You find yourself so utterly and disgustingly infatuated or obsessed that everything about them makes your world a better place. You often find yourself wondering how you had existed before you met them. It’s almost like having an addiction. They are on your mind 24/7 and you can’t imagine life without them.
Unfortunately, this state of euphoria that constitutes the honeymoon phase does not last forever. Inevitably, the high-energy, high-octane honeymoon emotions cool off, and you brain starts to function again. The novelty fades.
The feeling you had for your partner, which were mostly high on expectations and low on reality, is replaced by more realistic thought… and the real work of building a relationship becomes apparent.
Depending on the circumstances, the honeymoon stage could last for weeks or even stretch up to years before it fades. And usually, when it fades, it becomes a struggle to make the transition into the more matured phase of love, which includes trust, attunement, and true intimacy.
Your system goes through some sort of shock and some of the thoughts that go through your mind include:
He/she does not love me anymore
You find that your partner no longer wakes you up with the “Good Morning Sunshine” messages. The calls and chat messages are no longer frequent. You’re both communicating with each other at a far slower rate, and you do not get as much attention anymore.
Basically, that desperate need to remind the other of your presence is no longer as insistent. This worries you, and the only explanation that makes sense is that your partner does not love you anymore and whatever feeling you shared is dying. Because you are like an addict in search of the next high, you fail to see that the new punctuations in your relationship routine, isn’t something that particularly needs to be mourned.
Sure, the all night-conversations and all-day texting is now in the past, but then you are probably more productive at work; you no longer feel like you have to pretend to like that thing in bed which you don’t really like; and you no longer have to hold in your farts.
To survive this stage, you have to keep your eyes on the positives, no matter how difficult it may be. See it as your partner being “normal” with you, rather than they not loving you anymore.
We are fighting over everything now. God! It is so draining. I feel emotionally abused.
Of course at the beginning, everything your partner does is gold. You agree with everything and there are few arguments. But as your relationship grows and transitions, the blinded obsession you had for your other half stops being so blinding.
You start to notice the thing you normally ignored, and you find that the disagreements and arguments become more frequent and more intense.
You realize she is too emotional or needy; or you see that he is too egoistical, stubborn and domineering.
Other times, it is the criticism from your partner that gets you so frustrated and emotionally drained that you start to question the need to continue with the relationship. This is because it is easier to blame your partner for any negative feelings that may arise.
Usually the arguments have underlying reasons. It helps to do some introspective reflection, to understand what you feel is at the root of the fight or argument. You can even bounce your thoughts off of a friend to gain further perspective.
Most times, you find that the feelings stem from the high expectations that you haboured in your head during the honeymoon phase. They are unrealistic, and can only be resolved as you work on creating new standards for your partner.
You need a lot of patience to work through this. Every time you feel frustrated, take a step back and take ownership of your feelings; that way you stop the resentment from festering.
Also, communicate. Talk to your partner about your feelings, rather than accusing he/she of making you feel ‘somehow’ without explaining how. That is the best way to achieve a productive resolution.
Wow! he/she is not as interesting and as intelligent as I thought
During the honeymoon stage, almost everything your partner says is totally brilliant. You find their little quirks adorable and they are so awesome you wonder if they are ever wrong. As time goes by, however, they do not seem as witty as they used to be and you’re unquestionably less charmed by their tendency to tell the same annoying joke to death.
The sex is not even as great anymore. You practically memorized the layout of his penis or her curves and nothing is new and exciting anymore. You may even get bored and start wondering what it was that attracted you to them in the first place.
You also start to see all the red flags that emotions did not allow you to see when you first started and you even find yourself thinking that they are not the person that you thought they were.
To survive this, you may want to constantly remind yourself why you were attracted to them in the first place.
Again, paying mindful attention to each other will help maintain and even rekindle that connection and feeling of togetherness you had at the initial stage.
Should I break it off before he breaks it off
The veil has been yanked off from your eyes and you see your partner for who they really are. Their flaws become very glaring. They no longer fit that image you have in your head and you don’t know what to do about it. Maybe you feel exhausted from all the emotional arguments or you have really analyzed the friendship and realized that you actually have nothing in common. Your relationship lacks mutual respect, trust, mutual fulfillment and safety.
In all truth, it is imperative that you consider the pros and cons of your situation and realize the benefits (if any) of putting an end to the relationship. What you want is someone that will make you happy in the long term; if your partner is not that, it is safer to just call it what it is: an awesome fling and keep stepping.
Moving on from the honeymoon stage is one of the most painful transitions you have to make in any kind of relationship really. It can be scary, if you are the type who only craves the first stage excitement. However, it is an essential transition, as it is the only way you can develop the love you have into something deeper and more meaningful.
What are other thoughts you’ve had after your honeymoon stage expired?
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