My mom used to say, "When the money stops coming in the door, the love starts going out the window.”

Brian, 41, discussing the unwritten rule of Stage 1 love

It is tempting to think of Stage II love as unconditional love. In practice, it is more conditional. Couples now expea communication skills, joint parent­ing, shared housework, sexual fulfillment, joint decision-making, a spiritual connection, mutual attraction, and mutual respect. They want both stability
and change; both interdependence and a partner who is independent. They want time to grow and lime to discover each other s growth. In Stage I, these pursuits would have taken time away from raising the children, raising the crops, and raising the money. "Discovering each other" was Stage Is Trivial Pursuit. It threatened survival.