The honeymoon phase is when you just start dating or get married, and everything about the other person seems perfect. For some couples, it lasts a lifetime. For others, it’s over as soon as a few red flags emerge.

No matter how long it lasts, the honeymoon phase can be a source of positivity and a timely opportunity to build on the long-term success of your relationship. Here are some tips for making the most of it.

Identifying The Honeymoon Phase

Though a scientific definition of the “honeymoon phase” doesn’t exist, research shows that dopamine levels are elevated during the early relationship stages, explaining the euphoric feelings and heightened sense of bliss. That’s why you get those butterflies at the beginning of every great relationship.

And how long does the honeymoon phase last? From my experience, it can vary from a few months to several years. Regardless of time, it’s important to be aware of your feelings and learn how to use them to fortify your relationship for the long haul.

Here’s how to tell if you’re in the honeymoon phase:

  • You’re feeling high levels of passion, excitement, and sexual energy
  • You’re feeling intense emotions of love and adoration
  • You can’t get enough of your partner and find yourself spending countless hours talking, texting, or emailing
  • You have difficulty concentrating on anything else besides your partner
  • You make snap decisions, typically to spend more time with your partner
  • You see eye to eye on almost everything

Clearly, the honeymoon phase seems like a dream come true, but it’s not realistic to think it will last forever — but that’s OK!

Strength in relationships is developed by bouncing back from turmoil and working through deep topics that may have been overlooked or brushed aside during the early days of dating or marriage. In fact, I’d argue that once the honeymoon phase is over, the real relationship begins.

From Honeymoon Phase to Thriving Relationship

Once the euphoria from the early stages starts to dissolve, you may begin to feel the crash. For example, you may notice character defaults in your partner that you didn’t see before. Or maybe you’ve finally met their family, and you didn’t get along as you would have liked.

These obstacles can feel like speed bumps or roadblocks. Either way, your relationship doesn’t have to come to an end. In fact, you and your partner can blossom from here. Use these tips to power your relationship, even after the honeymoon phase is over:

1. Communicate, Then Communicate Some More

Remember those great phone calls and conversations that lasted for hours during the honeymoon phase? Now it’s time to harness the power of words again. Except this time, you’ll use conversations to solve your newfound challenges.

The key is to be open, honest, receptive, and thorough. Be an active listener and mindful speaker. Respect each other’s viewpoints and work towards a collaborative solution, not a one-sided compromise.

It’s important to note that communication takes practice, and sometimes you’ll fall victim to poor communication. However, don’t worry about these stumbles; instead, identify gaps in your discourse and work through them — one conversation at a time. If needed, enlist the help of a therapist or marriage counselor to navigate through impasses. If you’re looking for a referral, contact me, and I’ll put you in touch with someone in my trusted network.

2. Maintain Autonomy

Couples are strongest when each partner is working on themselves individually and together. Don’t get so swept up during the honeymoon phase that you lose sight of your personal goals, passions, hobbies, and interests. When relevant, invite your partner to learn or participate in your activities, but, for the most part, save time for just you.

3. Talk Finances

It may seem like taboo to talk about money during (or even after) the honeymoon phase. Still, the reality is that being on the same page about finances is absolutely crucial to succeeding as a couple. By talking through money, you learn about each other’s financial situation as well as thoughts, feelings, goals, and history around money.

Essentially, you’re working towards a common goal or finding issues that can’t be resolved. In some cases, discussing finances can cement or unravel your relationship. Don’t let this scare you. It’s easier to handle this sooner when the stakes are higher.

What Next?

Money talks are especially important if you’re thinking about marriage or are already married. It’s crucial to chart assets and debts and discuss their implications when crafting a solid prenup and future-minded financial plan.

Whether you’re in the honeymoon phase or after, I can help you kickstart a successful marriage through financially-driven prenups customized to accomplish your specific goals. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions — I’d be happy to help.

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