How to Make the ‘Honeymoon Phase’ Last (2023)

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The “honeymoon phase” is often spoken about as the most exciting time of any relationship.

But it commonly comes to an end one way or another. The question is: Should it?

Should all relationships focus on creating a long-lasting honeymoon period, or is this blissful phase designed to naturally fade away?

Read on to find out all the answers.

In the early stage of a new relationship, everything often feels exciting as you bond with and fall for your partner(s).

That’s the honeymoon phase, otherwise known as New Relationship Energy (NRE).

“It’s as if you’re both in a magic bubble, and the rest of the world doesn’t intrude because you feel so connected,” says Neil Wilkie, psychotherapist, relationship expert, and creator of online therapy platform The Relationship Paradigm.

The word “honeymoon” is a modern version of the Old English term, “hony moone.”

It appears to have been first used in the 16th century, referring to the fleeting sweetness of a new marriage.

(At that time, newly married couples were also given mead, which was made by fermenting honey and water.)

The “moon” aspect is thought to link to the short amount of time that married couples would experience this pleasure— “from full to waning,” as the dictionary puts it, or around a month.

In fact, people tended to use the phrase in a negative way centuries ago, reminding newlyweds that their current bliss wouldn’t last.

So it makes sense that modern-day English has added the word “phase” onto the end to further emphasize how brief the period can be.

Of course, nowadays, “honeymoon phase” doesn’t strictly apply to marriages.

Any new relationship or milestone can spark it.

You may struggle to find the term “honeymoon phase” in scientific literature.

But its effects have been noted.

As therapeutic relationship and life coach Pascale Lane explains, “The scientific name for the honeymoon phase is ‘limerence,’ which essentially is the excitement and flood of chemicals over a prolonged period of time.”

“Limerence” was coined back in the 1970s in psychologist Dorothy Tennov’s book, “Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love.”

She described it as “an involuntary interpersonal state that involves an acute longing for emotional reciprocation, obsessive-compulsive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and emotional dependence on another person.”

And a combination of powerful hormones appear to drive this lustful period.

“Science shows this is the time where the feel-good chemicals, dopamine and oxytocin, are flowing in the brain,” says Wilkie.

“Interestingly, the stress hormone cortisol is elevated too, showing that being in love is arousing but also stressful,” adds Wilkie. “After all, the normal patterns have been significantly disrupted.”

The passion that comes in the honeymoon stage has also been found to have a link to increased levels of a protein called nerve growth factor (NGF).

It helps neurons in the body develop and function and could boost euphoric feelings, according to the study’s authors.

Even the fleeting nature of the honeymoon phase has been examined.

A 2015 study found that, after 30 months of marriage, marital satisfaction slowly declined for most women.

However, the majority of men said their satisfaction levels remained steady.

(Video) 3 Ways To Stay In The Honeymoon Phase Forever (ft. Ana Psychology)

There’s no set duration —everyone is different.

Tennov estimated that limerence lasts for around 2 years. But others note that the honeymoon phase can sometimes last for just a few months.

It depends on the amount of time the couple spends together, notes Taylor Sparks, erotic educator and founder of online intimacy store Organic Loven.

Does everyone have one?

(Video) How to Make the Honeymoon Phase Last a Lifetime | Relationship Theory

Some people may never have a honeymoon phase, instead experiencing a slow-burning relationship based on mutual interests and pleasurable experiences.

If you check that box, try not to panic.

A healthy, long-lasting relationship is built on more than initial passion.

And you may experience elements of the honeymoon spark throughout your time together, rather than a powerful blast at the very beginning.

“It’s not hard to know if you’re in this phase,” says Rachel Vida MacLynn, chartered psychologist, fellow of the British Psychological Society, and founder of Maclynn International.

“You’ll want to spend all your time with each other, and intimacy between you is new and exciting,” says MacLynn.

Another sign to take note of is feeling like your partner(s) can do no wrong, according to Sparks.

“Everything they say or do brings the feeling of butterflies in the stomach and a light airiness to the head,” explains Sparks. “Every encounter is ‘swoon-worthy.’”

Thanks to the raging hormones, “there’s also a high level of impulsivity and low level of judgment,” states Lane, who is also the author of “How to be Happy in Life and Love: A Guide to Living the Life You Deserve.”

Think about the saying “love is blind,” she says, and the fact that “you may not see all the warning signs as they present themselves.”

Every expert we spoke with had the same answer: yes.

“As necessary as this phase is in forming your relationship, it can’t last forever,” says Lane.

“The adrenaline that keeps you both excited and high on love needs to eventually come to an end and, in many respects, it’s only after this period is over that the real relationship begins.

“Fundamentally,” she continues, “a lasting relationship is about overcoming difficulties together —not never having them in the first place.”

But some people develop a kind of dependency on the feeling.

They may “jump from one relationship to another just to get the hit of the ‘honeymoon high,’” notes Sparks.

(Video) The 3 things you need to stay in the honeymoon phase forever

Scientifically, the surge in hormones will drop, says MacLynn, and “you’re going to see things as they truly are.”

Try not to view the dose of reality as a bad thing.

