Ah, the “honeymoon period” -- that spark of magic where everything in a dating partner seems perfect. It’s exciting, it’s exhilarating, it’s romantic! And then, the magic starts to fade. The wave of new discoveries slows down and we find ourselves in a relationship that doesn’t feel shiny and new.
The honeymoon period is over. So what happens next?
Firstly, this does not mean it’s the end of the relationship. Getting to know someone better often means both partners become acclimated with each other. Happy and healthy relationships thrive and last because they make the natural progression from "new" to "content".
Boredom in relationships can happen quickly for young people. They spend a significant amount of time, in school and at work, together with their partners. Being super connected is also reinforced by various forms of technology such as texts, SnapChat and other apps that keep them connected even when they are not physically in the same place. The intensity of this connectedness is one of the reasons why it is so important to know how and when to build healthy space in a relationship.
Healthy relationships have boundaries. Part of this includes discussing what both partners want from the relationship. It’s not about feeling trapped or walking on eggshells -- it’s about establishing security and trust, both of which happen over time in a relationship. Boundaries also help establish respect for a person’s time and needs. Taking time apart is not a sign that the relationship is going to end. On the contrary, giving each other space means both partners can live their lives and do what they want, whether it’s hanging out with friends or participating in other activities. People can’t miss each other if they’re never apart!
Beyond those boundaries, healthy relationships can use a boost every now and then. This is especially true for relationships that have begun to feel stale. Try going on a "second first date" where both partners dress up, go out and do their best to impress each other like they did on their first date. Do something new together, whether it’s being out in nature, cooking a meal or heading to an amusement park. As long as both people want to do it, try it!
No one can recapture the early spark they felt with their partner, but that’s perfectly okay. Instead, what replaces that spark is a relationship built on trust, honesty and open communication.
Do you have questions about your relationship? Chat online or text "loveis" to 22522 to speak with one of our trained peer advocates 24/7.