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The 5 Stages Of Intimacy (And Why You Need To Know Where YOU Are)

We’ve all heard of the five stages of grief : denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Believe it or not, grief and intimacy mirror one another—the intensity, the dullness, the gains, and the loss.

Although there are no typical couples, every relationship goes through intimacy stages. And just like with grief, these stages do not always happen in this particular order.

Take a look. What stage is your relationship in?

1. Infatuation

“OMG, I just met the love of my life.”

“He is perfect. I want to marry him.”

“I can’t believe we have so much in common.”

“He is great in bed.”

“I cannot wait to see him again.”

“Oh, I should eat something. I’m going to vomit.”

Oh, the sweet, syrupy stage of infatuation. It’s so wonderful and so difficult to resist. Hormones and logic rarely coincide, so we find ourselves doing things like checking email 12-24 times an hour, not eating, going to get our nails done at midnight, buying pajamas to match our bed sheets, and so on.

Infatuation makes your dopamine levels soar, producing a full-body euphoria that causes humans to seek out sex again and again. To wit, brain scan studies show that the brain during orgasm is 95 percent the same as the brain on heroin. Your brain cannot, biologically, maintain the high of infatuation; you will fry.

The infatuation will ebb and flow at different points. The sex will not always be that good; it may get better or it may get worse. But all those lovely feelings are that of a first swim in the cool, crisp pond of falling in love.

How many movies could we watch about that? Billions. It’s pure poetry; love magnified; a revisit to the warm womb of security. Then the negotiation between security and autonomy, that life-long struggle, crawls in and we begin to land.

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