I know CS Lewis tells us there are four loves, but at the Becoming Passionate Teammates marriage workshop, Bob and Deb shared with us three phases or types of love that I think everyone needs to know about.
The first type of love was New Love. Most of us understand this phase. This is the kind you experience in the first few months of a relationship. The kind where you think about your significant other all time, talk all the time, get butterflies around each other, sweaty palms. It’s that really easy, new, romantic, honeymoon type of love. We all love this stage. And typically, it’s the stage that most of us cycled in and out of as teenagers as we hopped from one dating relationship to another. This is also the kind that Hollywood celebrities are often known for as they go from one marriage or relationship to another as the new love fades. They get addicted to the feelings of new love, and when they fade, they think, “I’m out of love.” So they drop the man or woman and pursue new love all ove again.
The second phase of love is Disappointed Love. We’ve all been here too. It’s what happens when new love fades. The butterflies are less frequent. Communication becomes a strain. The honeymoon phase is over. As I said before, this is where a lot of people bail and go seeking new love again. Unfortunately they think of love as only new love. New love is great, but if we really want to experience love like God intended, we move from new love, into disappointed love, and make the mature decision to move to the aptly named Mature Love.
Mature Love is where, instead of of bailing out during disappointed love, or just resigning to a miserable lifetime in disappointed love, we work hard at knowing and loving our spouse, and begin intentionally practicing the things we naturally did in New Love. We realize that we are not children or teenagers, and that we can be men and women of our word, and that when we said, “I do” and “until death do us part” that God really intended for us to follow through.
The lesson we all need to learn is that our New Love will become Disappointed Love. This is natural. What we don’t need to do is here is bail out on our spouse. We need to mature, and commit to the hard work of loving as we move toward a Mature Love that can be more fulfilling then New Love will ever be. Let’s commit to ourselves, to God, and to our spouses that we will accept the fact of Disappointed Love, that we will not resign ourselves to Disappointed Love or bailing out in favor of New Love, but that we will work hard at growing through the challenges to an awesome Mature Love.
What Mature Love may look like?: