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The Honeymoon Phase: How Long Does It Last, Signs It Is Ending + More

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The honeymoon phase. It feels like it could last forever. However, it’s called a phase for a reason.

Don’t panic!! You’re not going to stop having feelings for your partner once the honeymoon phase is over.

However, those feelings will likely be less intense, and the reality of a committed relationship is going to come knocking on your door.

What does this mean? Read on to find out.

What is the honeymoon phase?

The honeymoon phase is a period of time at the beginning of a romantic relationship when everything feels new and exciting. Not every couple goes through the honeymoon phase, but most experience this stage when they first start dating and up until their relationship is no longer “new.” 

What does it feel like?

How do you know when you’re in the honeymoon phase? Well, most people experience the following things.

1. Everything seems perfect.

For the first few months of the honeymoon period, everything about this new person in your life is cute, fascinating, exciting, charming, and absolutely perfect.

Sure, they might have some small shortcomings, but even those are adorable to you. 

You believe that your partner is perfect and that your relationship with them is just as perfect.

Every love song is about you, and you feel like you’re in your own love story.

You’re sure that you’ve found your perfect match and that your life with them will be great. In fact, your life has been more awesome ever since they walked into it. 

2. It feels magical. 

When people fall in love with someone new, they often describe the feeling as being magical. Your reality shifts when you enter the honeymoon phase.

You prioritize your relationship. This, along with all the happy chemicals in your brain, makes everything seem better somehow.

It’s like there’s more joy in your life, and you’re on cloud nine. You notice love everywhere you look and just want to spread good vibes.

When your partner kisses you or touches you, it feels magical and activates those happy chemicals in your brain.

3. You’re focused on each other.

Only the two of you matter. Sure, you still care about the other people in your life, but you’re focused on this relationship and put it first.

Your love life is the center of your life, and you’re happy to keep it that way since it makes your life better.

You’re focused on learning more about your partner and savoring every minute that you get to spend with them. 

You put all your time and energy into this relationship, and you don’t regret it.

4. You have more good days than bad.

Okay, maybe you occasionally have a bad day, or a few. But you have many more days that are good, and when they’re good, they’re really good.

Most of the time, you get along and share fun experiences. Arguments happen very rarely, don’t last long, and get resolved quickly. You spend a lot of time together and go on dates. You enjoy spending every minute of your free time together and can’t get enough of each other.

You feel good about your relationship and your potential future together.

5. You feel intense emotions.

Romantic feelings can be very intense at the beginning of a relationship. You feel so strongly about this person that you would go the extra mile for them.

The word “limerence” describes this well. Limerence is a state of intense infatuation or obsession with someone, often characterized by intrusive thoughts, heightened emotional response, and a desire for reciprocation. It may involve the idealization of the object of your affection.

When you experience limerence, you try hard to impress them, and you want to be the best version of yourself for them. Infatuation can make you see the person as perfect. You find their annoying little habits cute during the beginning of your relationship. 

Being obsessively infatuated could also cause you to change important things about yourself to make the person happier with you.

New relationship energy can be intense and dynamic. You’d do anything to make your partner happy. You love showing them affection and giving them all your attention. Your strong feelings make you want to surprise them with small and grand romantic gestures.

6. You feel a strong desire.

Passion is commonly talked about when describing the honeymoon phase. You enjoy showing affection through physical touch and often kiss, touch, hug, and cuddle. Your sex life is great, and you are very attracted to each other.

Sparks fly all over the place at the beginning of a relationship. You feel a strong desire and even long for them. You want to be close to them, and you feel safe in their arms. 

While you can certainly have a passionate long-term relationship, too, the sparks usually die down at least a bit compared to the beginning. 

7. You feel excited about the future.

Making plans for your future together is your favorite hobby. You daydream about the places that you’re going to see and things that you’re going to do, such as buying a house or decorating your apartment. 

You make travel itineraries, plan to adopt a pet, and talk about all the things that you are going to achieve.

You’re excited about your future together, and you feel motivated to pursue your dreams. You feel certain that this is the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. 

How long does the honeymoon phase last?

The honeymoon phase may feel like it will last forever, but it can’t. The duration varies depending on the couple, but it always ends eventually. 

This fairytale-like period of your relationship could last for weeks, months, or years—typically anywhere from six months to three years.

Signs the honeymoon phase is ending:

How do you know when it’s over? Here are some of the most common signs that the honeymoon phase is coming to an end. 

1. You notice more of your differences.

It used to feel like you had a lot in common, but you’ve started to notice your differences. The more you learn about your partner, the more you realize that you’re not a perfect match.

Since you probably argue more frequently, these differences are brought to your attention more often. 

You might also start noticing that you have some different goals and plans for the future. 

While you enjoyed daydreaming about your future before, now you can’t agree on some important things, such as moving to another country or starting a family.

