When is the honeymoon phase over in a relationship? In a 2015 study out of New York University, researchers found that the honeymoon phase can last up to 30 months — that’s two and a half years! But what is after the honeymoon phase?
A Reddit user wrote, “This mellowing of relationships is actually a good thing. Can you imagine how impossible it would be to get things done if people spent all their time in that “crazy in love” state? Jobs wouldn’t get done, no one would take care of their kids, and people in relationships would never have friends because they would all be fixated on their epic romance.”
As he mentions, when the newness wears off in a relationship, it is not at all an ominous sign. In fact, the transition from honeymoon love to a more settled, rhythmic pace of the relationship can be the gateway to a stronger bond…
What Is The Honeymoon Phase In A Relationship?
Among the many stages of a relationship, the honeymoon stage is one when you begin to get to know each other. You are so much and so madly in love that everything starts to look like a dream. You feel like you are the happiest person to have walked the earth and think that you have the perfect partner. Even the possibly irritating habits of your partner seem to look cute. It’s naturally the period when you look, feel, and do your best in the relationship:
- You laugh at your partner’s jokes even when they are not funny
- Both of you are lost in each other’s thoughts
- You and your SO seem to like all the same things, and agree on pretty much everything
- You are acing the rules of texting while dating, messaging each other many times a day
- You never forget to surprise each other with gifts
So, after the honeymoon phase is over, it almost feels like a beautiful dream is coming to an end. Sort of how you feel when you’re dreaming of being on vacation in Singapore and then you suddenly wake up to an alarm that jolts you to reality where you are already too late to make your morning coffee and have to head to a regular day at work.
Eventually, you start getting comfortable with each other and all the lovey-dovey things take a backseat. You are often spotted without your best accessories and they can be seen lounging around in their boxers. When that happens, a part of you may freak out, wondering, “What happens when honeymoon period ends?”
Related Reading: 25 Things For Couples To Do At Home When Bored
How Long Does The Honeymoon Phase Last?
Can the honeymoon phase last forever? Oh, you wish! Counselor Swaty Prakash says, “When you meet this person who is so different from you, your brain starts releasing love hormones that almost blind your judgment and make you look at the person with rose-tinted glasses.
“That’s the euphoria stage when everything about them is perfect. This euphoric love can last anywhere from six months to two years in a relationship.” When that euphoria begins to subside, it’s easy to start feeling bored in a relationship. You are convinced that you know all there is to know about your partner and this sense of familiarity is often misunderstood as the spark dying down. So, if you’re experiencing a sudden relationship lull after two years (or less), know that it’s normal and it happens to everyone…
15 Signs The Honeymoon Phase Is Over
Is the honeymoon phase real? Absolutely. In fact, there is no dearth of research on how the early stages of a relationship literally ‘expand’ you. You become a new person, imbibing new ideas about the world. You even discover hidden gems on Spotify and addictive shows on Netflix (thanks to your partner!). But before you know it, the infatuation can turn into irritation. Chocolates/roses don’t help in this phase. And hence, the million-dollar question: What is after the honeymoon phase?
When does the newness of a relationship wear off? When bickering and relationship arguments begin to emerge. To make sure you don’t mistake this stage as the end of your relationship, here are 15 signs your honeymoon period is now over but not your love for each other:
1. You don’t call each other that much anymore
There was a time when you both couldn’t go more than a couple of hours without talking to each other. Even if you didn’t have anything to talk about, having your partner on the other side of the phone was more than enough. At times, you both would even fall asleep while having late-night conversations.
To know when is the honeymoon phase over, pay attention to how often you call each other now:
- Has the frequency of those calls reduced significantly?
- You both go without talking to each other for hours and neither of you has a problem with that
- This simply means that you’re ready to move on to the next phase of the relationship
Related Reading: 12 Ways To Build Intellectual Intimacy In A Relationship
2. The excitement has subsided
Seeing them has become a normal, secure part of your routine now. Don’t take this the wrong way. Security in love is beautiful. And you are still very happy to see them and want to wrap your arms around them like you used to. But perhaps, when the honeymoon phase ends, you don’t yearn for their presence like you used to.
