Understanding The Stages Of Love For A Man

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    When you look back on your relationship do you ever think, “Oh, I miss that stage”? Maybe it’s the very beginning when everything was new and exciting, or the phase when you were finally comfortable enough with each other to stop worrying about trying to look perfect. All relationships go through stages and those stages are slightly different for women vs. men. So, let’s consider men - just what are the stages of love for man?

    Having an idea as to what stages of love look for a man can help you get your bearings in a relationship if things seem confusing. It can also help you make the most of what’s to come or be prepared for potential problems and possible ways to mitigate them.

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    While we’re talking about the stages of love that men experience, we will also consider one of the most challenging stages of love – the stage that feels like finale when it seems certain the love is gone, and the relationship is over. Sneak preview – that’s not always the case.

    Initial Stages Of Love For A Man – The Good Part

    It’s important to understand that each person is different and there’s no formula that can applied 100% to everyone. That being said, falling in love for most of us follows a fairly discernible pattern. And although these stages of love go by a variety of names, the characteristics of each stage are identifiable no matter how they’re referred to.

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    • Attraction and interest. For most of us the first phase in a romantic relationship recognizing feelings of attraction to another person. This feeling can be different for men than for women. For men this initial stage of love has a lot to do with physical attraction. In other words, he finds her pretty. This physical attraction initiates interest and a desire to get closer to her.
    • Display and engage. Once a man has determined he’s interested, phase two begins. Time to put the tail feathers up and get her attention. This may mean putting himself in her way, so she’ll notice him, or finding other reasons they need to be around one another. Once she has noticed him then it’s time to interact.
    • Infatuation and lust. Now comes the “she’s amazing” phase. Most of us, men and women, enjoy this stage. As a woman you feel attractive and interesting because he thinks you’re great. As a man you’re sure this woman is going to change your world and all you want is for her to want you. Oh, and to sleep with her. Yes, this is also the lust stage when all a man (and maybe the woman) can think about is the amazing sex you’re sure to have.
    • Chase and impress. So, you have a goal. There’s this fantastic woman that you want. She’s noticed you and you want her to want you. Time to turn on the charm, romance her, and impress her in whatever way you can.
    • The bliss of the catch. Do-wah-diddy, right? As Manfred Mann would say, “I’m hers, she’s mine, wedding bells are gonna chime.” You are now together and you’re naming cats, or bunnies and counting how many children you can support on that ranch in Montana you’ll buy some day. It’s bliss.
    • Evaluation. Or is it? This is the first time (but not the last) that the blush of new love fades a bit – not a lot, but just a bit. Do you really want to be with this person forever? Is she the one? What would your life be like together? Afterall, she snores, is a slob, and thinks Fantasy Football is a colossal waste of time. But, other than that she’s perfect for you and you can’t imagine life without her.
    • Commitment. So, you commit. And you just know that you’ve seen all you need to and your love will carry you forward. The hard part is behind you. Right?

    With modifications for the individual and perhaps a few hiccups (work, family, exes) along the way, these are the basic initial stages of love for a man.

    When Love Changes - Stages Of Love Fading For A Man

    The hardest part isn’t actually behind you at all. In fact, you haven’t gotten close to the hard part yet.

    The truth is, no matter how bumpy the road to commitment may be, that part is the frosting on the cake and the frosting is always sweeter than the cake itself. Don’t misunderstand, there’s nothing better than the right cake, but there are far more ingredients to get that right than there are for a good frosting.

    So, as you are enjoying the “falling in love” part (the frosting), keep in mind that the most substantial portion of the relationship, and real goal of your courtship is still to come (i.e., the cake) and can take work to get right.

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    What really needs to be considered in order to create a long-lasting relationship are the stages of falling out of love for a man.

    And much like those first stages of love that led to the commitment, the stages that can lead to falling out of love and possible break down (or up) of the relationship can be different for men than women as well.

    • Comfort fades to complacency. It seems great initially, you are each so comfortable with one another that you know she loves you even when you haven’t brushed your teeth before bed. But eventually, when you haven’t showered for a weekend, and the buffalo wing sauce on your shirt means it’s only kinda dirty, you’ve grown complacent. The reverse is true for her as well. A lot can be said for using a hairbrush and shaving your legs.
    • To dos take over ta-das. Then, seemingly overnight, life gets busy and you’re no longer interested or able to focus on each other. Life screams by with work, maybe kids, household duties, etc. and you find that your discussions are about the boxes that need to be checked rather than anything personal. Adulting can really put a damper on dancing in the moonlight.
    • Sleep trumps sex. And you’re tired. So tired that even the possibility of achieving an orgasm seems like too much work. And there’s that whole brushing teeth and general hygiene thing.
    • Assumption replaces appreciation. Now, you’re busy, too tired to worry about your after-work appearance, dealing with family and life, with no intimate life to speak of, and you simply expect your partner to DO things. In fact, you assume that he or she will DO things. And rather than thanking them when they do, you get visibly irritated when they don’t.
    • R-E-S-E-N-T-M-E-N-T. Aretha never made a song about it, but eventually this road leads to resentment, which will eat away at your relationship. Resentment is a form of anger that quietly builds in response to feeling taken advantage of. It can lead to passive-aggressive expressions of anger or outbursts that are out of proportion to the problem. Regardless of how it manifests, resentment is toxic and a yellow-brick road to bigger problems.
    • Breakdown in communication = arguing, disinterest, boredom. That road generally ends here. A complete breakdown in communication which opens a Pandora’s box of unhealthy responses like cheating, emotional affairs, or resigned indifference and dissatisfaction.
    • “I don’t love you anymore.” And then the sad, grand finale.

    Of course, everyone’s experience is slightly different. Not all of these happen to each person, but it’s not uncommon for most men to go through some from of most of these stages.

    Because men are less prone to communicating their feelings, a man may go through these later stages of love fading without articulating what he’s experiencing. This means that many women who hear their husband say, “I don’t love you anymore” feel like it’s come completely out of the blue. It isn’t.

    Dr. Kurt works with couples at this stage every day. In his experience,

    Just as most of us don't pay any attention to the stages of falling in love for a man, we also don't notice the stages of losing the love either. We just wake up one day and realize we don't feel in love anymore. It's not talked about much, but this happens A LOT. When you look closer there's always stages of progression, like the ones above, that lead to this point. Unfortunately, most people just assume it means the relationship is over. That doesn't have to be the case though. I teach people every day how to get the love back and fix the problems that led to it disappearing. We all enjoy going through the stages of falling in love, but fixing it when it fades and keeping it alive is what's most important.

    Can You Change The Stages Of Love For A Man?

    So, are these stages of love for a man written in stone? No, of course not.

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    While most of us have no interest in changing the beginning stages of things, we can probably all agree that revising the later stages of love for a man would be ideal. And thankfully, revising them is entirely possible.

    But it’s not possible if all you do is cross your fingers and wish for it to be so. You have to be aware of what can happen and work to prevent or stop it.

    Your love for each other won’t live if it’s not cared for and fed. A healthy, happy long-term relationship takes foresight and work. And a realistic understanding and appreciation of the way love changes over time.

    The good news is that, for the most part, the course of your relationship together is within your control. And those later stages of love that a man can experience can be altered or skipped altogether if, as a couple, you work together.

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