Monday, March 24, 2008

The Six Stages of a Failed Relationship

Stage One:

Falling in Love

We fall in love with someone not because of who they are but because of how they make us feel about ourselves. If someone is attracted to us we suddenly feel very attractive and grow in our self-esteem. The more someone is attracted to us the better we feel, and the better we feel the more we are attracted back to them for making us feel so good. In turn, they feel the same feelings and emotions as us because we are making them feel good about themselves too! What a great cycle of love - we actually fall in love with each other for making us feel so great about ourselves. They show admiration and appreciation for our accomplishments, goals, and lifestyles, therefore we gain a renewed self-confidence and pride. We must be great! They are patient and accepting of our shortcomings, faults, and flaws (they even think our shortcomings are cute) and therefore we must have over-exaggerated our faults and we now find a perfect contentment and acceptance of ourselves. We suddenly feel we truly are lovable, attractive, cute, smart, needed, wanted, special, talented, and just totally awesome!

Stage Two:

Being in Love

Giving to each other makes us happy. They have made us feel so happy and we want to make them happy in return. We want to assure their happiness to guarantee them in our lives and hearts forever. We delight in showing our love, our acceptance, and our appreciation for the other. Their happiness is of the utmost importance to us. We demonstrate appreciation of their impact in our lives by giving them little gifts. We relish in making them as happy as they have made us feel by doing little things for them and caring about them. We meet each other's basic emotional needs. It is in this stage that we start to notice those little things about our mates that make them so adorable! Their crooked smile, the way they walk, the smell of their skin, the touch of their hand. Being in love is different from falling in love. We now feel love toward our mates because we appreciate them more for who they are as opposed to how they made us feel about ourselves. We actually become addicted, in a sense, to the routine of them and the familiarity of a certain lifestyle that we share as a couple. We are hooked.

Stage Three:

Expecting Love

We have reached the stage where we are in loving relationship. We feel safe, protected, secure, and content. We wear our vulnerabilities on our sleeves with no fear of them being taken advantage of. Our emotions are free-flowing, open, and trusting. Yet, sometimes when we open ourselves up to trusting emotions we can get confused in our beliefs that this trust is somehow being violated by our significant other. Especially if we somehow feel our emotional needs are not being met or our loving ways are not being appreciated. We subconsciously seek and expect certain proofs, respects, and validations of our feelings.

Stage Four:

Questioning the Others Love Intent

It is at this stage when we are more likely to feel anger, hurt, and betrayal if we feel our needs are not being fulfilled. Hurt emotions overwhelm logic and judgment. We get defensive and egotistical. We are selfish. We start to put ourselves first and often feel indignant. We start to withdraw from doing those little things for our significant other. After all if our needs aren't met then we shouldn?t meet theirs. Even though we may have withdrawn from giving we start to expect even more in return. We demand certain signs from them as a show of their love and how much they are sorry that they have unintentionally hurt us. Our mates, in turn, realize that we have withdrawn our love and proceed to protect themselves too by doing just the opposite of what we want from them. They withdraw their loving ways too. Now, neither of us are getting our emotional needs met. The relationship has now become a showdown between two selfish people who's only attempt is to protect their own selves at all costs.

Stage Five:

Hiding From Love

We withdraw from one another, forming an impenetrable wall of protection from the pain. The pain and hurt we feel is from the feeling of having given our love so freely, and not having had it validated, nor appreciated. In this stage, in order to protect ourselves from hurt and pain, we become very good at convincing ourselves that we don't need, want, love, or even like the other person. We separate from them, if not in our physical environment, in our mental and emotional environment. We dwell on all the bad things about the other. We may even invent flaws in our mates just to convince ourselves that we don't hurt. If this stage is left untreated we eventually fall prey to the final stage...

Stage Six:

Falling Out of Love

Our hearts are heavy and empty. We feel betrayed, hurt, and resentful. We don?t understand how they could allow such ruin. We do not feel good about ourselves. We have fallen out of love.

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