Are You Still in the Honeymoon Phase of Your Relationship?
Ah, the honeymoon phase. The start of a new relationship that can best be described by a state of pure infatuation, the heart eyes emoji, and—for those of a certain age—this quote from the movie It Takes Two: "that can't eat, can't sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series kind of stuff."
"The honeymoon phase encompasses the first few months with a new person during which the whole world seems brighter, sweeter and more pleasure-filled," says Kait Scalisi, a certified sex educator based in New York City. "Thanks to a cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters, simply thinking about the new person makes you smile."
The honeymoon phase doesn't always end in everlasting love, but that could be a good thing. Because if you've ever lived through it, you know just how distracting and all-encompassing it can be. Feel like you might be in it now? Keep reading for the inside scoop.
6 Signs You're in the Honeymoon Phase
If you're in the early stages of a relationship and are wondering whether you and your partner are in the honeymoon phase, keep your eyes open for these six signs.
1. Your Body Says More Than Your Mind
There's a reason so many jokes have been made about married couples not having sex (which, for the record, are often inaccurate). While there are certainly couples in long-term relationships and marriages who have frequent sex, the majority of couples would probably agree that there's more physical intimacy in the honeymoon stage than during other stages of a relationship.
In the honeymoon phase of a relationship, there's still a sense of wonder at the other person and discovering who they are. You may find yourself wildly attracted to them, but also wanting to hold their hand or cuddle a ton, almost to make sure they're real and still there.
"While that's mostly true for all romantic and sexually active people, what's more universally true, regardless of sexuality or type of relationship, is that your desire is likely higher for all forms of intimacy, connection and pleasure—physical, sexual or otherwise," Scalisi says.
This is backed by science, too. Our bodies release oxytocin—nicknamed the "cuddle" or "love" hormone—the more we engage in physical contact. During this phase, you might feel like you just can't get enough of the dizzying feeling that you're falling in love.
2. You Talk About Them Constantly
If you're struggling to see whether or not you're in the honeymoon phase, ask your best friends. "You find yourself talking and thinking about them constantly," Scalisi says. "Their name pops up in every story, whether it's about what you had for breakfast or the activity where you met. You two are probably talking to each other a ton, too."
If your friends still know every detail of your relationship thus far and you're texting nonstop about your partner's best qualities and funniest quirks, there's a pretty good chance you're still enjoying the honeymoon phase.
3. You Think a Lot About Presentation
Most people in long-term relationships feel comfortable hanging out in sweatpants amidst the chaos of a messy kitchen. But brand-new relationships? Not so much. If you find yourself cleaning your apartment top to bottom before your love interest comes over (or Googling ways to apply "barely-there makeup"), you're still working hard to impress—and that's totally fine. Just make sure your partner also seems to be putting in effort and that you're being true to yourself (albeit a slightly tidier version of yourself).
4. You're Very Agreeable
While compromise is a crucial component of all healthy relationships, you may find that in the honeymoon phase, there's no need for it. Whatever your new partner wants to do sounds great to you, and vice versa.
"It doesn't matter what you're doing; as long as you're together, you're happy," Scalisi says. "You might even find yourself blowing off friends, family and life obligations to prioritize time together. It's easy to lose yourself in the pleasure of the honeymoon phase."
5. You Haven't Argued
We talked about how you may not have felt the need to compromise yet—after all, both partners are getting their way simply by being together at this stage. In the same vein lies the fact that you probably haven't argued much yet either.
In any long-term relationship, there are bound to be disagreements over issues both large and small. But when you're just getting to know someone and everything is new, fresh and exciting, you're probably left wondering how you could ever fight with this person.
6. You Don't Want It to End
Scalisi says our society venerates the honeymoon phase. People in new relationships don't want it to end, and people in long-term relationships often yearn for the butterflies they once felt.
"As the newness of the relationship wears off—thanks to time and decreasing levels of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and norepinephrine—the energy starts to dwindle and you start to settle into a different form of connection," she says.
The good news? While the end of the honeymoon period may feel like a bad thing, there is still so much joy to discover and experience together. Every couple in a lasting relationship must move on from the excitement they felt at the very beginning. While there's nothing quite like new love, there's also nothing quite like taking on real life—and all its beautiful messiness—together.