The butterflies are gone. Now what?
Research shows that the Honeymoon Phase is a very real phenomenon that can last anywhere from days to a couple of years. It takes so much energy that it can not possible last forever.
It may feel like a serious problem, but don’t panic! It’s not really an ending, but rather the start of the deeper “middle phase” of your relationship.
This is a time to gain a deeper understanding of your partner and yourself. But, what can and should you do? Firstly, in order to navigate the challenges you may face, it’s important to recognize the signs. Below are a few indications.
1- You fight.
As you become comfortable with each other, the little imperfections and quirks become apparent and can cause arguments. Sometimes you’re on the same page and sometimes you’re in different galaxies.
2- Less passion, less sex.
In the beginning it’s all about sexual attraction and activity. When that time over, sex can start to feel like a chore. When one partner’s need for intimacy is increasingly met with excuses and defences, alarm bells should be going off.
3- Communicating is a chore.
Gone are the days when you could just sit and chat until sunrise. You know everything now. You might also notice the differences in your communication styles. If one prefers to speak face-to-face and the other prefers texting, that can cause friction.
4- You’re not looking after you.
“Making-an-effort” becomes less important as you slip into the comforts of a long-term relationship.You may also have given up on activities you used to enjoy, just to spend more time with your partner.
So, what can you do?
1- Give each other space.
During the middle phase couples may realize that they are, in fact, not one person. It’s important to make “me-time”. You need an independent identity to thrive as part of a unit.
2- Focus on intimacy
This is a time of deep connection that includes conversation and closeness and not necessarily sex. Make a conscious effort to add diversity to your time together. You can also now be clear about your sexual wishes and dislikes. It is a time of getting to really know each other.
3- Really know your partner.
Try to learn something new about your partner every day. Find the ways your partner gives and receives love. Study, ask and interact in a meaningful way.
4- Don’t freak out.
Just because your bond is changing doesn’t mean it’s broken. Deal with the changes and be open-minded.
If you are having trouble moving on from the honeymoon phase and feel that relationship therapy may be right for you, call (510) 497-4174 today. We can help.