Near the end of the honeymoon phase, you notice that you’re not as compatible as you first thought.

2. You notice what you don’t like about them that much.

Sure, you love your partner, but there are some things that you don’t like about them that much, and you’re starting to realize that.

Again, the more you learn about your partner, the more of their flaws you start to notice. Their annoying little habits that you once found cute are now just plain annoying. 

When the honeymoon phase is almost over, you start to realize that your partner is not as perfect as you first thought. There may be some things about them that you overlooked before, but now these things are starting to bother you.

3. You stop trying so hard.

After being in a relationship for a while, you start to put less effort into maintaining it and making your partner happy. You don’t try to impress them with fancy dates so often, and you rarely surprise them with thoughtful gifts.

You’ve stopped trying so hard to win them over because you know that they’re already yours. This could mean that you start taking them for granted or showing less affection.

People also stop trying to present themselves in the best possible light after being in a relationship for a while. You are ready to show your bad sides to your partner and stop trying to be perfect for them. If there are some annoying or gross things that you never did in front of your partner before, you will start doing them now.

4. You fight more frequently.

They often say that the honeymoon phase ends when you have your first big fight. For some couples, this turns out to be true.

You will start to fight more frequently as the honeymoon phase ends. You won’t rush to patch things up and you’ll be less afraid of losing your partner.

So, while your fights used to last for minutes before, now they might last for days. Maybe you’ll also start to act disrespectfully during fights and name-call or engage in a screaming match.

While your relationship seemed flawless before, now you realize that there are some issues that you need to deal with to make it work.

5. You feel less passionate about each other.

You probably still love each other, but the initial passion has faded somewhat. Your feelings are not as intense as they were, and you don’t engage in physical touch as often as you once did.

Your hugs, cuddles, and kisses don’t last as long as they used to, and you have sex less often than before. The spark might not be entirely dead, but it has died down.

For instance, while you used to enjoy public displays of affection, now you barely get a peck on the cheek when you’re out. Your sex life has probably turned into a routine by now, and you don’t experiment with new things anymore.

You even use the L word less often than before. All of this is natural to a certain extent, and just because you’ve stopped being all lovey-dovey doesn’t mean that the love is gone.

6. You compliment each other less often.

While you were focused on their positive traits before, now you notice more of your partner’s negative qualities. This also means that you don’t compliment them as often as you once did.

Sure, you still find them attractive, but you don’t feel the need to constantly point that out.

People generally start putting less effort into the relationship after the honeymoon phase. This often means that they also put less effort into making their partner happy with little things such as compliments.

7. You spend less time together.

After wanting to spend every waking hour with your new partner, you now crave more space and alone time. You’ve prioritized your relationship for a while, and now you feel like the other aspects of your life need your attention again.

So, you and your partner spend less time together. You don’t go on dates as often as you used to, and you don’t share that many fun, new experiences.

Most of the time you just like to hang out at home and chill instead of dressing up and going out. You both feel the need to have a life outside of the relationship and spend more time doing things on your own.

While you used to share a lot of interests before, now you have separate hobbies and do fewer things together.

8. You talk less often. 

During the honeymoon phase, you used to talk for hours about everything and anything.  Now that you’ve gotten to know each other better, things aren’t that new and exciting anymore, and you’re running out of stuff to talk about.

While you used to share your hopes and dreams, now you most often talk about everyday things.

Long meaningful conversations and daydreaming about the future have been replaced with talking about your work and family. You call each other less often and don’t text as often as you used to. 

9. You’re not so excited anymore.

Sure, you probably still want to have a future with this person, but you’re not as excited about it as you used to be.

Things get much calmer and more peaceful after being in a relationship for a while. You’re still excited to see your partner, but only to a certain extent. 

You don’t think that everything they say is fascinating anymore and you’re not as adventurous when you spend time together. The excitement dies down a bit with time, and this is entirely normal.

10. You don’t go on as many fancy dates.

Staying in and watching a movie has started to sound a lot better than a date in a fancy restaurant. Your fun and romantic dates have been replaced with pizza nights at home. In general, you’re not putting as much effort into spending quality time together as you used to.

During the honeymoon phase, you would put effort into planning romantic dates to impress your partner while trying new things together. Now, you’d rather just relax at home instead of going to all that trouble.

11. You start to feel bored.

Once dating and fun new activities stop, boredom can start to creep into the relationship. It’s easy to fall into a rut after being in a relationship for a long time. Everything turns into a routine, whether it’s your life in the bedroom or outside of it.

You rarely surprise each other, and you already know everything there is to know about each other. Your time together and your topics of conversation start to all look alike. As a result, you start to feel bored in your relationship.

The monotony of a long-term commitment can be a big change after the initial excitement of the honeymoon phase.

