Ah, the honeymoon phase. The name suggests it's the best part of a relationship, some sort of escape from reality to a happier, more magical place. People fight to hold onto it because they're afraid it will all be downhill from there, but that's not true at all! The best part of a good relationship is when it leaves the honeymoon phase and starts to really live, when you and your partner get to tackle the real world again but get to do it together this time. When you take your relationship beyond the bubble of the honeymoon phase, that's when it has the room to really flourish.
There's room for friendship again.
During the honeymoon phase, it's easy to prioritise your relationship over your friendships. A good, maturing relationship, though, doesn't make anyone choose between the two. As you branch out from the honeymoon phase, you can reconnect with your friends, and they can get to know your partner more. Getting out of the honeymoon phase means adding more love into your life.
And at the start of a relationship, sometimes it's important to spend a little extra time on romance, to see if this new person is really a good fit. Romance should never be left behind, but coming out of the honeymoon phase means deepening your friendship with your partner, and part of that is involving one another with each of your friend groups.
Being part of a team is really nice.
To some, the idea of being "teammates" in a relationship might not sound sexy, but the reality is that being teammates with your partner is incredibly reassuring. Even the most independent person is stronger with good support behind them. Being part of a team doesn't mean you sacrifice your independence, it means you gain a partner. Coming out of the honeymoon phase of a relationship involves building strength and trust in one another.
When Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt get married on Parks and Recreation, they say in their vows, "I love you and I like you." Sometimes we're so focussed on finding romance that we forget about actually spending the rest of our lives with another person. If that's the case, you need to be sure you not only love them but also like them and can count on them.
You can finally let go of insecurities.
While the honeymoon phase may be full of butterflies and feel new and exciting, it can also come with a lot of insecurity. There's the worry that if you let your guard down, the person may not like what they see in the real you. It's important to fight through those insecurities and reveal yourself in the relationship so the two of you can begin to really get to know each other. Which is such an exciting part!
Depth in relationships, the kind you need for a lasting partnership, comes from knowing one another's good habits and bad habits. It's not about fixing one another — instead, you have someone to grow with, someone who probably reminds you to be kind to yourself, because the real you is pretty incredible.
Love doesn't just tolerate, it adores.
Getting to know someone on an emotional level means getting to know their flaws. We all have our flaws, but to love someone is to love all of them. And there's so much comfort that comes with not "keeping face" 24/7. If you can't be yourself with your partner, then it's not a real relationship.
Don't underestimate the importance of acceptance. Feeling accepted for who you are by your partner allows affection to get deeper. Being safe with one another is one of the most vital relationship needs we all have.
The honeymoon phase may seem like the best part of a relationship, but the best part is everything that comes after it. Intertwining your life with someone who is your friend, who empowers you, who sweeps you off your feet, and who knows that you're only human — just like them — is the most romantic thing you can do.