Ah, the honeymoon phase, that blissful period of time when your relationship is new and you each think your partner is wonderful in every way.
Many couples have “end of honeymoon phase anxiety,” where they worry about what will happen once reality sets in. They wonder, “what ends the honeymoon phase?” and “how can I make my honeymoon period last longer?”
In this article, we’ll talk about things that will quickly end the honeymoon as well as ways to prolong it. (We are big believers that traveling together is one of the best ways to keep the honeymoon vibes alive. In fact, that’s one of the reasons this blog was started, and why it’s called HoneymoonAlways!)
Things That Will Quickly End the Honeymoon Phase Quick Take:
While the initial infatuation will fade over time, the end of the honeymoon phase doesn’t mean the end of the relationship. There are plenty of ways to keep that honeymoon feeling alive.
What Is the Honeymoon Phase?
The honeymoon phase is the first part of a new relationship. It tends to last anywhere from a few months to a few years and is marked by intense feelings of infatuation. You think about your partner constantly and want to spend every minute together; you fantasize about the future together; and you feel joyful and excited. Everything seems wonderful and your partner seems perfect.
What Ends the Honeymoon Phase?
Unfortunately, time is the biggest enemy of the honeymoon phase and the hardest to fight. When relationships are new, everything is exciting and fresh. The hormone surge that happens when you fall in love casts a sort of blissful haze over reality, and you float through your days.
But as time goes on, those hormones settle. And as you get to know each other better, that sense of mystery fades and reality begins to take over. While this doesn’t have to mean the end of the relationship, it ends the official honeymoon phase.
The easy part is over, and the hard work of accepting each other and dealing with ordinary life challenges begins. This is when you can build a real, long-lasting relationship, however.
Sometimes, the way you treat each other can prematurely end that magical feeling. Other things that will quickly end the honeymoon phase include:
- taking each other for granted
- being overly critical of each other
- being rude, dismissive, or mean
- revealing too much too soon
- failing to communicate clearly
- needing to be right all the time
- getting complacent (no longer planning special dates, for example)
- getting into a rut of doing the same things over and over
Signs the Honeymoon Phase Is Over
- As reality sets in and you get to know each other better, you’ll start to notice any annoying habits your partner may have. The thing that you initially thought was cute may begin to drive you crazy. (This may also happen with your partner’s family as they start to be their usual selves around you!)
- You don’t “go along to get along” anymore, but begin to set or maintain firmer boundaries. This is totally normal and healthy. In the beginning of a relationship we tend to put our partner first and go along with what they want, but as we grow more comfortable we begin to voice our own opinions and desires.
- You don’t feel the need to make as much of an effort on your appearance all the time—you get more comfortable showing up as you are.
- You don’t compliment each other as much. (This is easily fixed by making a commitment to notice something you genuinely appreciate every day, and mention it.)
- Disagreements happen and arguments occur more frequently. (This is normal; you just need to stay open to communicating and working through challenges together.)
- You don’t have as much sex. (Also totally normal.)
- You don’t spend as much time together and you don’t miss your partner when you’re apart as much. In the beginning of a relationship, every separation feels like eternity, but this will fade. It’s a healthy development—everyone needs time alone, and some space is good for couples—but watch out for avoiding each other.
- You question your relationship. This is normal, and can actually help you figure out if you want to be in it for the long haul or not. In fact, some experts recommend not getting engaged or moving in together until after the honeymoon phase ends.
- Life may feel ordinary and routine; you don’t go out as often or plan surprises for each other as you did in the beginning. While some of this is to be expected, you can and should continue to mix in plenty of fun.
How to Make the Honeymoon Phase Last Longer
While the answer to the question, “can a honeymoon phase last forever?” is “not entirely,” there are plenty of ways to keep it going at least partially. The top tip is to avoid taking your partner for granted.
Show your appreciation through thoughtful gestures, make a point of spending uninterrupted time together regularly, and be kind to each other even when disagreeing.
Stay true to yourself and make sure you are honest about getting your needs met. Commit to regular open conversations. Your wants and needs will change over time, and clear communication about that is vital.
Try to keep some of the initial mystery alive. While it’s important to be able to be your true self and you don’t want to keep secrets, you don’t have to reveal everything all at once. Maintain a little privacy (close that bathroom door!) and respect your partner’s privacy as well.
Also, avoid getting in a rut. Keep planning new activities together. Studies show that doing something new together keeps the spark alive. This is one of the reasons we’re such big proponents of couples’ travel. Going new places and having different experiences can really strengthen your bond and help recreate the exciting feeling of those early days.
Keep “wooing” each other and being flirtatious. Give little gifts, leave love notes, do things that you did when you first started dating. This will help keep the romance alive.
Face challenges together as a team, with each partner supporting the other and putting in equal effort to find solutions. Keep an open mind and talk about problems as soon as they arrive. Don’t let frustration fester.
Divide up responsibilities fairly! Nothing ends the honeymoon faster than resentment. Talk honestly about your likes and dislikes, and make sure each partner feels like they are carrying a fair share of the load.
Forgive, forgive, forgive. (Unless there is violence or abuse.) You and your partner are human and will make many mistakes. Be compassionate instead of judgmental, allow them to apologize or make it right, and then move on. Don’t hold grudges.
Have realistic expectations and be prepared to put forth effort. That initial thrill is not sustainable, so don’t be upset when your feelings even out. Instead, welcome the chance to deepen your emotional connection and establish a real relationship rooted in reality. It takes work to build a lasting romantic partnership, but it’s well worth it.
Do you have any comments about what ends the honeymoon phase? Let us know below! And if you agree with us that travel is a great way to keep the honeymoon going, here are some articles you might want to check out: Best Sandals Resorts, 30 Best Adults-Only All-Inclusive Resorts, Visiting Key West: A Tropical Destination in the U.S., 10 Best All-Inclusive Ski Resorts, 10 Best Florida Resorts, 25 Best Beach Vacations for Couples, Working With a Europe Travel Agent, 10 Best European River Cruises, and Virgin Voyages Cruise Review.
Ashley has always loved to explore new places and indulges her passion for travel whenever she can. She has been to 12 countries and 32 states so far.
Ashley has worked as a freelance writer for more than 20 years, specializing in the areas of travel, marketing, personal development, and the pursuit of happiness.
Favorite destinations include Sorrento and Capri, Italy; Haarlem, Netherlands; Paris; Sydney and K’gari, Australia; Rotorua and Waiheke Island, New Zealand; the American West; Palm Beach; the Florida Keys; and her hometown of New Orleans. Ashley has a goal of visiting every state plus many more international destinations.