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The 3 Phases of Every Relationship

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Seana McGee and Maurice Taylor, married psychotherapists and authors of The New Couple, explain how understanding the phases of your relationship can help you stay in love.Intoxication StageThese are the days of wine and flowers, when the mere prospect of seeing, or hearing the voice of, our beloved is capable of producing a thrill. For many of us, it is the only time we let ourselves lapse into a fantasy of being in and feeling unconditional and perfect love ― and also idealize and create a positive distortion of our new mate. It’s a delicious high, better than drugs or alcohol, where neurochemicals, such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, rule the day. We’re not in love just with our partner but with the entire world ― and this first stage of romantic love has the power, at least temporarily, to blot out the pain of our insecurities and imperfections ― hence its bittersweet name.Flashback StageUnfortunately but predictably, the euphoria of oneness and complete acceptance erodes; we “get used to” each other. It’s not that we’ve fallen out of love or our partner’s evil twin has shown u …

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LoveRelationshipsCouplesMarriage

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