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A couple in the honeymoon phase are infatuated with each other.

How To Make Sure Your Relationship Survives Past The Honeymoon Phase

Anyone who’s been in a relationship will recognize the honeymoon phase. The honeymoon phase is at the beginning of a relationship when everything seems so bright, you’re completely infatuated with each other, and you haven’t realized your relationship pet peeves yet. This doesn’t last forever though, as every relationship finds that infatuation is great, but it isn’t sustainable. That’s why the quote “the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long” is so accurate. So, how do you make sure the relationship has what it takes to survive past the lustful and intense honeymoon phase? First, you will need to know exactly what the honeymoon phase is, and how to identify whether you’re in fact experiencing it.

What is the honeymoon phase and how to spot it?

The honeymoon phase is the beginning part of your relationship where you are so infatuated with your partner that everything in the relationship seems perfect. The term comes from the traditional holiday couples take after their weddings to celebrate their marriage. Also called the honeymoon stage or period, this phase exists in more than just relationships. Starting a new job? Moved to a new city? Bought a new phone? All bring with them their own honeymoon phase. This period can exist for relationships, places, things, and concepts. Now that you know what the honeymoon phase is, here are 5 ways to spot it.

1. Improved Mental State

Everything is a little brighter in the honeymoon phase, and that will seep into your mental health. According to Scientific American people experiencing passionate love tend to have high levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with reward and motivation. The same article shows that people in new relationships tend to have higher levels of nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein that aids in the development and functioning of neurons, than single people or those in long-term relationships. As it turns out the honeymoon phase is actually good for your mental health.

2. You’re constantly bringing them up

If you’ve ever talked to someone in the honeymoon phase you’ll know that they usually will talk about their partner at every opportunity. Much like we tend to do with everything new and exciting in our lives, we talk about it and share the stories with our friends, family, and even strangers. 

3. You miss/crave them

If being around your partner brings you a dopamine rush, then being away for too long will seem torturous. Any spare time you have you spend messaging, calling, or seeing them in person. You may be counting down the minutes until you are with them when you aren’t.

4. You know everything and nothing about them

Even though it is the beginning of your relationship you feel like there is no one you trust more. You are comfortable sharing intimate details of your life, and you may feel like you’ve always known them. On the flip side, you may not know basic information about them, like their middle name, where they went to school, or even, some of their closest friends. You know everything and nothing about them.

5. Kissing… lots of it

Early on in a relationship, it may be hard to get your hands off of each other. A lot of the fuel to your relationship during the honeymoon phase comes from passion, lust, and sexual attraction, and this is a good thing! A study published in the journal of Sexual and Relationship Therapy looking into kissing and kissing frequency found that a higher kissing frequency was a strong predictor of the sexual and general relationship quality.

How long does the honeymoon phase last, and how will I know when it’s done?

Nothing lasts forever, and that is especially true for this stage. According to Dr. Joy Davidson, the average honeymoon phase for a married couple lasts two years, six months, and 25 days. The honeymoon phase could also be much shorter, and factors like pregnancy can also impact how long your period of bliss will last. For others, their honeymoon phase may come to a natural end early, because those in the relationship get used to each other quicker.

The end of your honeymoon phase is not the end of your relationship or even the end of passion in your relationship. The hallmark of a good relationship is one that can make it past the honeymoon phase, and develop shared values, friendship, and love. Whether your honeymoon phase lasts you 2 months or two years does not determine the quality of your relationship, how your relationship survives beyond the honeymoon does. Here are the 4 signs that the honeymoon phase in your relationship is coming to an end.

1. You stop feeling the need to win over your partner

On the first date, you grabbed your nicest suit and made sure you looked your best, but after date number 100 you’ve dressed down a bit. You feel comfortable knowing your partner finds you attractive and you find your partner attractive as well. Communication is natural. You no longer feel the urge to win over your partner. While dressing up for fancy dates is nice on occasion, you are not opposed to spending the night in pajamas binge-watching Netflix.

2. Disagreements happen and they are not always resolved right away

You are more open to addressing and communicating things with your partner. This means the things you may have let go of during the honeymoon phase get addressed and could cause a fight. While this may seem like a negative, conflict is actually healthy for relationships to have. Being comfortable airing your grievances can make you both feel heard.

3. Things you overlooked start to annoy you

You know that habit that they had that you glossed over during the honeymoon phase because you were madly in love with them? Well, now it’s your pet peeve. As you start to get to know your partner better, you’ll be bound to find some of their tendencies that you are not too fond of.

4. You know when to give them space

Where once you couldn’t get pulled away from your partner, now you find that spending time without them could be good for both of you. There’s nothing wrong with not spending every waking moment together, in fact, there is a skill to knowing when your partner needs space.

How to make sure your relationship lasts past the honeymoon phase.

The true testament to a successful relationship is how it fares once the passion and infatuation die down. So, how do you ensure that your relationship doesn’t stall out after the honeymoon phase? Here are the five things you can do to ensure your relationship can survive past the honeymoon phase.

1. Get to know each other

One of the big changes between the honeymoon phase and post-honeymoon is how well you know your partner. A big part of bridging that gap is making sure you show a desire to learn about them. Listening to your partner, and showing interest in their interests is an important sign of maturity in a relationship. The same goes for your partner, it is important that they get to know you as well. Opening up and being honest is key to long-term success.

2. Find something that you two can share

Dating tends to be easier when you have a mutual friend, or a shared experience or passion, and the same applies once you are in a relationship. Having something to talk about and obsess over  is an easy way to bring you and your partner together. Starting a TV show or joining a class are fun ways of sharing parts of your lives without too much commitment.

3. Learn how to communicate your emotions

Honesty is the best policy in relationships. Learning how to be open with your partner is an important skill necessary for a successful relationship. Honesty is a two-way street so make sure you are not the only one divulging information.

4. Give them space

Part of maturing in a relationship is not having to spend every second with your partner, which may be easier said than done. Learning how and when to give your partner space is something you must learn if you want your relationship to be sustainable.

5. Show them love in a way they will appreciate

Learn your partner’s love language and then show them love in the way that they appreciate it most. If they appreciate gifts, give them something meaningful. For someone whose love language is quality time, spend the day with them doing something they love. For people who appreciate acts of service, take some time to do something for them. If they appreciate words of affirmation, make sure you communicate how much they mean to you. If they appreciate touch, well, you know what to do…

After the Honeymoon Phase

Growing out of the honeymoon phase of your relationship can be nerve-wracking, but it is a good thing. While it may not be as exciting to you there is nothing better than getting to know and evolve with a partner. It may also let you know if your relationship is right for you. Maturing in a relationship allows you to grow too so that no matter what happens next you will likely be able to say you are a better person because of it.

For more advice on relationships check out our article on broaching the topic of consensual non-monogamy and our article on dealing with political incompatibility with your spouse.

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