My partner and I have been together for over a decade, so we're
way past the honeymoon phase. But don't feel bad for me, because honestly, I'm not mad about it. People often worry that keeping the honeymoon stage alive is crucial to relationship success, but what they don't realize is that the other side of that phase is actually, in some ways, so much better. It's not until the honeymoon phase passes that the relationship really starts to get real, and that's just one of the reasons why the end of the honeymoon phase isn't bad. In fact, it's pretty darn awesome.
Now, don't get me wrong — I get why people love that period of not being able to get enough of one another. It's all new and exciting and really special, and you think, "Wow, this is love!" But with time and comfort, that newness starts to fade. But that doesn't mean you're falling out of love! This is actually where the real love, the deep connection, and the test of whether or not you're really meant to be begins. In other words, the good stuff comes
after the honeymoon phase, and here are just some of the reasons why. 01
You and your partner are comfortable together
Listen, passion is great, but never underestimate the magic of being truly comfortable being yourself around another person, knowing that they'll love you and want to be around you no matter what. It's incredible, and it only happens after the honeymoon period. That's because in that early phase, neither of you are
really being yourselves. As relationship expert Monica Parikh of School of Love NYC told Elite Daily, “ During [the honeymoon phase], everyone is on their best behavior and a bit fraudulent.” She adds, “For example, you may pretend to love his mother, although she keeps shooting you the evil eye," meanwhile, "he pretends to love yoga and kale-and-apple smoothies." It’s only when all that gets dropped and you're fully yourselves with one another that you can trust that their love is unconditional. 02
You learn how to fight fair.
If you want to be in a successful relationship that lasts past the easy part (i.e., the honeymoon phase), you're going to have to learn to fight fair. The fact is, after the honeymoon phase, you're going to fight; it’s natural and normal for you to have to confront the boundaries you each have that you've likely been hiding or ignoring early on. But fighting fair is both a universal skill and a language that you create with your partner, and thus can actually help to make your bond stronger.
Sarah Watson, licensed professional counselor and sex therapist told Bustle, that's only true if you are arguing in a healthy way. “ All couples argue,” says Watson. “It’s incredibly healthy to discuss your differences and what you need from your partner. What isn't healthy is screaming and saying hurtful things that you cannot take back.” 03
You get to see your friends again.
During the honeymoon phase, we all have a tendency to neglect the other people we love, like our family and friends. If you’ve totally been cocooning for six months with your boo, it's actually a huge relief to get over the honeymoon hump (pun intended) and get back to connecting with your friends. It's important to keep a healthy balance between your relationship and your separate personal lives — and usually, finding that balance only happens as you settle into your relationship.
You regularly get a good night's sleep.
This girl needs her beauty sleep, and when you’re in a new relationship, you tend to lose a lot of Zs. Sure, it's for a very good cause, but it’s still a sacrifice that, over time, can really wear you out. (If you’re lucky,
wink wink.) But you may be surprised at how much shut-eye you actually lose at the beginning of a new romance.
Joe Auer, founder of Mattress Clarity, told Bustle that when they conducted a
survey of 3,000 Americans about their relationships’ honeymoon periods, one of their most surprising findings was “how much less sleep people get when starting a new relationship." As he explains, “30 minutes each night doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you consider that over the first month, that’s 15 hours less sleep!” Just reading that makes me want to take a nap. 05
Here’s where things start getting serious.
The best reason of all for why relationships get better after the honeymoon phase? This is where you find out if your love is real, and if it has what it takes to go the distance. Do you really love each other? If what you conclude that you do, that is truly the best feeling in the world. I'll take love over infatuation any day of the week.
So, the next time you start getting sad because the honeymoon phase is over, just stop and remember all the things that have come after it and how much better and closer they have made your relationship. Believe me, it's a beautiful thing.
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