The Three Stages of a Guy in Love


The Three Stages of a Guy in Love

He thought he was the only guy who went through these phases of falling in love, but found out he’s in good company.

“I love you.” Haven’t heard those words in, well, a very long time. Oh sure, I hear it daily in this adopted new-aged side of life where love reigns and we’re all acting like the universe is dispensing happy pills. Seems to be the cool thing to do these days. I get it and ride that train often.

Last time I said it, I found myself on a roller coaster of emotions that didn’t make sense, abandoned all logic, and challenged everything I previously learned of healthy enlightenment.

But, “I love you”—the kind of I-love-you-bomb that leaves you speechless. The kind where your eyes meet and the words are spoken, forever changing the energy of the relationship, the kind where you end and the other person begins, commingled in this emotion soup of weirdness. You know the kind, it’s awkward and you both collapse in mutual agreement to the oxygen-filled ether that intoxicates before collapsing in unison to this new found love.

Then it gets awkward even more. What do you do next? What do these words mean and what’s expected of you now? The relationship has changed, evolving into something else entirely like the intoxication of the martini the night before, you awaken to the regret, grasping for liters of water and ready-made ibuprofen to numb the ache of your decision.

What now? Last time I said it, I found myself on a roller coaster of emotions that didn’t make sense, abandoned all logic, and challenged everything I previously learned of healthy enlightenment. Funny, after all the consumption of self-help books on love, after all the theories about codependency, self-care and enmeshment and, and, and … it all goes out the window around this girl.

Read How To Navigate The Stages of Love and Build A Healthy Relationship

So here I am, in this world once again in love and rapidly progressing through three distinct stages.

Stage 1: Excitement

The raw and unadulterated thrill-ride kinda joy. The kind that makes you feel like you’re understood and known for the first time in your life and now can live free. Like seeing the deepest blue colors of the warm Caribbean, I charged the waves and was fully consumed in this new experience. Everything was fun and new. We danced, we laughed, and we traveled. We were inseparable and life was good, very good. I read her poetry, I held her hand on long walks, I made her dinner and we were both completely caught in the moment. I moved her hair from her face to reveal her smile, an accepting smile that was always present. Ya, we were sticky in love.

“Is this real?” That was the question I mistakenly asked myself that catapulted me into the next stage.

Stage 2: Fear

I panicked and withdrew. She called me, I didn’t call back. She texted me, I gave a short reply. I did the bare minimum to keep her engaged, yet keep me safe—in my fear. Uncertain what I was actually scared of, maybe it was a commitment or that my own illusions of freedom were going to disappear or that I was closing doors to other women, women that could be more suited for me. I ran the gamut of emotional questioning of why I felt the way I did yet was caught in a self-induced web of confliction from missing her. I missed her scent. If beauty had a fragrance, it was her. Like taking all the senses and blending them into one sensation, this girl terrified me as all my vulnerabilities were exposed.

Damn, you can finally admit you’re a guy in love; you talk about your feelings and proudly change your Facebook status, swearing off all others.

Then, in the middle of the night, fraught with despair, I just surrendered. The fear of losing this love was worse than these insecurities so I took a deep breath and gently moved to stage three.

Stage 3: Acceptance

I finally settled in. Damn, you can finally admit you’re a guy in love; you talk about your feelings and proudly change your Facebook status, swearing off all others. I became okay with my feelings, I accepted the ups and downs, learned how to communicate my thoughts and shared openly and together we regularly stepped into stage one, creating excitement for us both.

Looking back, I’ve learned my process wasn’t that unusual. I reached out to friends, I called my therapist, I hired a love coach and read books on tantric, even meditated and prayed, only to learn that guys, all guys go through these three crazy stages and none of us really know why. We only know that a “good” relationship is one where we find a woman that allows us to travel through the stages without going psycho on us, getting insecure and ending things before we have the opportunity to progress and reach acceptance.

My own insecurity of growth was worked out in my man cave of isolation, where I had time to sit, think and in the end, realize that love for me was about accepting feelings that were foreign to me and yet dreamed of. Being in love was reaching my paradise, no longer playing on the sidelines, arm-chair quarterbacking the right moves to my friends. I had emerged from fantasy, a place where rules and instruction took the backseat and I had to step up to the plate and actually get in the game, this game of love.

This love game, nobody really knows the rules we only know we want it.

She looked at me, and my soul quaked, my heart skipped a beat and for the first time, I was truly seen, I was purely known and fully accepted. In a life of performance-based metrics, where winning and competition are the fuel to attain the good life, I was now in a game where all I had to do, was BE. It can be confusing, and I still often want to run in full regression back in stage two, but I’ve learned that being “in love” is mostly showing up, being known with all my perceived weaknesses, warts, and character defects to receive that accepting smile from my partner.

