Love Cycles: Five Natural Stages of a Romantic Relationship

Posted by Jordan, 23 Jan

When you’re single, it’s easy to idealize being in a relationship as the solution to (or at least a distraction from) a lot of your problems. But if you’re in a relationship — especially one that’s lasted a few turns around the block — you know that relationships carry their own set of unique problems. As it turns out, these problems often carry their own set of unique solutions. Difficult times don’t always herald the end of a relationship. Sometimes they’re just part of a cycle.

In her book Love Cycles: The Five Essential Stages of Lasting Love, veteran couples therapist Linda Carroll presents a groundbreaking model of the five natural stages of romantic relationships — the Merge, Doubt and Denial, Disillusionment, Decision, and Wholehearted Love — and a guide for navigating through them toward lasting love. We talk about these stages, where they come from, and where they can take us in episode 480 of The Art of Charm.

The Cheat Sheet:

Your perfect partner could be online right now...

What are you looking for?

  • There are five natural stages through which romantic relationships cycle: The Merge, Doubt and Denial, Disillusionment, Decision, and Wholehearted Love.
  • Why does "falling in love" make us do crazy things?
  • When your relationship winds up in an anxiety-fueled loop, how can you break out?

  • What does Linda recommend for spicing up a perfunctory sex life?

  • Understand these three components of good sex: desire, arousal, and orgasm.
  • And so much more...

More About This Show

If you were to ask many people who have been in a long-term relationship to name the stages such a relationship endures, some might come up with just two: The Honeymoon Phase and Reality. But Linda Carroll, couples therapist of 35 years and married for 30, was able to come up with five in her book Love Cycles: The Five Essential Stages of Lasting Love — these are the Merge, Doubt and Denial, Disillusionment, Decision, and Wholehearted Love.

Drawing from more than just her own life experiences, Linda says these stages have long been mapped out by psychology, history, drama, and biology — at least since Sumerians began scribbling love poems on clay tablets in cuneiform millennia ago, in any case (and probably quite a while before then).

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Jordan Harbinger is a Wall Street lawyer turned Social Dynamics expert and coach. He is the co-founder of The Art of Charm, a dating and relationships coaching company. If you're interested in The Art of Charm residential programs, apply for a strategy call with a coach. You can also interact with Jordan on Facebook or Twitter.

2 responses to "Love Cycles: Five Natural Stages of a Romantic Relationship"

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  1. Posted: 14 Feb

    Wow is gonna be very hard

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  2. Posted: 14 Feb

    Five natural stage of romantic?

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