Are you concerned that your relationship is heading downhill? You started out like a fairy tale, but now you’re starting to notice flaws in each other. The end of the honeymoon phase is a real phenomenon and a challenging time for many couples.
On the bright side, this could be an opportunity to transition to a more mature and lasting love.
Learn what to do when the honeymoon is over. Try these strategies for keeping a romantic relationship on track.
Relationship Strategies for Newer Couples:
- Adjust your expectations. Many experts believe that the honeymoon phase can last for up to 2 years, and has a scientific basis involving hormone levels. You may find it easier to cope with these changes if you understand that they’re natural and commonplace.
- Be authentic. Can you spend the rest of your life pretending you love The Three Stooges or weekly juice fasts? Your relationship will have a more stable foundation if you’re honest from the start.
- Disagree sometimes. Many couples try to avoid conflicts during the early days of dating. However, this can be an ideal time to practice communication skills and learn to negotiate with each other.
- Ask questions. Avoid making assumptions. Find out if you’re really compatible on important issues like wanting children and managing money.
- Pursue your interests. Your relationship and self-esteem will be stronger if you maintain your individuality. Stay engaged in your career and hobbies even when you want to be with your new love around the clock.
- Call your friends. Relying too much on any single relationship can be risky. Stay in touch with your friends and family. Reach out if you’ve been neglecting them.
Relationship Strategies for Long-Term Couples:
- Show your love. It’s easy to drift into taking each other for granted. Remind yourself daily about what you like about your partner. Demonstrate your affection with thoughtful gestures and loving words.
- Communicate respectfully. Validate each other’s experiences. Listen closely and think positive. Be open to other points of view and willing to apologize when you’re wrong.
- Work as a team. Pull together and support each other in achieving common goals. Share responsibility for parenting and housework. Make life easier for each other without expecting anything in return.
- Be flexible. Pick your priorities. Focus on your partner’s strengths instead of their quirks. A little off-tune whistling can be a small price to pay for a happy marriage.
- Have fun. Is your leisure time spent paying bills and attending parent-teacher conferences? Put some enjoyable activities on your schedule each week. Take a class together or find a hobby that you both love.
- Vary your routine. Boredom can build up over time. Keep things lively by trying new cuisines and using your vacation days. Adopt a dog or redecorate your living room.
- Schedule date nights. Do you sometimes feel like roommates? Set aside one evening a week for romance at home or out on the town. Turn off your phones or take emergency calls only. Ban any topic of conversation related to mortgages or car repairs.
- Consider counseling. If you need more help, try talking with a therapist who specializes in relationships. Ask your primary doctor or your family and friends for referrals. You may gain new insights and learn more constructive ways to communicate.
Build a strong and enduring relationship. Your honeymoon is bound to end, but your love can still grow. You may even appreciate your partner more when the initial excitement is replaced by a more genuine and fulfilling connection.