The Five Essential Stages of Lasting Love

Love Cycles, now in its 2nd Printing!
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“An incredible book . . . It should be required reading for everyone who plans to fall in love and wants to stay in love!”

— Arielle Ford, author of The Soulmate Secret


The notions that passion always peters out, that we’re vulnerable to a “seven-year itch,” and that honeymoons are over once reality sets in are clichés that contain a kernel of truth. But the inevitable waning of infatuation doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy long-term love. As veteran couples therapist Linda Carroll shows, love cycles, including Doubt and Denial, are part of genuine intimacy, rather than signs of its demise.

Love Cycles argues that by courageously journeying through the stages that follow the initial, rapturous Merge cycle, we can finally arrive on the shores of authentic intimate relationship. As crucial as our willingness to navigate the stormy waters of Disillusionment and Decision is our ability to embrace the inner personal development that is both a reward of and prerequisite for Wholehearted Loving. The goal that Carroll demonstrates how to attain is to become our best self and to share that self — honestly and joyfully — with another.
linda carroll love cycles
Love Cycles is for people who want a healthy, happy, committed relationship — now and in the future.


“In this dynamic guide to developing healthy relationships, Carroll, a couple’s therapist, elaborates on the development of relationships by examining a common, fundamental problem among them—humans want to form connections but also maintain their independence. As a relationship grows, each partner journeys through the five cycles of love: the merge, when each partner is wholly obsessed with the wonder and delight of the new relationship; doubt and denial, when the rational mind attempts to point out flaws with the other partner while the heart still clings to the unrealistic perfect relationship; disillusionment, in which conflicts have grown; decision, when the partners are forced to come to terms with the realities of their not-perfect partners and make a decision about the future; and wholehearted loving, in which the two partners have decided to work hard on the relationship and embrace all its joys and difficulties. Carroll’s interpretation is highly relatable: it is at once a relationship book as well as a sort of self-help. Readers looking to experience a rewarding relationship will also come away with a better sense of self.”
Publisher's Weekly
July 7, 2014
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“A rare and exceptional book that offers a wise and hopeful map of the geography of love. It will help you navigate the highs and lows of romance and sexual love, the quiet pleasures of friendship, and the abiding comfort of care.”
Sam Keen
author and philosopher, best known for
Fire in the Belly and Hymns to an Unknown God
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“Sure to inspire and enlighten anyone who seeks to enhance the quality of their relationships . . . abundant with great guidelines geared to the challenge of creating enduring love.”
Linda Bloom
coauthor of 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married
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“Linda Carroll’s book is impossible to read without seeing yourself in its pages. How can she be speaking directly to me—and yet she is—and everyone will feel that way. That’s because this extremely talented therapist knows what makes us tick, and can point out the inevitable stages of love that we need to navigate and master. You cannot help but be awed at the clarity and power of her observations on beginning, maintaining, and repairing profound relationships. We all need this book, to read once for perspective, and then to keep reading for guidance. This is a real contribution: accessible and meaningful from start to finish.”
Pepper Schwartz, PhD
author of 19 books on sex and relationships

and Love and Relationships Ambassador for AARP
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“Linda Carroll has achieved it—a truly commonsense manual on growing relationships while growing ourselves. Love Cycles is a “must read” for all, no matter where you are in your cycle of loving. Kudos to Carroll for a valuable contribution to a discipline long in need of a ‘real’ model.”
Marilyn Mason
motivational speaker and author of
Becoming a Genuine Leader and Facing Shame
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“A helpful and wise guide for people who want to make their love last. The author understands the stages as well as the pitfalls of love, honoring the former and explaining how to navigate the latter.”
Frederic Luskin, PhD
author of Forgive for Good
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“Linda Carroll deeply understands the challenges and potential of each stage and will help you normalize, survive, and master this journey.”
Janis Abrahms Spring
author of After the Affair
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“Linda Carroll's wisdom is so direct and radiant, it has inspired me to tend my relationship in a deeper, more mature way.”
Jennifer Louden
author of The Life Organizer

“To be wholehearted, then, is to know we won’t arrive; we won’t cross a bridge and finally “get there.” Paradoxically, that’s what creates wholeness — our acceptance that perfection is beyond our reach. The gift we gain through the daily practice of love is to be more wholly present in each moment and to open ourselves to all of life with a full heart. The love that blossoms is real.”

Click HERE for a copy of
Love Cycles, specially
autographed by Linda.

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