According to psychologist Jed Diamond, there are five stages of 'love' that a couple experiences.
If you feel like you're always stuck at zero, do not fear. It turns out most couples get stuck at stage three.
Diamond, the author of The Irritable Male Syndrome has used his thirty years of experience as a relationship expert, to define the five stages.
We're a little skeptical, but that's because our hearts have been made black and bitter. Probably.
1. Falling in Love.
Also known as the 'honeymoon period'. According to Diamond this is the stage when you project all of your hopes and dreams onto your partner. To you they have no flaws, they're an ideal romantic interest in your mind.
At this stage your happiness hormones are doing overtime, and your trust in them is total.
Of course, this can't last forever.
2. Becoming a couple.
The material changes such as moving in together or having a baby also have psychological effects on you. You feel like a unit, and your lives are more symbiotic.
You feel both protected and desired thanks to the commitment, and that this is definitely the person for you.
According to Diamond, you believe 'fate' had something to do with this.
Fate and destiny, usually not the goodies in most fiction. Show us a hero, and we'll show you a tragedy.
Ah here we are. The satisfying schadenfreude we've all be after.
Diamond argues that the 'disappointment' stage is more to do with the return of doubt, than anything specific your partner has done.
It's at this point that you wonder if your love will one day dissipate. You rationalise breaking up with them, considering you now find everything they do is irritating.
This is the stage, when all the good parts of the relationship are done, Diamond believes most couples become stuck, and then decide to end the relationship.
4. Creating 'real' and 'lasting love'.
Diamond doesn't really explain how to get through stage three, but if you do, happiness awaits.
His advice is to:
Close your eyes and try your hardest to carry on despite your reluctance, you might get through the third stage.
He then points out that your partner is not an ideal, but a real person, and you should accept their flaws.
5. Using the 'power of two' to change the world.
Diamond ends on a positive note, that once you've managed to overlook the other person's flaws you can turn your love into something productive that binds you together.
You’re not just going along together through this life for the sake of it, but you live in a partnership for the sake of a bigger cause. It might be that you work together, write together, create something together — it could be anything.
Sounds a bit like 'Get a hobby you can share', worded more poetically...
Also, the 'power of two thing' brings to mind another enduring couple.