Is the "honeymoon" period actually a thing?

Picklepaige

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#1
I am talking about people here, not dogs, though I am interested if it is actually a thing with dog ownership as well, as I hear it talked about a lot :p

Human relationships intrigue me, and this is something I have been wondering about. I have been with my S/O for four years. In those four years, we have spent pretty much every ounce of our time together. We have fought literally zero times, even during stressful situations. We still write long sappy notes to each other and send "i love you" texts to each other while we're at work or school. My favorite part of the day is coming home to see him, we are still super cuddly lovey-dovey, and we still do little things for each other "just because". I guess the one thing that has changed is I don't get that "butterflies" feeling every time I see him, but that is because I'm not nervous around him anymore; we know everything about each other and are extremely comfortable, so I don't need to be. But "comfortable" doesn't equal "bored", and we still definitely have that "in love" feeling.

But looking at my friends and family who are my age and have been in relationships for similiar amounts of time, that doesn't seem to be the norm. From what I can gather, they still love their significant others, but they don't feel IN love with them anymore; honestly, from what I see they don't even seem to like each other. Some of them have a scheduled date night, but other than that they don't really do anything together. They all chalk it up to the honeymoon period ending, and they all said it ended after anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.

So is the honeymoon period really a thing? I can't help but feel like it's just a term to describe how people get together with the first person they feel affection for, then once the "new" feeling wears off it's like...oh, I'm not actually compatible with this person. Whoops. Did you have a "honeymoon" period? When did it end?

Sorry if this makes no sense and is just a jumbled mess haha. I just woke up and this was the thought I woke up with. I'm going back to sleep now. :lol-sign:
 

Keechak

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#2
Being an outside observer of human romantic relationships, meaning I've never been in one myself, it seems there is an "infatuation" period. Where people feel "in love" with the other person but as the years go by and they spend more time with that person it starts to wear away.

It seems that infatuation and actual love feel the same at first but one lasts longer than the other.
 

Airn

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#3
This is perfect timing.

Well SO and I had been together 4.5 years. We were long distance for a year and then moved in together. I think for the first... 3 years we were very happy and lovey. But it's very difficult living with someone. Neither of us had ever been on our 'own' and going straight from our parent's to living together was a shock.

Earlier this week we both decided to end the relationship and go our separate ways. I believe we still love each other but we are not IN love. We had become roommates and there was a slight resentment building. I thought it best we separated before we hated each other. ;) And we both have our personal demons that need to be taken care of before relationships can be formed or mended. I think this happens especially when you're young. I was 17 when we got together and now at 22 I want different things in life.

So, yes, I think there is a honeymoon period. But there are exceptions to everything. Every relationship is so crazy, it's really hard to compare your's to other's when you really get into it. We're all different and what works for one couple would break another. If you are happy, awesome. STAY HAPPY. Don't let jaded people get you down. :)
 
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#4
I've been with my SO for over 10 years (dating/engaged for 4.5 years, married for 5.5). We still send I love you texts. Not everyday, but it's not uncommon to send/receive one or two throughout the week. We also see nothing wrong with spending the weekends together, without seeing another person, only the two of us.
 

*blackrose

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#5
Michael and I have been together for almost four years now, married for just over one. I still feel the exact same as when we first started dating, save for the fact that now I don't care if he sees me with unshaven legs/bad hair/and wearing my super comfy but not very sexy pajamas. LOL I still smile when he texts me. Spending my afternoons with him is still one of my favorite things to do. He still makes my heart jump when he surprises me with flowers. I can't imagine not having him in my life. Sure, we have disagreements and "discussions". But they're just that - discussions. Sometimes heated, but they are never fights. Ha, it's kind of funny...we've actually never had to argue about finances. I've had to tell him to cut back on fast food and video games and he helps keep me in check when I want to buy All The Things for the animals, but things like budgeting, savings, credit card usage...we were on the same page from the get go. We've argued more about how to do the laundry than we have finances. :rofl1:

So, if there is a honey moon period, ours hasn't ended yet! But then again, we didn't go in to our relationship thinking it was going to be all rainbows, sunshine and fairy farts. We also have the same goals in life (minus a few minor details) and are working towards the same desires. I think that makes a difference.
 

Torch

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#6
It sounds to me like you guys have a very strong relationship and are very compatible.

As long as you feel this way, there's no reason for it to ever change :) I do believe in the honeymoon period somewhat, but it doesn't have to end. Ideally, a relationship grows stronger and more understanding as time goes on, so rather than the honeymoon period ending, it can evolve into a deeper relationship.

