What to Expect After the End of the Honeymoon Phase
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The start of a new relationship is thrilling. It’s exciting to talk late into the night and feel yourself falling in love with someone who makes you happy. Everything is smooth sailing, which is the period typically referred to as the honeymoon phase. It’s a blissful time in your relationship, but it won’t last forever.
Even if it’s uncomfortable or a little sad, it’s healthy for that phase to turn into something new. You can’t demand perfection from your partner or vice versa. When you notice your love life returning to a sense of normalcy, this is what to expect after the end of the honeymoon phase. With a little patience and work from both partners, your relationship will thrive long after the worry-free phase of falling in love.
1. Enjoy a Little Space
Lovebirds crave precious time spent together. You might daydream about going out to dinner or relaxing together at home. After the end of the honeymoon phase, you or your partner will need more space instead.
Giving yourself space and enjoying it is a crucial part of fostering a healthy relationship. You both have to grow into yourselves to become a stronger team. Think about what you’d like to do in your free time. You might go back to school, find a new hobby or pursue another dream. Support each other during this growth, so it continues into your future.
2. Schedule Another First Date
Maybe the first phase of your relationship ended because you both got distracted with life’s demands and responsibilities. Whenever you can, schedule another first date. Maybe recreate how you met or go somewhere on each other’s bucket lists.
The butterflies and rainbows don’t have to end. It all depends on the effort you put into rekindling the romance, so it never fades.
3. Relax Your Sex Life
Most people notice that the honeymoon phase is over when their sex life dulls. Instead of barely being able to keep your hands off each other, days or even weeks go by without intimacy. It’s an unfortunately normal part of long-term relationships, especially if you live together.
Try not to hold your partner to the same physical intimacy standards as you did when everything was new. The average couple enjoys sex once a week, so don’t feel pressured to over-perform. You’ll find a natural rhythm to that part of your relationship that satisfies both of your needs.
4. Plan Your Future
It’s difficult for a relationship to succeed if your futures don’t work well together. Talk about what you want for your life and see if those plans require two separate paths. Taking the time to coordinate your life goals changes your relationship for the better. It’s not as romantic as living in the moment, but it forms a concrete foundation for a happy future.
5. Acknowledge the Annoyances
Getting annoyed by your partner is another sure sign that you’ve reached the end of the honeymoon phase. It can also be a positive promise that you’re about to strengthen your love. Acknowledge your annoyances and discuss them rationally. Resolving conflict well is one way to know if you’re in a good relationship, which is likely what you’re wondering when romance turns into reality.
6. Embrace Your First Fight
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. No one will think and feel the same way about everything, so it’s impossible to avoid fighting forever. The secret to maintaining your relationship even after arguments is to approach fights as a team instead of personal attacks.
Follow tips from couples counselors, like:
- Always listen to your partner and hear their concerns.
- Never use insulting or derogatory language.
- Look for the emotional root of the argument.
A complaint about loading the dishwasher is never only about the dishes. Keeping an open mind will teach you both how to navigate arguments, find the real cause of them and heal together.
7. Accept New Routines
When you make these adjustments to your relationship, you’ll form new routines. Don’t be afraid of them! Routines are normal and can be healthy, depending on how you spend your time. For example, it’s not a bad sign if you only talk during specific times of the week because you both work late.
Accept the new routines instead of fighting them. Learn to enjoy going out a few times a week, instead of every night. Look forward to saying goodnight over video chat with your long-distance partner. When you settle into a routine that benefits both your schedules and emotional needs, it could be what makes the difference between lasting love and heartbreak.
8. Continue Learning About Each Other
Relationships fail for numerous reasons, but they all start when a couple becomes disinterested in each other. Challenge yourself to continue learning about your partner. Start heartfelt discussions that lead to more profound bonds. You’ll always have that core emotional connection to return to if you promise to never stop dating each other and always remember why your love exists.
Take One Day at a Time
After the end of the honeymoon phase, people often panic. If you don’t feel like you’re floating all the time, does that mean you’re heading to a doomed future? Take one day at a time. Use these tips to navigate through the many future phases of your relationship and enjoy every one of them.