The many moods of love

Oct 16, 2008 at 3:00 a.m. ET

A relationship is a lot like a roller coaster - there are the intense highs of infatuation but also the lows. Cosmo tells you how to endure - and even enjoy - the ups and downs of couplehood.

It's easy to assume that a relationship is meant to be a straight line. You start at Point A (falling in love) and giddily sprint toward Point B (blissful coupledom), then finally to Point C (happily ever after). But in reality, every love journey is interrupted every so often when— bam! — you hit a rut. Maybe your lust takes a header, or perhaps you start spotting his flaws. Whatever the gripe with your guy and whenever it happens, this shift can make you feel like your relationship has ground to a halt...and cause you to wonder if you've hooked up with a guy who's all wrong for you. But before you ditch your previously perfect man, stop and consider this: Relationships are cyclical, and facing downtime isn't only inevitable, it's necessary. "When it comes to real love, ups and downs aren't aberrant, they're normal," says Pepper Schwartz, PhD, author of Everything You Know About Love and Sex Is Wrong. "It's only by moving through these highs and lows of a relationship that you can reach the deepest level of connection and forge a lasting relationship."Here are the phases you can expect to endure and tips on how to come through them as an even more solid couple than before.

1 of 7