I think that those who complain about the honeymoon period ending, and state that 'things are so different now' etc, etc, are probably somewhat incompatible. There shouldn't be a DRASTIC change in your feelings for your s/o over the years. Sure, you're people, and people change, but IMO the strongest relationships will include people who make their relationship a priority, so that it doesn't change drastically over the years.
 

Beanie

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#7
Yes there's a honeymoon period, but referring to not even really seeming to like each other as "the honeymoon period ending" is... not really fair haha. The honeymoon period ending is supposed to mean the puppy love stage is over and in it's place is the comfortable strength of an enduring love. You aren't in love because things are new and exciting and OMG, you're in love because you are.

It seems to have become very common to stay in relationships because at least you are in one. At least you have somebody to come home to. A warm body in the bed. Someone to eat dinner with should you so choose. If you have an agreed-upon date night, even easier, holy crap, you know every Thursday you have a "date" and you don't even have to work for it. Does it matter if you're not really happy? Because at least you aren't alone.

An overwhelming number of my friends are married or in very long term relationships. And I am actually happy to say most of my friends not only still enjoy their SO but love each other. But I do have friends who are in relationships just to be in one. Man, I get it, being single blows, being lonely is horrible. But there are worse things than being alone - like being in a relationship and STILL being lonely.

It takes guts to choose being alone over staying in a relationship that has actually ended.


That said, I think sometimes people also give up too easily rather than fighting to fix relationships that could be fixed, or being that people now suck at intimacy they don't even know how to build it into a relationship once the "butterflies" vacate, but those are different issues. Sometimes people are not compatible, like you said, and that is actually okay. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with either person, it's just not the right match. And sometimes you can love somebody very much and it's STILL not the right match - this is okay too. But society views somebody who isn't in a relationship as wrong or damaged somehow, so we are made to believe making these decisions and exiting a relationship is NOT actually okay... so people stay when they should leave, they try to make a round peg fit a square hole, and everybody goes "Eh. It's because the honeymoon period is over."
That's totally not what that saying means.
 

Julee

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#8
Yes there's a honeymoon period, but referring to not even really seeming to like each other as "the honeymoon period ending" is... not really fair haha. The honeymoon period ending is supposed to mean the puppy love stage is over and in it's place is the comfortable strength of an enduring love. You aren't in love because things are new and exciting and OMG, you're in love because you are.
Perfectly put.
 

stardogs

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#9
Beanie's spot on I think!

DH and I have been together for almost 11 years, married for almost 7. We've always been pretty independent within the relationship, and we have our arguments, but in the end, we are still "in love" and still truly enjoy spending time with one another. We have set weekly lunches that I really look forward to, and we just fit so well.

It's work at times, and we do have days/weeks where we pick at each other for no real reason, but such is life. It doesn't mean anything other than one or both of use was a little stressed. We talk about it, and we always bounce back.

I see a LOT of relationships fail because of unfair expectations and poor communication.
 

Fran27

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#10
Oh yes things definitely change with time. You grow up, circumstances change, if you have children it's a whole different relationship...
 

joce

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#11
I view the honeymoon period as the unrealistic people who say we never fight or disagree or we agree on everything and everything is all flowers and roses and it all ends happily ever after.

I mean realistically relationships take work. You will sometimes have to talk things out and it's give and take. It's not all happy butterfly's. And when you realize that, that's when the honeymoon period is over.

I don't think it being over means relationships should end. I don't think it's a period that necessarily should last long because when it ends it's a bigger shock. I don't want to be in perfect behavior all the time!

And good lord if you are arguing and have throw down fights in this phase break up. I hear this at work all the time. I know our social worker at work has a paper for a group that says this phase is a six month phase but it varies and I agree.

I think for us it lasted a year or two. We have had our ups and downs over the years. Been together sixteen. If you walk away for lack of butterflies you don't get to far.

I feel I rambled a lot. He frustrated the heck out if me sometimes but if I had my choice of who to hang out with it would be him. I love him always but there are times I do want to hit with with a wiffle bat. And I know he feels the same way! But he does so much for me running our little farm. Hay is hard. Horses are hard. And I really want some pigs and I think I am going to win this :p
 

Picklepaige

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#12
This has all been really interesting to read! Beanie's response especially is helpful, and goes along with what I think. I think for most people, the first few months you are in love with the relationship. It doesn't matter who you are in a relationship with; you are going to feel that same "omg ilu so much let's get married now" feeling because it's new and exciting and relationship!

