5 Stages of Love

The average person progresses through five stages of love. If you wish to learn how the capacity to love develops, you will need to understand these five stages.

Infantile Love Stage 

A baby receives love just because he has been born. He  cannot love others, and no one expects him to. The infant thinks only of himself. He is concerned only about getting what he wants and satisfying his own desires. He doesn’t care how he puts others out as long as he gets what he wants. His parents need sleep but he doesn’t worry about their  needs. He’ll wake them up at 2:00 A.M. just to get a drink! A baby loves only himself.

Parent Love Stage 

The child’s first love-other than himself-revolves around his parents, particularly his mother. Probably this is because she spends the most time with him and does the most things for him. Soon she  means more to him than anyone else does. He wants his mamma to stay with him, and he dogs his dad’s footsteps when he’s around. Now the child loves himself and his parents.

Buddy Love Stage 

A few years later the child ventures out of the home and begins to take an interest in children his own age-particularly those of his or her own sex. He now adopts the standards of his buddies rather than the standards of his parents. He is becoming socialized and learning to deal with his equals. He now loves himself, his buddies, and his parents – in that order.

Adolescent Love Stage 

During this stage the horizon expands once more. Now the individual takes an interest in the opposite sex. At this level a girl finds boys worthy of more serious study, and vice versa. But the tendency is still to consider love in much the same way as a baby does—in terms of what it can do for oneself rather than what can one do for others.

Mature Love Stage 

When you reach this level, physical attraction becomes less and less significant, and emotional and psychological factors becomes  more important. You move from thinking about what you can get out of the relationship to what you can give to it. You shift your thinking from yourself to your partner. If you are truly in love, in a spirit of unselfishness you try to do what is best for your partner.

Going through all these stages takes time, and most of us enter marriage with some infantile love left in us. In fact, most of us never mature in every way. But some people are so seriously arrested in their emotional development that it would be nearly impossible for them to relate to others in an adult way. With a little careful observation you should be able to identify whether your present relationship is at an infant, parent, buddy, adolescent, or mature stage.
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