12. You don’t try to be your best self anymore.

People can get too comfortable in a relationship, and it reflects in how they look. You probably don’t put as much effort into looking your best for your partner. The two of you are most often dressed in something comfortable since you don’t go out as much as before. 

But it’s not just that you no longer try to impress them with your looks, you simply don’t try to be the best version of yourself anymore. 

When you first started dating, you wanted to leave a good impression and present yourself in the best possible light. Now that you’ve been in a relationship for some time, you no longer feel the need to hide your negative personality traits and bad habits. 

How to prolong the honeymoon period: 

The end of the honeymoon phase may sound bad, but it’s only a problem when couples stop putting in the necessary effort.

You can prolong the honeymoon phase and its effect on your relationship by doing some of the following things.

1. Compliment each other more often.

Focus on your partner’s positive traits. During the honeymoon phase, you didn’t notice their negative qualities as much as you do now.

Prolong the honeymoon phase by paying more attention to your partner’s good qualities and giving them compliments when you do.

By complimenting your partner more often, you will make them feel loved and it will also remind you of why you love them. Make your partner feel good about themselves and focus on what you love about them instead of letting their bad little habits annoy you.

Compliment them on their looks, but also on any personality traits that you like. For instance, maybe they are hardworking and ambitious or they are kind and generous. 

2. Share fun experiences.

Bond over shared interests like you used to during the honeymoon phase. Try new things and explore new interests too. You could start a hobby together or learn a new skill. Try cooking classes or dance lessons. Consider sports or arts, start a collection, or join a club together.

Try new foods and drinks and visit new locations. Go to parties or host dinner parties at home and meet new friends that you can hang out with together.

Whatever it is that you do, make sure to still share fun new experiences like you used to.

committed relationship can get boring, but only if you stop doing new fun things together.

3. Make plans for the future.

Don’t stop daydreaming about your future together. Make travel plans, talk about what your dream home is going to look like, and discuss what you’d like to achieve together.

Set goals for your relationship and its future. You don’t have to be entirely realistic when making these plans. Let them turn into long conversations where you fantasize about the perfect life that you’ll have together just like you did during the honeymoon phase.

Plan new adventures that you’ll have together and come up with names for your kids. Enjoy simply feeling positive about the future that you can have with your partner.

4. Keep surprising each other.

Boredom doesn’t have to creep into your relationship just because the honeymoon phase is ending. Prolong it by surprising each other now and then.

Buy your partner a thoughtful gift, bring them coffee to work, make them breakfast in bed, or buy them tickets to their favorite show. Keep surprising each other with small romantic gestures and acts of kindness.

Make your partner happy by doing little things for them, such as remembering the details that they mention and using them to plan surprises. Take note of your partner’s likes and interests and use them to plan the perfect gift or date.

Try to be more spontaneous. Show your partner that they don’t have you entirely figured out by keeping the surprises coming.

5. Travel together.

There are always new, fun things that you can experience, especially if you travel together.

Traveling to a new location can make your relationship feel fresh again and help you bond over shared experiences. 

Try new cuisines and beverages and talk to the locals to learn more about their culture.

Even if you can’t afford to travel right now, make travel plans for the future.

For now, you could go on a road trip, on a weekend getaway trip, or head to the spa for a few days. You could even pretend to be tourists in your own town and visit places you’ve never been before.

6. Cuddle more often.

The passion in the honeymoon phase is not just about sex. It’s about taking the time to exchange gentle touches and show affection through physical touch. So snuggle more and you’ll feel like you’re in that honeymoon phase all over again!

Cuddle for the sake of it; don’t assume it will automatically lead to sex. Make sure to also frequently kiss and hug. Let the kiss or hug lead to a cuddle session that ends with you falling asleep in each other’s arms.

Remove all distractions by pretending that the electricity is out, turning off your devices, lighting scented candles, and just enjoying each other’s touches. Focus on one another the way you did when you first started to date.

7. Go on more dates.

Don’t turn into one of those couples who stays home and does nothing all day. Go on romantic dates, plan fun activities, and dress up for dinner at a fancy restaurant.

Maybe you know you’re still in love, but it sure doesn’t feel that way when you’re always on the couch in sweatpants.

There are endless date ideas that you could try, and you can even write them all down. Put one date idea on a piece of paper and place them in a jar. Now you have your own little game! Each week, draw a piece of paper to decide where you’ll go on your next date.

Schedule regular date nights, at least once a week, even if you’re not planning anything huge. Whatever gets you out of the house and into a romantic mood is good enough.

8. Talk about your feelings.

Open up to each other and talk about your feelings. Share details about your days and how what happened during your day made you feel. Discuss how you feel about each other now that the honeymoon phase is ending. It’s normal to have some doubts in a long-term relationship, so share them with your partner and let them reassure you of their love.

The truth is, many couples break up when the honeymoon phase ends. But it usually just takes a bit of effort to keep the flame burning, and you can still have romance and excitement if you invest the energy into it.

