How Do You Know That You Are No More In Love?

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Feel so bored after a bit of work, try having a conversation with my fiancee, she was busy with work....wahala loving a career lady . Then I remember my buddy who works in a bank. Place a call to him, we went into a long conversation and he hit me with a piece of very bad news, he made it clear to me that he is not interested in his fiancee as a woman anymore. He still loves her as a person. In his words, I will compensate her for all her effort. I was numb for some minutes. Then I ask him, if he is okay, clearly he sounds normal. He let me understand, they had some beautiful moments and they still do. She is still beautiful as ever, sexy, classy, well manner and their sex life are improving by the day but he has lost the flame. I advise him to take a vacation with her, or better still talk to a counselor. He wouldn't have any of it. His mind has made up. I remind him, the sacrifice both have made, the care and whatnot, then I let him know he is a bad influence. After I drop the call, I have a deep thought then; I’ve come to see love as a process that happens in stages. I know, I know — analyzing love is so unromantic! But, it’s such an important aspect of life and I have gotten it wrong before; I definitely do not want to repeat any of those painful mistakes. I do know that Love is like a bridge between two people. It is a bridge that can bear much weight and endure heavy storms. But it can be broken. Neglect and betrayal are the worst offenders. But if tended and properly maintained — if valued and cherished — love can last a lifetime. So, I set my quirky brain to work at thinking about romantic love in the hopes of getting it right with my fiancee. I grab my laptop. After reading some stuff, I drew lines separating seven distinct stages that I could identify: 1. ATTRACTION — This is the initial attraction we selectively feel for another person. It’s often called chemistry. Whether it’s caused by intuition or some combination of things, I can’t say exactly — but some people attract us more than others. 2. CONNECTION — This is what happens when we seek to explore the initial attraction we feel by interacting with the other person. Sometimes it’s asking them out on a date or when they visit the water cooler at the office to chat them up. I remember feeling thirsty whenever my ex is taking water at the dispenser. good old days. 3.INFATUATION(deep sexual feeling) — As the frequency of connection increases and attraction is confirmed and strengthened, Hormones are released in our bodies and we enter an intense phase of desire to be with the other person. This is the phase popular folks recognize as “love”. We see the other person through rose-colored glasses and their every move, look, and action delights us, no matter how absurd. We are blinded to their faults and exaggerate their good points. I got to know this phase lasts about 18–24 months before the hormonal inducers begin to subside. This is often long enough to get married, entangle finances and even have a child or two. But inevitably, by the end of 24 months, they’ve “lost that loving feeling. Whoa, that loving’ feeling… and it’s gone, gone, gone, whoa oh oh…” A lot of people think that the end of stage 3 is the end of love, but it’s not so 4. REALITY (AUTHENTICITY) — Now that the hormones have dropped back to normal levels, we stare blinking at the other person wondering what we were thinking back in stage 3. Suddenly, we realize that it wasn’t that the stars and planets had somehow aligned and brought two lonely souls together in a perfect match beyond anything anyone in the history of the world has ever experienced; we are two different persons, with different needs and desires, different outlooks and goals — this is in stark contrast to our fantasies of romantic bliss forever. A lot of conflicts tend to surface in this stage. We say things like, “How could I have been so blind?” Or we add a bit of blame and accuse the other of deliberately deceiving us or changing into a different person. Really, it’s mostly that, without the masking hormones, we notice that they’re not meeting our needs the way we want them to. Sometimes we even push their buttons and aggravate the situation just to prove the point. Lingering in this stage for too long is a mistake — it tends to make us bitter. But it’s one of the natural stages of love and it’s necessary. Like the other stages (except the last one), it’s transitionary. 5. DECISION TIME (RESOLVE) — Even if you’re already married and obligated by now, you still have to face this stage. Now that the hormone-induced romantic mists have cleared and you have taken stock of the actual situation, you must recommit... or not. There is no ceremony for this and you may or may not discuss it with your partner — but it happens nonetheless. It’s at this point that some couples conclude that “that lovin’ feeling” is gone for good and they exit the relationship, looking for fresh love — another infatuation experience. Fortunately, for many, the benefits of staying together outweigh the discomforts — and pressures to flee the relationship — and they stay together, if even for convenience. Often, some kind of negotiation takes place — a mutual truce with terms. Note that if back in stage 4 you discovered that your paramour is an ax murderer or a child molester, Serial cheat, or something else along those lines, exiting the relationship may indeed be the right decision. Otherwise, the decision to stay becomes an invitation to the next stage: intimacy. INTIMACY — At this stage, you see the other person for who they really are and they see you for who you really are too. And you accept the good along with the bad. You’re no longer wondering if your love will last — you know it will because you’ve made a conscious decision to love and trust them. As George MacDonald said, “Few delights can equal the presence of one whom we trust utterly.” This stage of love is not accessible prior to stage 5 as you’re both still wearing masks up until then — some conscious, some unconscious. But now, you are vulnerable to each other; you know each other’s panic buttons, but you protect them rather than push them. The feelings of stage 3 are rekindled but instead of feeling fleeting and momentary like hot sparks, they are like deep glowing embers of a fire that never goes out. Now, it seems like before, when you were infatuated, you were splashing about in a puddle of shallow water — whereas, in intimacy, you are swimming in the great deep. UNITY — In this final stage, two have become one. You know each other’s thoughts and feelings, needs and longings; his needs are hers and hers his. So, how do you know when you’re not in love anymore? Is there a possible way to go back to your ex and make things work?

NB: Stories are shared by community members. The article does NOT represent the official view of NaijaWorld and the author is SOLELY RESPONSIBLE for this article
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