The honeymoon phase in your relationship is over. Now what?

Click to play video: 'What to do when the ‘honeymoon phase’ comes to an end' What to do when the ‘honeymoon phase’ comes to an end
WATCH: What to do when the 'honeymoon phase' comes to an end – Oct 9, 2019

If you’ve ever been in a romantic relationship, chances are you’ve been through the honeymoon phase.

It’s feelings of missing your partner throughout the day, wanting to spend every second with them and still feeling butterflies in your gut every time you see them.

Toronto LGBTQ+ matchmaker Claire AH tells Global News the honeymoon phase often happens in the beginning of your relationship, regardless of whether you are married or not.

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“It’s characterized by intense feelings of infatuation brought on by changes to brain chemistry such as increased levels of dopamine,” she said.

“They tend to level out in a year to two years.”

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She adds that the honeymoon phase itself doesn’t necessarily put pressure on people, and most couples experience this type of romantic love in the beginning.

“People often think that when everything calms down, the love is gone,” she said. “In actuality, we are able to explore a deep, rich long-term connection.”

When it ends

All good things come to an end, but for couples, the honeymoon phase ending doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Speaking with Bustle, Jonathan Bennett, certified counsellor and founder of Double Trust Dating, says the phase ends when partners lose some of their “newness.”

“Although it sounds negative, the ending of the honeymoon phase can be positive. It allows you to both see each other openly and honestly and decide if the relationship is worth continuing,” he said.

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“In addition, you can prolong the passion and happiness; it just takes more work. If you’re dating a great person, [they] should be more than willing to put in that effort.”

There are clear signs when the phase ends, Bennett continued, adding that people often start noticing their partner’s negative traits.

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“You’re so in love that you are blind to your partner’s faults. However, as the honeymoon phase ends, you begin to more clearly see your partner, warts and all. For example, the little things that used to be ‘cute’ might quickly become annoying.”

Others will feel the passion in the relationship starts to fade.

“However, as the honeymoon phase draws to a close, you feel less excitement about your partner, and this includes between the sheets,” he told the site.

Why do we love momentum?

Claire says we should enjoy every aspect of the honeymoon phase.

“Enjoy the honeymoon period, but don’t devalue the trust, intimacy and mutual respect that comes after it,” she said. “Temper the feelings of security by still trying new things together, allowing each other space to be yourselves and to do your own things, and keep time to really connect.”

She says the intense, almost “obsessively limerent view of love in pop culture” is very different than what we experience in our own relationships.

“[It] is very unlike the established long-term connections we see in relationships outside of the honeymoon period so we barely recognize it as love,” she said. “We think the spark is gone when our brains have just moved on from one phase of love to the next.”
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If you’re feeling like the end of the honeymoon phase is approaching or you’re already past the phase, there are ways to keep the romance in your relationship alive, Claire says.

“You can make sure to value novelty/adventure together, to spend quality time together without distraction and to make sure to keep aspects of your life apart from one another to enjoy the comfort while not succumbing to doing the same thing every night and basically melding together,” she said.

It doesn’t take much to keep things interesting in a relationship.

“Research indicates that these are real things we can do to maintain relationship satisfaction.”

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