How Quickly Can “love” Really Happen?

Spoke to a good girlfriend recently and she was ranting about her new boyfriend. He sounds like an absolute asshole and doesn't treat her well at all. Heck, doesn't even treat her neutral. 

When I advised her to leave him. To my horror surprise, she exclaimed "BUT I'M SO IN LOVE WITH HIM!!!"

Girl, you're only dating. This is the honeymoon phase.

Yet, you’re having all these issues from day 1 and he treats you so badly... your response is... to fall in love with him????

In love with him? Or in love with the idea of having him as a partner/bf/other half? Those 2 are very very different things ah.
From my experience, love really only comes later on. A relationship starts with just a whole bunch of attractions. With Adamson, I was attracted to his strength, how hands on with Myla he is, his intelligence, drive and determination, how he has presence in a room of people, how he thrives in the role of the alpha and the protector. From there, I became in love with the idea of being with.

But it is only with time and after many months of going through tough stuff together. Only then will you start to fall in love with the person... not just the idea of being with him, beyond the superficial levels (like ooh arm candy or man he's a good catch). Every trial and tribulation we weather through, every joy and triumph  we share is a bonding experience and from this closer and closer bond we form, love grows. 

At this point, I should also mention, that life is not a bed of roses ah, so don't expect it to be all bonding bonding bonding. The reality is, on the flip side of all that ... with every selfish gesture displayed, every disagreement or contention (of which there will be many as we are all but human) it will eat away at that love. I see it like a tank. The tank gets filled as you go along, but it also empties out a bit here and there.

If you're fortunate enough to have found the right person for you, then the tank fills a lot faster and stronger than it empties. If you're not a good match, that tank will eventually dry up and no amount of "IN LOVE" can fix that. It is only things like delusion, or fear, or insanity or perhaps still being in love with the idea of having him that makes you stay.

What do you think? How quickly can love really happen? And can it truly be love without all those stages that come before?