By Rachel Goldsmith, MS, MA

There is no denying that the first few months of an intimate relationship brings with it some of the most exhilarating and passionate feelings we experience in our lives. Many people describe these moments as passionate and fiery, as though “sparks” are flying between the two new lovers. Inevitably, however, the passionate excitement of this honeymoon period cools down with time. What was once experienced as burning desire for your loved one transforms into the slow burn of committed love and respect. The end of this honeymoon phase can be surprise and a disappointment to some, although it also delivers some other new, albeit less thrilling, elements into your relationship. Here are 5 ways that your relationship will undoubtedly improve after the honeymoon phase ends.

  1. You can relax around one another. At this point in your relationship, you realize that you do not have to look perfect every time you see one another, plan the perfect evening, or worry about what your partner really thinks about you. Your relationship feels natural, and this can be a welcomed change from the intensity and passion of the early parts of a relationship.
  2. You feel less nervous around his or her family. Those days of not knowing what to expect of your partner’s family are largely over. You no longer worry (or at least you don’t fret as much!) about family get-togethers, and perhaps you even feel like you are an important part of your loved one’s family at this point.
  3. You can fight, make up, and move on. After the honeymoon period in your relationship, you and your partner make space within your relationship to accommodate conflict in a way that draws you both closer together. Conflict is a normal and healthy element of a good relationship, and although you may not think of it as progress, getting to a point in your relationship where you feel safe enough to be vulnerable and engage in healthy conflict is a very good thing!
  4. You can make long term plans together. One positive part of getting past the honeymoon stage in your relationship is that you and your partner feel comfortable making plans with one another that are far into the future. This brings a feeling of security and consistency that is a strong foundation for a good relationship.
  5. You learn about parts of your loved one that no one else knows. Getting to know your partner’s deepest fears, core beliefs, regrets, and hopes for the future is a unique and special part of growing past the honeymoon phase of your relationship. Being known in this way by your partner is intimate and priceless.