There is a Russian proverb which states “love and eggs are best when they are fresh”. In light of Valentines Day festivities, this week we discussed in class the five stages of an intimate relationship:

1. Infatuation

When everything is new and perfect, with no consideration for logic.

2. Landing

The scary part where the newness disappears and you realise insecurities, flaws and doubts exist.

3. Burying

When each of your life’s priorities mix with the relationship and a balance is tried.

4. Resurfacing

The stage where you turn to your partner, after resolving a big problem, and appreciate what you have.

5. Love

When, throughout the ups and downs of your relationship, you feel completely in love with your partner. In essence, this occurs around the five year mark. Before then, the previous four stages are in rotation.

What was soon uncovered were fascinating cultural norms of a relationship in Russia and the issues that come with it.

Some students had experienced love; some were on rotation. And all answered the following questions:

• Does love make you happy?

• Is love a prerequisite for marriage?

• Have you ever been in love? Are you in love now?

• Is love realistic?

• Do you believe you can meet the perfect person?

• Should we accept other people’s flaws?

• What is more important to you: love or life priorities (work, for example)?

• When should one’s differences not be accepted In a relationship?

For more insight into these five stages from another perspective, see Vivian Baruch’s article here.

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