Yes, you may begin to notice some irritating traits that your partner(s) has and may want to start spending more time with people outside of the relationship.

But, as Sparks says, “there are better things to come after the honeymoon. Love only comes with the known, meaning you have to know the person in order to be in love with them.”

And that, she adds, “takes time.”

Naturally, you’ll begin to move from a focus on the “us” to give more attention to the “me” and “you,” Wilkie explains, “helping to nourish these parts and helping them to grow.”

Eventually, the aim is to form a deeper attachment that paves the way for a healthy relationship full of trust and the ability to resolve conflict.

First, try to accept that the honeymoon phase isn’t sustainable, says Wilkie.

Then focus your energy on “creating a future together where [you’re both] aligned and working on the six key elements.”

These are:

  • communication
  • connection
  • commitment
  • fun
  • growth
  • trust

Of course, there are plenty of ways to keep the spark going in your relationship.

Lane says couples should try to prioritize each other —not to the extent that you may have done at the beginning of your relationship but as much as you can.”

That could mean making time to eat together, laugh together, and go out together as well as time for intimacy.

Sparks recommends being sexually open-minded, too, “be it positions, voyeurism, exhibitionism, nudism, or kink.”

“Most importantly,” she adds, “ask your partner(s) what they enjoy.”

What if it still fades in time — what now?

(Video) Skills You NEED for a Lasting Relationship When the Honeymoon Phase FADES | Tom Bilyeu & Lisa Bilyeu

According to Sparks, “the saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ has some truth to it.”

“Taking time away from each other, whether that’s by way of vacation or doing separate hobbies, can give you time to miss [each other], if only for a few days.”

Having separate interests also gives you and your partner(s) something novel to share.

“You get to see their excitement through their eyes and applaud them as they learn or enjoy something new,” explains Sparks.

Adding to that sense of thrill in other ways can also help revive a relationship.

Plan date nights that are different to your usual routine, recommends MacLynn.

“Book a special restaurant, plan a surprise, dress up, and make it romantic,” adds MacLynn. “Reminisce about the early days of getting to know one another and recapture that early magic.”

She also talks about tuning into your partner or partners’ love language.

“If it’s physical touch, then maybe they would like a romantic massage,” says MacLynn. “Or perhaps they’d love it if you wrote them a poem or love letter, or even a special gift box with memories from your relationship.”

“When we have been in our relationships for some time, we can become lazy in complimenting or admiring what makes our partner(s) exciting,” adds Sparks.

A fun and easy way to shake things up, for those who are feeling more adventurous, is to play the “monogamish” game.

“Go out to a bar or club separately and watch each other flirt and be hit on by others,” says Sparks.

“When we see others being attracted to our mates, it can be exciting, in an odd way, to know that they are still desired by others.”

She continues, “Sometimes, that attention gives us an opportunity to ask our partner(s) what the other person said (or did) that they found exciting and we can make adjustments to do the same.”

Ultimately, though, relationships are about communication.

Remember, says Lane, that “talking to each other openly and honestly isn’t only vital for a healthy relationship, but is also incredibly sexy.”

Revel in the honeymoon phase, but know that it isn’t meant to last forever.

When it ends, “the relationship is going from magic to reality,” says Wilkie.

And that’s never a bad thing.

(Video) The end of the HONEYMOON PHASE

Lauren Sharkey is a U.K.-based journalist and author specializing in women’s issues. When she isn’t trying to discover a way to banish migraines, she can be found uncovering the answers to your lurking health questions. She has also written a book profiling young female activists across the globe and is currently building a community of such resisters. Catch her on Twitter.

FAQs

How can I make my honeymoon phase last longer? ›

So here are some clever hacks to keep that honeymoon phase going, according to experts.
  1. Come Up With A Gratitude Ritual. ...
  2. Give Each Other Space From Time To Time. ...
  3. Plan For A Staycation Once Or Twice A Year. ...
  4. Send Your Partner On A "Pleasure Hunt" ...
  5. Play A Sexy Version Of 20 Questions. ...
  6. Keep Having New, Shared Experiences.
21 Mar 2018

Can you make the honeymoon stage last forever? ›

How long does it typically last? There's no set duration —everyone is different. Tennov estimated that limerence lasts for around 2 years. But others note that the honeymoon phase can sometimes last for just a few months.

How long should the honeymoon phase last? ›

The honeymoon phase is an early part of a couple's relationship where everything seems carefree and happy. It usually lasts from six months to two years and can be marked with lots of laughs, intimacy, and fun dates. Of course, the honeymoon phase is exactly that: a phase.

Why do I lose interest after the honeymoon phase? ›

Why Things Collapse After the Honeymoon Phase. If your relationships consistently fall apart after the honeymoon phase, it's often because of one of these two reasons: either you are trying to derive self-value from your partner, or you've genuinely become attracted to anxiety.

Is it normal to fight during honeymoon phase? ›

When do couples normally start fighting? It's common to start fighting after the honeymoon phase is over. Every couple is different, but this period in a relationship usually lasts between 3 months and 2 years. During the honeymoon phase, higher levels of dopamine and oxytocin are released in your brain.

