We’ve all heard of the honeymoon phase at some point or another. People generally use it to talk about that first few months of a relationship where everything’s dreamy and adorable. But honestly, there’s a problem with the way we approach relationship stages, and we need to talk about it.
In one of my classes at uni, a girl was talking about reading her boyfriend’s text messages while he slept, because she was pretty sure he lied about where he had been the night before. It sounded super toxic and unhealthy, and it was clear from her tone that she thought this was totally normal and justified.
Obviously, I was horrified. Who thinks it’s okay to hack into your partner’s phone and secretly read their messages? I told her that if she was at this point of lack of trust, then she should reconsider her relationship, because I know I could never do that to my bae.
“Nah, that’s because you guys are in the honeymoon phase. After you’ve been with him as long as I have, you’ll see,” was her response.
Ignoring what an ominous thing that is to say (I felt like I had just been cursed by a Disney witch), I feel like people really don’t get where the line is between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
What’s Wrong With The ‘Honeymoon Phase’?
In the beginning of dating, the honeymoon phase can exist. When you get into a new relationship it’s exciting and you can get caught up in it. I do think it’s real, but I think what it means needs to be clarified.
Sure, after the first few months of initial excitement wears off, relationships become deeper and maybe more chill – but where did we start thinking that this meant they would become depressing and empty?
It seems to be such a common idea that all relationships eventually fade out and you have to constantly work and beg for a crumb of romantic affection. Why is there this shitty expectation that eventually it’ll all go to shit, and that’s just part of leaving the honeymoon phase? Emotional neglect is not a normal part of a relationship and we need to destroy that idea completely.
What Getting Out Of The Honeymoon Phase Should Mean
Getting out of the honeymoon phase shouldn’t mean that there’s no trust left, or that you don’t communicate anymore, or that you’re not affectionate anymore.
Instead, it should be about bursting that little love bubble you’ve been living in. Maybe now you hang out in groups of friends too, instead of being alone all the time. Now, instead of being joined at the hip and doing everything together, you’re able to also spend time away from each other without it impacting on your relationship. It’s about acknowledging the mutual need of time with other people, and functioning as a complimentary pair rather than one unit. It’s not supposed to be a big deal.
Leaving the honeymoon phase means you’re no longer blind to each others’ flaws or bad habits, and love each other as regular non-perfect humans. It’s when you no longer rely on those love heart eyes, and have to actually listen and pay attention to each other and communicate. It’s just a more active effort kinda love. It’s still love, and it still feels just as good.
It shouldn’t mean you don’t talk anymore or you’re constantly annoyed at each other. Or that you fight all the time and don’t trust each other. You’re supposed to be more comfortable, not less. It’s where you can start doing all the weird shit you do alone, with another person.
We gotta stop normalising toxic relationships as just ‘out of the honeymoon phase’.
If you don’t wanna hang with your bae, go out together, or talk about your feelings, what’s the point of your relo?
Image Source: NBC, GIPHY