However, if you feel that the spark is lost in your relationship “completely”, it can be a cause for concern. The honeymoon phase being over indicates a sense of security, not utter boredom that leads to disconnect or distance between partners. That’s why it’s important to make a conscious effort to keep the excitement in a relationship alive because losing interest after honeymoon phase can become a real risk
3. You don’t spend much time together
When is the honeymoon phase over in a relationship, you ask? To be honest, a relationship changes after 6 months. During the first few months, there is always a longing and desperation to meet again. You can’t wait to plan the next rendezvous and are always on the lookout for date ideas. You want to do everything together. But over the course of time, things begin to settle down and the dynamics change. Here is what happens after 6 months of dating:
- You go back to your individual lives
- You build a routine that involved your partner but doesn’t revolve around them
- Meeting on a daily basis isn’t necessary anymore
- You make plans when you both are free to meet up
4. You don’t feel the need to be ‘perfect’ around each other anymore
Gone are the days when you would dress to impress them. As a Reddit user wrote, “Sometimes it feels like I am dating a best friend not my boyfriend.” Don’t worry, comfort is the secret behind a lasting love. On that note, here’s what to expect after one year of dating:
- You freely roam around wearing sweats/boxers in front of your partner
- The ‘no makeup’ days seem to keep increasing
- They see the real you and still have a smile on their face – and vice versa
- You both don’t care about doing embarrassing things in front of each other
- You no longer worry about dating etiquette too much
When the honeymoon phase ends, it’s not a sign of taking each other for granted but actually a sign of acceptance. It is not a step back but a step forward in your healthy relationship. It is not the end but the beginning of a new phase where there is more security and acceptance. This phase too comes with its own pros and cons, mind you.
5. When is the honeymoon phase over? After your first fight
Everything was going so well, and then, comes your first fight with your girlfriend/boyfriend. That’s the point where you scratch your head and wonder, “Am I falling out of love or is the honeymoon phase over?” Well, all fights are not necessarily red flags. It’s normal to get into a heated argument with your significant other. You don’t have to be agreeable all the time.
What holds a relationship together is how you handle situations when everything is not rosy and perfect. The first fight while dating acts as a huge reality check. It helps you understand whether you’re likely to break up or if there is a future for you as a couple. The couples who are ‘meant to be’ follow healthy conflict resolution strategies.
6. Those ‘cute’ habits are now super annoying
How do you know the honeymoon phase is over after 2 months? When your partner’s habits (that you initially liked or considered ‘cute’) start annoying you. Those heightened feelings have now worn out and you see things more clearly. Those plain jokes don’t make you laugh anymore.
Why do most relationships end after 3 months? Because flaws aren’t easy to handle. When the honeymoon effect ends, you start to notice their bad habits and may sometimes even doubt your judgment regarding them. These small irritants over which you didn’t bat an eyelid before now become reasons for arguments:
- The wet towel on the bed
- Another loud fart
- Forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning
- Messing up the food order
7. Your relationship has lost its sexual vigor
You won’t need to ask, “When is the honeymoon phase over?”, because this one will hit like a truck. In the beginning, you may have experienced incredible sexual tension, attraction, and excitement. Over time, this pull begins to weaken. Suddenly, you’re on your phones before going to bed, turn the light off, and kiss each other goodnight. The honeymoon love between you and your partner has now cooled down:
- The feverish spark that you had has dimmed
- All that sexual tension drew you both like magnets has cooled down
- Now you are more at ease with one another
- Your hugs are now comfortable, not sex-driven, and you’re okay with that
You start to feel like a married couple that doesn’t have sex all the time. Seeing new couples cuddling each other all the time might fill you up with depression after honeymoon stage. You both eye other happy couples and long for those days in your own relationship. But you wouldn’t give up what you have for anything – the soft intimacy of each other’s presence.
Related Reading: The Dynamics And Importance Of Sex In A Relationship
8. There are fewer fancy dates
“Am I falling out of love or is the honeymoon phase over?” It’s mostly the latter. You haven’t fallen out of love. You’ve just stopped trying hard to make an impression on your partner. Instead, here’s what you do:
- You start preferring take-out to a sit-down dinner or a wine tasting
- The number of dates at fancy restaurants come down
- You both have become comfortable around each other and don’t mind staying in and watching a movie
The 4 stages of a relationship honeymoon end with the deep attachment stage. In this stage, staying in is as good as going to a fancy restaurant. You come to a point where the place doesn’t matter anymore, but the person does. It doesn’t mean you’re bored after the honeymoon phase. It only indicates that you’re settling into your relationship.
9. Feeling bored after the honeymoon phase
When is the honeymoon phase over? More importantly, how do you know it has ended for you? One cue is that your partner doesn’t seem as ‘exciting’ anymore. You have even finished the list of interesting things to do together. Now that you know each other so well, you may feel you have run out of things to talk about. You may think this is boring but that’s only because of the contrast between how things were and how they are now.
What to do when the honeymoon phase is over? A Reddit user wrote, “Do something exciting together. Like, go to a theme park for the roller-coasters. The adrenaline you’ll feel because of doing that will be attributed to your partner, and might get sparks back. Or come up with interesting topics to talk about. Like maybe future plans together, for example, a trip you want to take, some interesting article you read somewhere, something philosophical.”
