Euphoria, reaction, adjustment and liking are the four fundamental phases of any relationship. When a person gets engaged to a girl, both go through a phase of euphoria where they can talk to each other for hours. This phase lasts for six months to three years. The next phase is the phase of reactions and fighting on smaller issues. This phase will end with mutual adjustment after a variable duration depending upon the family counseling available.
The last phase in any relationship is the real spiritual love and liking for each other.
The first euphoric phase of love relationship is medically called infatuation. It starts when two persons are attracted to each other and is due to release of adrenaline like neurochemicals like phenylethylamine, dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine makes them feel good and norepinephrine stimulates the production of adrenaline which makes the heart beat faster. These chemicals also make one feel euphoric, energized and float on air.
The last chemical oxytocin is the cuddling chemical which makes women and men calmer and more sensitive to the feelings of others. It plays an important role in romantic love as a sexual arousal hormone that signals orgasm.
The final stage of a relationship usually starts after seven years and is the stage of attachment. The chemicals involve in this are endorphins. These morphine-like opiates calm and reassure with intimacy, dependability, warmth, and shared experiences.
These hormones are not as exciting as phenylethylamine but are more addictive. The longer two people have been in a relationship the more likely it is that they’ll stay in that relationship as they get addicted to the endorphins. It is the absence of endorphins that make long-time partners yearn for each other when apart. Absent endorphins also play a part in grief from the death of a spouse.
Mark Goulston, at the University of California, said “Adrenaline-based love is all about ourselves, we like being in love. With endorphins, we like loving”.
The stages in between are the stages of reaction and adjustment and represent the normal reactions of men or women to stress and strains.
As per Ayurveda a person is made up of body, mind (mind, intellect and ego) and soul. Infatuation is at the level of body and the mind. Attachment is at the level of soul and the reactions and adjustments are at the level of mind, intellect and ego.
From Ayurveda point of view a person can have a Satvik mind (calm and poise), Rajsik mind (aggressive) and a Tamsik mind (inertia and destructive). The first infatuation and the last attachment phases of relationship are all Satvic states and the in between states are Rajsik or Tamsik.
This is one reason why newly wedded couples are given Satvik food for the initial few months including a cup of hot milk with sugar before going to the bed.
The relationship of a person can also be classified at the levels of physical body, mind, intellect, ego and the soul. All depends upon the need and the resultant satisfaction.
Rarely the husband and wife will be able to fulfill the role of all the relationships. They may be physically together but not mentally.
It is quite common for the partners to have separate relationships to satisfy their respective needs. They may have multiple relationships apart from the wife, which is only for the physical needs. They may have separate friend to satisfy their mental needs (with whom they can open out and share), another for intellectual needs and a guru for the spiritual needs.