Read The 3 Stages Of Love You Must Go Through Before You Get Married

I’m a guy in love. There, I said it. I don’t do this thing perfectly by any means, but I’m here and present for myself and for her. The stages have grown me and love is something I’m now able to step into, even give to others more freely. This love game, nobody really knows the rules we only know we want it.


Related Video: We Fall In Love With 3 People In Our Lifetime – Each One for a Specific Reason.

Written by Robin Austin Reed
Originally appeared on

The Three Stages of a Guy in Love
The Three Stages Of A Guy In Love

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

8 Signs A Man Is The Source Of His Own Misery: Self-Sabotaging Behaviors

Signs A Man Is The Source Of His Own Misery: Self-Sabotage

Ever wonder why he’s always gloomy and unhappy? These 8 signs reveal how he might be the source of his own misery, with self-sabotaging behaviors being an obstacle his own path to happiness.

Self-sabotage is often the biggest obstacle to happiness.

Self-sabotaging behaviors, negative mindsets, and the absence of emotional intelligence can unknowingly pave the path to a cycle of unhappiness. While external circumstances influence our success and well-being, the biggest obstacles to happiness are often found within.

Up Next

“Why Do Men Never Express Emotions”? A Closer Look At Men’s Mental Health

Men's Mental Health: Where Are We At

Men’s mental health concerns are hardly brought out in the open. How often do you see men expressing their mental health struggles? Comparatively, men seek much less mental health treatment than women do.

If you look inside your family, you won’t spot a single male member who has ever expressed their emotions. Instead, you will find most males always maintaining a stoic posture, abiding by the general law of “ Manning- Up.”

In fact, men have been socially conditioned to make their mental health struggles seem invisible. Do men hide their

Up Next

Hermeneutic Labor: This Term Describes When You’re Struggling To Make Sense Of A Man’s Thoughts

Clear Stages Of Hermeneutic Labor: Emotional Work

Whether it means picking up hints in a text message or interpreting what isn’t said during an argument – many women find themselves doing “hermeneutic labor.”

Amid the confusing roads of romance, trying to understand secret messages or get through emotional minefields can seem like a full-time job. In recent years there has been an eruption of discourse surrounding feminists and emotional labor.

Let’s understand what hermeneutic labor really means and why most women ​take up emotional labor in relationships​!

Understanding Hermeneutic Labor

Up Next

8 Unmistakable Signs He Will Never Come Back: The Final Farewell

Glaring Signs He Will Never Come Back: No Second Chances

Ah, the bittersweet realm of love and heartbreak. We’ve all been there, hanging onto that tiny edge of hope that things might get better again, and we don’t have to go our separate ways. But let’s face it, sometimes it’s just not meant to be. Today, we are going to talk about the signs he will never come back. Yes, it’s going to get a bit heavy today.

If you are wondering whether he is ever going to make a grand return to your life or not, then let me tell you – you are in for some tough love, my friend. In this article, we are going to explore eight glaring signs that are repeatedly telling you that your ex is not coming back.

It’s time to face the reality and discover if it’s time for you to leave the past behind you and look forward to a better and brighter future.

Up Next

9 Tactics To Trigger The Hero Instinct In A Man

Hero Instinct In A Man: Ways To Trigger Their Inner Hero

Do you know there’s a hero instinct in every man? If you want to unlock that side of your man then you have come to the right place. Today, we are going to talk about how to trigger the hero instinct in a man, and do it the right way.

From understanding their innate drive to protect and provide, to unraveling the mysteries of their emotional landscape, we will explore what is the hero instinct, and what does hero instinct in relationships look like.

So, ready to know more about this side to men? Let’s go then.

Related: How To Make Your Man Happy: 25+ Last Minute Gift Ideas For Him

Up Next

Men’s First Love Theory: 7 Life-long Psychological Impacts Of First Love

Men’s First Love Theory: First Love Psychological Impacts

Can men never get over their first love? Men’s First Love Theory has blown up all over the internet, especially on TikTok. The theory’s first taste of romance sets every partner at an inevitable disadvantage.

When we fall in love for the initial time, this theory claims that it leaves a lasting impact. We tend to think and view our first love as “the one,” causing us to compare every individual we meet after them to our original partner.

The term “first love syndrome” explains how our initial encounters with emotion factor into what we consider to be true love. It’s almost like we’re biologically hardwired to search for that same feeling we had when we fell in love for the very first time.

Up Next

Masculinity And Mental Health: 12 Warning Signs of Depression In Men And What To Do

Signs of Depression in Men You Shouldn't Ignore

Do you often feel frustrated, irritable, and withdrawn? If you are a man and if you are frequently in a bad mood, then it’s likely that you have male depression. The shadows of masculinity can often hide the signs of depression in men.

Male mental health is a topic we rarely talk about as a society that is supposed to be fair and equal. Yet, societal expectations often silence the cries for help from men who suffer from depression. 

But let’s change that today! Depression affects millions of people worldwide, regardless of gender. However, men often face unique challenges when it comes to recognizing and addressing