Goodbye Honeymoon and Hello Reality: Coping With Long Term Relationships

You’re happy, they’re happy, everything seems to be going well and so you start to wonder what could go wrong. And then it happens.

There’s no better feeling than that buzz you get having just started a relationship. The anticipation from dates, the excitement when they call you, the gossiping with your friends about how you really like someone has finally climaxed with you both sealing the deal and making it official. And it’s great, right? All of a sudden you know for sure that your partner wants no one else but you. You continue the dates and keep learning more and more about each other. You introduce each other to your friends and you go out together as a couple. When you’re down they come over to comfort you. When you’ve had good news they celebrate with you. You’re happy, they’re happy, everything seems to be going well and so you start to wonder what could go wrong. And then it happens. Just like that you find yourself out of the honeymoon phase and it can be extremely unnerving.

You may find that nothing much changes. Maybe you just don’t message as much. Maybe you stop making such an effort to go on dates. Maybe you start to see each other less because other commitments start taking priority. Or maybe, you just find yourselves struggling to connect as much now that you’ve had an intense few weeks or months of learning so much about each other. It can be confusing and you may start to question your whole relationship. Do not fret. This is normal.

The start of a relationship is called the honeymoon period for a reason and this is how you can keep that spark alive.

Dates. Dates are so important. So often they’re associated with the early stages of a relationship because that’s how you get to know someone (plus most of us love a drink to give us some dutch courage)! When you actually become an official, though, these dates can turn into going over to each others houses and ‘chilling’. Now, I’m not saying stop that. Of course it’s nice to be together in the comfort of your own home and relax. However, you should try to do at least one date a week if you can. Whether it’s going to the cinema, playing crazy golf, going to the pub for drinks, darts and a game of pool or even going to a gig or museum (the more interesting the date the better). It doesn’t have to be expensive, taking your lunch to a park and eating together will do the trick, but just get out of the house and have some time together. This will help you generate more topics for conversations too. What did you think of the film? How funny was it when you nearly took out someone’s eye with a dart? What did you find most fascinating about the museum? You need to also remember that it is normal for things to slow down.

Initially it’s a very exciting time but you can’t be in each others pockets for ever. Try going throughout the day without messaging and make a pact to ring each other in the evenings.

Also, make an effort every now and then to do something special. Whether it’s taking your partner a coffee in the morning or turning up with flowers. Anything that shows them you still really care about them.

So, in a nutshell, keep it interesting.

Carys Reid-Davies