But once you are together for a while, you begin to realize that...oh...I am dating an actual person, not just an emotion, and start to realize that that person is a complex being who has likes and dislikes and you begin to see who they really are, and sometimes that personality isn't what you want, but you stay with them because you feel comfortable with them, even if you don't really love them all that much. And that's what people call the end of the "honeymoon period".

That's what I have noticed, but I just never knew it had a name! I think people would be much better off if they dated with the intent of "I am trying to figure out which type of person I mesh best with" rather than going into every relationship thinking they are THE ONE. I dated three people before my S/O and each one was a learning experience and helped me realize what I want in a relationship. It helped that I was best friends with my current boyfriend before we got together, so we already knew how well we mesh, and it was a "why didn't we get together earlier??" moment for us :p

It's all been uphill from there :)
 

GipsyQueen

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#13
I think Beanie is spot on.

SO and I have been together for 4 years - 3 of which we have been living together. We've always been pretty indepentant within our relationship (I'm a very private, homebody, SO isn't so I stay home alot while he's out with friends etc.)

I guess we've moved on to a deeper kind of love? I'm not really sure how to discribe it - it's certianly different from when we met and first started dating. He is literally like my other half - he knows me too well :p
 

meepitsmeagan

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#14
LOVELOVELOVE Beanie's post.

DH and I have been together almost 5 years. Married 3, dated 2x before that, each for about a year with two years in the middle of our breakup.

I'm not sure our "honeymoon" period was ever as such or just crazy, raging high school hormones. :rofl1: Pretty sure we broke up over parental pressures the first time and then the second I was very apprehensive to get back together, so I definitely put him through the ringer. Once we were officially back together, we kind of got right into the groove of things.

I would say in general there is a honeymoon period but it shouldn't change your relationship when it ends. If anything, like others have said, you just begin to feel more comfortable around each other. We both have annoyances with each other. I'm not a super clean person, he likes different laundry detergent and leaves beard hairs on the sink. Outside of that, we just fit together. We have a lot in common, but we are also independent in a lot of ways. We can go spend a night out, we can go hunting or fishing together, sometimes he works up the nerve to come horseback riding, he even helps me study. I always look forward to our time together. We don't always agree, but we've never had an outright screaming fight- even in my depressed states when they are most likely to occur. Communication is the key for sure. And not letting things fester.

I will say, that I think there are always going to be ups and downs and phases where you feel "out of sorts". I remember back about four years ago I was reading an MSN relationships article on the long lived marriages and one gal said that the key was not falling out of love at the same time. Every one changes over time. You have to adapt to the changes, which can sometimes be difficult. I think the younger you get together, the more of those changes you face (early 20's are rough, lol). At the end of the day, if you want to be together then you do what it takes to make it happen.

/rambling. Sorry if it wasn't to the point.
Slightly OT, but this got me thinking about when we first met. BAHAHA. Oh man. I used to wear a studded emo-type belt with cowboy boots. What a nerd I was.
 

sparks19

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#15
Yes there definitely is.

I mean, my husband and I have been together 10 years and we still hug and kiss and say I love you everyday! We enjoy spending the majority of our free time together and miss each other terribly when we are apart

but it's different than the honeymoon period where we just wanted to have sex every second of everyday and pretty much our relationship revolved around sex and what not!
 
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#16
Beanie pretty much nailed it IMO

Yes, there is a honeymoon period. Its the initial rush and oh my gosh stage where the rest of life kind of falls away for a bit. The honeymoon period ends when the relationship becomes real and solid and PART of your everyday life, part of you.

I think a lot of couples go through another honeymoon phase after getting married as its another new step and of course there is a lot of excitement and anxiety. But also, a lot of people before getting married really just "date" and dont fully incorporate their lives together

DH and I have been married for 10 1/2 years now and have been living together for over 15. We went through the honeymoon period probably a bit quicker because I moved in within a month of starting to date (practically lived there from our first night really) and was only 19 at the time. We worked together as well so it was a really quick jump into life. My mom on the other hand had a longer honeymoon period ...even once it was more than just puppy love, she dated my stepdad for 10 years but it was separate from her life in many ways, dates on saturday night and the occasional weeknight dinner with the family or holiday. So the real nitty gritty of the relationship took a bit longer to get to...their first couple years of marriage were a bit rough not because they didnt love each other but because life (they were of course also older and more set in their ways, blending families is hard, my little brother is chronically ill, etc)
 

GoingNowhere

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#17
Yes there's a honeymoon period, but referring to not even really seeming to like each other as "the honeymoon period ending" is... not really fair
I definitely agree with the above.

