04 Feb 2013

Is the Honeymoon Phase Over?

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Hi Grace,

I’ve been with my boyfriend for the best part of a year now, and up until now we’re been inseperable – we’re completely mad for each other! There’s been loads of passion and it’s the first time I’ve ever had the butterflies with anyone, but lately I’m starting to notice that the butterflies are going, the excitement is dying down, and things don’t seem to be as heated as they used to be.

I’m still mad for him, and I can really see things going far, but is this a sign that things are going to fizzle out, or is it just the honeymoon phase wearing off?

I’m not sure if he’s noticed the same thing, but I do worry it could be that he’s starting to get a bit bored of me now that we’re getting close to our one year anniversary. Is this something every relationship experiences so early on? Would love to know what you think!

Thanks so much for writing,

I’m so glad you posted this question, because so many “new” couples worry and are concerned with their feelings as the relationship begins to mature and calm from the initial euphoria experienced. You are not alone and yes, relationships do experience this transition!

The concept of a “honeymoon phase” is very real indeed. Though the length it lasts can vary from couple to couple, the average range falls somewhere between six and eighteen months (depending on who you ask!). It is called the honeymoon phase because it is a time of unbridled passion, needing/wanting to be together all of the time, overlooking faults and paying little attention to the world outside (just like newlyweds on a honeymoon).

Though everyone loves the honeymoon phase (some so addicted to the high that they cannot maintain relationships for the long haul, wanting to ride the wave again and again), a long-term relationship does need to mature at some point to survive. This doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be passion, fun and butterflies for your mate in the future, but it does imply that everyone does have other obligations to tend to as well (family, work, friends).

So to answer your question in a black and white sense, what you are experiencing after a year together is completely normal and to be expected. Imagine trying to maintain that speed for decades and what would decline if you were completely wrapped up in one person. You would lack friendships, overlook taking time out to engage in your passions and hobbies, your career could start to slide, you would miss spending time with family – basically many beautiful parts of life would be sacrificed to spend every minute with just one person.

The cooling down doesn’t mean your relationship must become “boring.” But it is a natural state that is a “make it or break it” point for couple survival. Couples that stay together a long time also have passion and romance, but they also face life’s challenges together, too, at a more mature relationship level. Healthy relationships also are likely to experience loss and illness, financial upsets, rough patches where communication is put to the test. They also learn to acknowledge and accept both the good and the bad in their partner – loving him or her unconditionally, warts and all. None of this comes into play during the honeymoon phase, so consider this a good step toward your future with this man.

Now with all of that said, the end of this phase can also signify more clarity of your true romantic feelings. It is normal for things to cool, but if you find yourself looking at your mate and feeling mismatched, annoyed at his habits constantly, disappointed, taken for granted or any continual negativity, this could also be a sign that you need to assess your relationship after coming out of the honeymoon phase.

If your only negative feelings are that you miss the thrills of the honeymoon phase, that isn’t about the man you are with as much as it is about you. Again, relationships cannot continue at such high intensity without other areas of life suffering as a consequence. So you will need to look inside, do some soul searching, to determine why your energy demands constant euphoria from one relationship.

Hope this helps clarify. It sounds like you’ve really enjoyed this relationship for the past year, so rest assured your relationship is blossoming and growing into a more mature phase – an absolute must for long-term, committed relationships.

Take care!
Grace

About

Grace Pamer is a full time romance and relationship writer. She writes romance and marriage proposal tip columns for various publications including YourTango.com and GalTime.com. As seen on FoxNews.com, Cosmopolitan.com, DivineCaroline.com and CanadianLiving.com to name but a few.

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