From grade school, we've been taught the three stages of love. First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes baby in a baby carriage. But did you know that this is actually not the case? Shocker, right? There are actually five stages of love, not three. That's not all. That's not all. Then comes baby playing basketball. This is not just a childhood rhyme. This is science.
Actually, none of the five stages of love involve your newborn son or daughter becoming some sort of sports prodigy. Most people don't know what the five stages of love are, and end up getting caught up in the first three. Because the first two stages of love feel so good, like Christmas, your birthday and free ice cream day all on the same day. The third stage of love stinks more than a pile of dog crap on a hot summer's day. But if you can get through it, things get all sorts of amazing.
Everyone's familiar with the first stage of love. It's the part of falling in love where you actually, well, fall in love. Your heart races and you feel so nervous around the other person that you want to run and hide behind a giant pile of blocks. But you don't. Because you're in love damnit, and you love spending time around the other person more than you hate that nervous feeling.
During the first stage of love, you think the world of the person you're with. You're looking at the world through rose tinted glasses, so you can't see the red flags. So what if they said that they un-ironically enjoy the song "Mmmbop"? Nobody's perfect!
This stage is where, to quote the immortal words of the Spice Girls, two becomes one. You've gotten through the initial infatuation period, and now you're in another infatuation period. You've progressed past flirting and are now straight-up dating. But you're still madly in love with the other person.
This stage is also known as the "Honeymoon Period." Even if you're not married, it feels like you're on a tropical island alone with the other person, living each day as if you two are the only two people in the world. And aren't you? You're in love! Nobody else in the world matters!
As your relationship progresses, it's inevitable that you'll hit a rocky road. You didn't really think that it was going to be smooth sailing forever, did you? The initial excitement of the relationship will wear off, and you'll realize that the other person is an actual human being with flaws. They poop! And those red flags that you ignored during Stage One? Yeah, you'll start to notice them right about now.
This is also where you start to realize that you've been spending every waking moment with your bae. Because of that, you haven't seen your friends or family or even the outside world in months. You haven't washed your hair. You haven't left the house. You've just been wrapped up in the arms of your bae for literally two months.
If you get past the rocky patch, you really start to examine your relationship and who you are as people. This is where you actually come together as a couple. The hormones have worn off. Your left with the person as they are. And you know what? That person is actually not that bad. In fact, you kind of really like them. A lot. A whole lot.
Did you think that you became a couple with the other person during Stage Two? Think again. Stage Four is the stage where you actually start your relationship for real. Those other few months? Those were just throwaway fun months with someone you were really into. This is where the relationship begins.
Because now you're in it to win it, your relationship is standing on strong ground. You go out into the world, as a couple, and conquer the crap out of it. You two have merged into one force, and you are unstoppable!
Any obstacle that comes your way, you will crush it. Anyone who tries to break you apart, you will crush it. Anything that gets put on a chair that you're about to sit on, you will crush it. Watch out world! [Insert your portmanteau couple name here] is taking you on!
But if you soldier on through the rough patches, you'll know that your partner is just that - an actual partner. They're going to be there for you through thick and thin. They're going to want to wake up next to you even when your hair is a mess and you're barely human. And that's what love actually is. When the other person doesn't mind that you look like an actual butt. Shakespeare couldn't have put it better himself!