeling.

This is the time when you start to sleep over. Other signs include being full of lust for one another, saying romantic words to one another, and forming a more strong attachment to your new partner. There is no better time for relationships to bloom and become more physical. Just remember to not let your self-care fade and still make time for your own interests in your everyday life.

Stage #7 The Stability

The stability is the final stage of falling in love. Both of you have accepted the relationship now as an important part of your life after experiencing all the previous stages together. The feeling of stability in your relationship is strong.

This phase usually lasts the longest for most couples. It leads to lasting love and helps people feel like they are secure and loved in their relationship. When you hear your partner say beautiful words and act with love towards you, this beats all the anxiety. You know where this leads through the whole process of falling in love and avoid all the hardships.

This is also the phase that, if it lasts and makes both partners feel safe in the relationship, can definitely lead to marriage. The attachment in these relationships is strong and becomes a life-long bond developing through the early stages of falling in love all the way to a common life together.

Understanding Where Your Story Will Lead

One of the most important things to remember is that not every romantic relationship will end up with a happy ending. People don’t always work out and the honeymoon phase can only last so long for some couples. For some, it never even gets to the stage of being in a relationship.

The different stages of falling in love are meant to help you better identify and understand your feelings with another person. Whether you reach their final stage or not, being in love is a beautiful thing, and finding the right partner for you might take some time but it will be worth it in the end.

Relationships Author
Geoffrey Williams
After taking a required Intro to Psychology course as an undergrad, I have never looked back. Since my doctoral program, I have specialized in adult relationship therapy. Through my studies and clinicals, I wrote several articles for professional journals and currently in the midst of writing a book.
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