Discuss how you are going to do that and make plans for handling the end of the honeymoon phase.

How to adjust when it ends:

The end of the honeymoon phase doesn’t have to be the end of a relationship. On the contrary, your relationship can become stronger, but you will need to put effort into this. Here’s how.

1. Regularly spend time together.

After spending a lot of time together during the honeymoon phase, it makes sense to go back to your life and feel the need for some space and alone time. But don’t neglect to go on regular date nights and spend quality time together on a regular basis.

Make sure to always have something planned to look forward to together. This could be a cup of coffee in the morning before you go to work or brunch every Sunday.

You can’t entirely run away from monotony in a long-term relationship. What you can do is enjoy your little routines and look forward to them during your day.

2. Stay respectful during fights.

Avoid name-calling and screaming matches. Stay respectful during fights and make your arguments constructive. Don’t say things that you can’t take back later, and fight to come up with a solution to your problems rather than making the problem bigger than it already is.

Make compromises and be ready to apologize when you make a mistake. Most importantly, keep in mind that you still love and respect the person that you’re fighting with. Adjust your words and actions accordingly. 

You can disagree, but it’s not okay to insult each other. This can be avoided by using more “I” statements than “You” statements when you argue—don’t point fingers.

3. Keep learning more about each other.

Don’t assume that you already know everything about your partner just because you’ve been together for a long time. Keep asking them questions to learn more about them.

What do you think about this TV show? Which song do you like best from this album? Even simple questions like these could help you learn more about your partner and keep up with their current likes and interests.

However, you can also make your questions more philosophical and engage in meaningful conversations about who your partner is as a person, the meaning of life, or moral dilemmas. 

Ask your partner what their favorite animal is or which of your T-shirts they like best on you. You can also discuss political views or religious beliefs. It can be anything!

Just remember to stay curious about your partner and ask them interesting questions. You might find that there’s more to learn.

4. Keep trying new things.

It’s important that couples continue trying new things after the honeymoon phase is over. Keep things fun and exciting by growing as a couple and expanding your horizons.

You can do this through new hobbies, traveling, or learning something new. But it can also be as simple as trying a different dish at the new restaurant that just opened around the corner. 

Maybe you could also go wine or cheese tasting. Visit a local brewery if you prefer beer or try a new type of coffee or tea. Play a board game or visit the new art exhibition at the local gallery. You could even learn a language and test it out on your next trip.

5. Keep making plans.

Make sure to always have something to look forward to. Whether it’s travel plans, redecorating your house, or simply trying out a new restaurant, you should keep making plans for your future.

Write down your goals and work toward them as a couple, but also feel free to simply share your dreams with each other and fantasize a bit. For instance, maybe you can’t buy a house in your desired location right now, but you could rent a room there for a while and explore what the location has to offer. 

Maybe you can’t go on your dream vacation next month, but you can plan a weekend away at some romantic place where you can focus on each other.

6. Talk about sex.

Routine can creep into your bedroom too. So, don’t avoid talking about sex.

How often would you like to have sex? Is there something new that you’d like to try? Open up to your partner about these things.

Try new things—it doesn’t have to be something overly exotic. Simply having sex in a different place could be exciting, even if it’s just a different room in your home.

Are your sexual needs still being met in your relationship? If not, this is not something that you can ignore. Talk to your partner if you’d like to have sex more often, and even consider scheduling sexy time.

However, don’t forget that you also need to be able to cuddle often without it leading to sex. If you’re not having as much sex as you’d like, introducing more of these gentle touches, such as kissing and cuddling, can also increase intimacy.

7. Let your hugs and kisses last longer.

Most couples start to rush intimacy after the honeymoon phase. They no longer savor every moment like they used to, and this damages their relationship. So, their hugs and kisses become a two-second routine that happens when they leave the house, wake up, or go to bed. 

Start doing these things on more random occasions and, when you do, make them last longer. 

When you consciously make an effort to kiss and hug longer, you will stop to enjoy the moment instead of letting it be a routine. 

Take your time when cuddling and having sex too. Focus only on each other like you did during the honeymoon phase.

8. Talk about your problems.

When the honeymoon phase ends, problems start, or at least we start noticing and creating them.

If you’re missing the fireworks from when you first started dating your partner, maybe you expect too much from them.

Talk about these things. Put effort into maintaining your relationship by discussing your problems.

You can also include an expert in these conversations. Couples therapy is an effective way to deal with some common, but serious, relationship problems that most couples encounter after the honeymoon phase.

Keep investing in your relationship and get expert advice on how to approach a specific problem that you’re dealing with if needed.

About The Author

Ana Vakos enjoys writing about love and all the problems that come with it. Everyone has experiences with love, and everyone needs dating advice, so giving these topics more attention and spreading the word means a lot to her.