10. The PDA has reduced
The public displays of affection reduce when the honeymoon phase is over. You don’t kiss or hug each other as frequently as you used to. You both loved holding hands all the time in public but you don’t do it as often anymore. This is because you have now got used to each other’s presence and touch. You’ve started focusing on things beyond the physical aspects of your relationship. May seem like one of the red flags after 3 months of dating but it is actually very normal.
Related Reading: Physical Touch Love Language: What It Means With Examples
11. The cute little gestures have now stopped
You’ve stopped planning those cute little surprises for your partner. This is because a part of you feels that you don’t need to impress your partner anymore. However, this lackadaisical tendency can be dangerous. It may point to losing interest after the honeymoon phase and can even lead to six-month relationship problems.
The little things always matter, no matter what stage the relationship is in. Don’t let thoughtful gestures vanish from your relationship altogether. Looking for tips on what to do when the honeymoon phase is over? Make sure you keep up with:
- Date nights
- Occasional flowers
- Thoughtful gifts
- Spending quality time with each other
12. When is the honeymoon phase over? When the meaning of intimacy changes
When does the newness of a relationship wear off? Well, here is a tell-tale sign: Your idea of intimacy in a relationship has changed. Gone are the days when you both spent hours and hours in bed with each other, only to come back for more. Your sex life isn’t as active as it used to be. But you’re connecting on other levels, and fostering emotional intimacy and vulnerability becomes more important than raunchy moments between the sheets. This is not to say that sex isn’t important in a relationship but that by the end of the honeymoon phase, you begin to realize that you need to connect on other levels to be able to build a lasting bond.
13. You don’t feel the need to fake it anymore
Is the honeymoon phase over after 3 months? Yes, for some people. But, this is the beginning of something real and beautiful if you choose to see it in that way. A change in outlook can take you a step closer to acceptance and away from the risk of depression after honeymoon stage. To feel better about the changing dynamics of your relationship, look at the bright side:
- You don’t need to be on your best behavior at all times
- You don’t need to present yourself as this always-likable person in front of your partner
- You can openly talk about your likes, dislikes, and fears without having your partner judge you
- You are finally in a real relationship with open communication
Related Reading: 7 Expert Tips To Help You Accept Your Partner’s Past
14. Your emotional baggage can now be shared
Is the honeymoon phase real? Oh, you will surely realize that it is once you feel this transformation. During your honeymoon phase, you probably didn’t discuss your vulnerabilities with each other. But now, you will. Everyone has their share of emotional baggage. You don’t want to reveal yours in front of your partner too soon, as it could scare them away.
It is when you start revealing your inner self and expose your naked truths that you are ready to show them who you really are. Being able to show each other your vulnerabilities is a sign that you’re progressing toward better and more stable phases of the relationship.
15. You miss your ‘me time’
No matter how amazing your partner is, spending too much time with them is going to tire you. Once you’re past the honeymoon phase, doing everything together will make you miss your alone time:
- You will miss the freedom of being happily single
- You will want to spend some time focusing on yourself and your hobbies
- Your partner too will want to get together with their friends more often
- The honeymoon phase is that initial stage of a relationship where both partners are lovestruck and everything seems perfect
- While necessary for bringing two people together and binding them, the honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever
- Once it ends, your relationship will undergo several significant changes
- From not spending as much time together to being your true self with your partner, there is a paradigm shift in your dynamics after the honeymoon phase
- If you’re not prepared for it, this change can feel scary and overwhelming but remember it’s not an ominous sign
There is no need to be scared when your honeymoon phase is over or fall prey to anxiety or self-doubt after the honeymoon effect. The cupcake phase is a fantasy that has to be lived but one that will inevitably come to an end. It is when it gets over that you get to know what an actual relationship feels and looks like. Your relationship will be put to the test several times and how you overcome them is what matters.
Now that your honeymoon period is over, you might find that your relationship isn’t as exciting as before. Though the rush and the thrill might not be there, love will prevail. Excitement, chemistry, lust, and those attraction signs can always be revived and rediscovered. But love, care, and understanding are the foundation of a relationship that lasts longer than the cupcake phase.
The honeymoon phase typically lasts anywhere between six months to a year and a half. However, it can be prolonged or shortened depending on your chemistry as a couple.
No, the honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever but that is not a bad thing or an ominous sign. It just indicates that your relationship is moving forward, and you’re growing as a couple.
Yes, the end of the honeymoon phase can be unnerving and unsettling, but you can prevent it from taking a toll on your relationship by focusing on the positives.
Of course! It is the golden phase of your relationship, one that laid the foundation of your bond as a couple. What’s not okay though is to use the honeymoon phase as a yardstick to measure the health or quality of your relationship.