I think that there is certainly such a thing as a "honeymoon period" in relationships, although I don't know that I would define it as being in love with the relationship, rather than the person. I think that even the best relationships do go through a sort of honeymoon phase. To me, this is the phase of rose-colored glasses, in which the relationship is still new and blossoming and aside from obvious transgressions, the other party can "do no wrong" in the eyes of the significant other. It's a sort of infatuation phase, so-to-speak. I tend to think that so many people are habitual "serial daters" because they crave the thrill that exists in this period and when it inevitably dies down, they move along to new and more exciting things.

I can tell you that in my relationship, the period right around 10 months into the relationship was by far the hardest. This was the period after the "honeymoon" when we were far enough into our relationship to begin realizing that in fact, no, the other person is not perfect, but not yet so far established to have learned to appreciate each other's flaws. We have never really been the fighting type, but there were far more misunderstandings in this period than before or after.

I read once in the "Complete Idiot's Guide to the Chemistry of Love" that it is not until roughly 2 years into a relationship that the hormones involved in the feeling of "love" finally stabilize to about what they will be for the long-haul.
 

k9krazee

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#18
I think of the honeymoon period as the point in time when everything is new and exciting, and that ends when the relationship becomes more comfortable and stable. The first couple years with my husband were a whirlwind...it all happened very suddenly and we got married quickly. Butterflies and anxiety and OMGINLOVE. You're learning about each other and in our case, lots of people were learning about us, and it was exhilarating! We were so busy with wedding planning, a new dog, a new house and our first trips and vacations together.

Now, a year and a half after our wedding things are more routine and calm. We've lived in our house for a year together. We have a routine, we've mapped out our year. Our relationship isn't thrilling or shocking or in the limelight. People aren't talking about our engagement or our wedding anymore. Now we're just Mr. & Mrs. living our happy little life.

Our relationship is different now than it was those first weeks, months, years----but I know that it's always going to change and evolve. We still spend every waking moment together (we work and play together) and I STILL love him more and more every day and still choose to spend time with him over anyone else.

I see a lot of relationships that people are, like Beanie said, in love with the idea of being in a relationship/engaged/married/etc. and when that excitement or honeymoon phase is over, so is that relationship. There was a point in time when we were "coming out" about our relationship and I wondered if I would still feel the same about him once people knew. Part of me really liked the secrecy & the taboo, for lack of a better word, and I WAS scared that maybe that's all I loved. (it obviously wasn't, fwiw). I can see how that can break a relationship though. It's kind of what happened with my ex---it was a comfortable, easy relationship and everything was hunky dory until we started to think about the future. I just couldn't see myself "trapped" with him forever, even though we were happily together for 5 years. I just really liked being a couple and I didn't really truly love him as a person. When I admitted out loud that I didn't enjoy going out in public with him (the ex) or was often embarrassed by him, I realized it had to be the end of that relationship.
 

milos_mommy

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#19
Yeah, I don't see the honeymoon period as when you say I Love You constantly or can't wait to see each other...and I think with my BF we actually argue less now than early on, as we start to learn better how each other communicates.

I don't necessarily see it as a sex/physical thing either....yeah, we were probably a little more interested in prioritizing sex in the beginning but the attraction and excitement is definitely still there.

The honeymoon period to me was more like "oh honey you left your shoes in the middle of the floor because you were so eager to come in and relax with me? You're so cute" to OMG dude put your **** shoes away (not like I'd talk to him like that, but when I'm like "babe, can you move your shoes" there is a silent "for the zillionth time!" in my head. Or the difference between "sure baby we can watch 3 hours of basketball because I'm happy just to be laying next to you cuddling" and honestly meaning it and being like "I don't mind if we watch basketball tonight" because it makes him happy and you really don't mind buttttt you're going to be mentally going over your grocery list instead of paying attention.

It was slightly easier to let the little things (at least the repetitive ones) go in the beginning.

And while honeymoon phrase is referring to marriage traditionally, I think you certainly get multiple...with dating, moving in together, marriage, buying a house, parenthood.
 

amberdyan

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#20
Another vote for Beanie's post.

With my SO, 5 years later, we're still as dorky and in love as in the beginning, it's just less about sex and more about how I actually appreciate and love her as a whole human being. We talk on our lunch break and spend almost all of our free time together. She's out of town at the end of this week for a conference and I'll be a little mopey and miss her and she'll call before bed and we'll just be generally disgusting in terms of cuteness. I'm able to function as an independent person, everything is just more fun when she's around. I think the ending of the honeymoon period is mostly just about establishing yourselves as a real couple. I MUCH prefer where we are now. Our relationship is still super exciting, and I still get butterflies. We just also do our taxes, shop at IKEA and do chores together.
 

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