Beginnings of relationships often have a vacation-like mentality. You plan your best outfits, pick out good restaurants, mindfully select the things you want to do together. All the while, gleefully leaving mundane realities (like overnight retainers and gas bills) at the airport. This blissful time, deemed the "honeymoon phase," marks the start of a new love, and can mean hot dates, bomb sex, and all the fun new flirty feels. There’s a lot to be said for how to keep the “Honeymoon Phase” alive and how to continue to love (and love on) your boo, far past the early months. A new partner can feel like an escape from outside pressures, a sidekick next to you who will help you to conquer the world.
But after a few years, the excitement can risk fading, as stress begins to creep in. In which case, it's important to check in about each other's needs, whether that means planning an impromptu staycation, or finally get around to that favor you've been asked to do for months. Feeling that fire start to mellow out is nothing to fear. Even decades into a relationship, if stability, dependability, and trust continue flourish, new levels of comfort and rest will come naturally.
You don't fret over every text, you don't over analyze every detail with your besties, because you know your partner is there and you know they love you. The sparks haven't burnt out, they grew into a cozy campfire that's burning strong.
Here's what six people in long term relationships had to say about how they keep up the love.
I feel like my conception of the honeymoon phase is very different than most, but mainly we do a lot of intimate non-sexual touch. It's just like, sweet stuff that allows us to check in and whatnot.
Don't stop grooming just because you're comfortable, and keep complimenting each other!
I mean I'm in a long-term, long-distance relationship, so every time I finally get to see my partner feels like the first time or feels super exciting. But I think when we eventually live in the same place, it will be important to make sure we keep having out own lives, and keep being independent people outside of our relationship.
To keep the enthusiasm as you continue to experience life with each other, you need to stay engaged with each other's interests and provide support. Continue to have each other's back, and be rooting for them to do what they want to do. Be willing to research or learn up on their interests to be able to engage with them about it.
It's little things like buying snacks or flowers, or even saying, 'you look nice today.' Remembering to maintain small acts of kindness, rather than stressing over big displays of affection. Rather than needing to be asked to help with the groceries or building resentment that your partner isn't giving you enough attention, take small steps everyday.
The "honeymoon phase" isn't about having more love to give, it’s about remembering to give your love time to live in it's own world. It's dedicating a space to focus on the person you love, and do things that make them feel happy and strong. As a relationship grows, suddenly your partner's immense shoe collection or inability to throw away a tea bag (channelling Charlotte York) isn’t just a cute quirk, it’s a part of your daily life. When you make a life with someone, you make a life with their habits, their fears, their pet peeves, and their cleanliness — and you love them for it all the same.
*Names have been changed
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