How long does physical attraction last? ›

Just seeing your beloved can make your heart race, your legs weak and your face flushed. Touch him, and well… Movies try to convince us we'll feel this way forever, but the intense romance has an expiration date for everyone. Expect the passion to last two to three years at most, says Dr.

Can the honeymoon phase only last a month? ›

This feeling of euphoria is what many couples call the “honeymoon phase.” Typically marking the earliest days of a relationship when laughter, lust and attraction are highest, the honeymoon phase can last for weeks, months or, in some cases, years.

How soon is too soon to move in together? ›

Is three months too soon to move in together? Most relationship experts advise couples to wait at least a year before moving in together. But that doesn't mean people who cohabitate after only three months won't last. However, folks who wait a bit longer have a better track record.

How long do average relationships last? ›

Average Relationship Length: Fascinating Facts

The average relationship lasts for 2 years and 9 months before coming to an end. Social media plays an important role in the demise of relationships. The younger the couple, the shorter the relationship – teenagers don't tend to form lasting relationships.

What are the 5 stages of dating? ›

Whether you're at the start of a blossoming relationship or been with your significant other for years, every relationship goes through the same five stages of dating. These five stages are attraction, reality, commitment, intimacy and finally, engagement.

How do you know you love someone? ›

If you love someone, you may start to wake up and go to sleep while thinking about them. You may also crave them physically, start planning a future with them, and want to show affection. Being in love also means that you're willing to put in the work to see the relationship thrive.

How do you know you have fallen out of love? ›

Besides no longer getting excited to spend time together, you may find yourself flat-out avoiding your partner. You may stay late at work, see movies or eat dinner by yourself, or even take the long way home to avoid being with your partner for a moment longer than you have to.

What does a relationship feel like after the honeymoon phase? ›

The honeymoon period tends to last anywhere between 6 months and a year. The relationship still feels fresh and exciting, and you're constantly learning new things about each other and having first experiences together. But there comes a point when suddenly you've done all that stuff together already.

How long should the talking stage last long distance? ›

Psychologists say you should wait at least two months until you ask the other person to be exclusive with you. You might decide to commit to each other sooner than that, but generally speaking, eight weeks is a good timeline.

What are three red flags in a relationship? ›

13 red flags in a relationship to look out for
  • Overly controlling behavior. Overly controlling behavior is a common red flag. ...
  • Lack of trust. ...
  • Feeling low self-esteem. ...
  • Physical, emotional, or mental abuse. ...
  • Substance abuse. ...
  • Narcissism. ...
  • Anger management issues. ...
  • Codependency.
1 Feb 2022

What is stonewalling in a relationship? ›

What does it mean to stonewall someone? In simple terms, stonewalling is when someone completely shuts down in a conversation or refuses to interact with another person.

Do couples who argue love each other more? ›

It's not a message likely to be found on many Valentine's cards but research has found that couples who argue together, stay together. Couples who argue effectively are 10 times more likely to have a happy relationship than those who sweep difficult issues under the carpet, according to a survey of almost 1,000 adults.

What makes a man think of a woman? ›

Men love women who are thoughtful, caring, loving and kind. A woman who does little things for her man for no other reason other than that she loves him. A woman who makes him smile back whenever she smiles at him. A woman who radiates love and warmth from her heart.

What makes a man attracted to a woman? ›

Outside of sexuality, many different things also play into romantic attraction. Personality, how one carries themselves, and facial attractiveness or being physically attractive in general, for example, are all things that people often find attractive.

What causes intense chemistry with someone? ›

We can build chemistry by laughter and shared values, someone who speaks our love language and makes us feel seen, heard and understood. This might explain why the experience of having chemistry with someone can feel so good. Excitement meets craving more time spent with that person.

What is the 3 month rule? ›

What the post-breakup 3-month rule basically means is that all parties previously linked must wait three months before dating again. The reason for this societal dictation is to give the people involved a breather, some lead time, maybe a little room for forgiveness.

What percentage of couples break up after moving in together? ›

For couples who decide to move in together, just over half of them marry within five years. Within that same time period, 40 percent of couples split up.

Can spending too much time together ruin a relationship? ›

Sometimes spending too much time with another person can manifest in resentment. "If you're in an otherwise loving and healthy relationship but are experiencing feelings of irritation or resentment, perhaps it's time to take time apart from each other," Cosgrove says.

Can the honeymoon phase only last a month? ›

This feeling of euphoria is what many couples call the “honeymoon phase.” Typically marking the earliest days of a relationship when laughter, lust and attraction are highest, the honeymoon phase can last for weeks, months or, in some cases, years.

How long does the honeymoon phase last in a rebound? ›

The Honeymoon Stage

When that happens, they reach stage two of a rebound relationship — considering that their new relationship is, in fact, a rebound — called The Honeymoon Stage. The Honeymoon Stage lasts anywhere from 6 months to one year, and during it, a person is unable to get enough of their new partner.

How do you stop a relationship from ending? ›

No matter how you dice it, going through a rough patch when you live together is stressful.
  1. Plan a weekly 'couples meeting' ...
  2. Learn to compromise. ...
  3. Spend time with friends outside of your relationship. ...
  4. Engage in affectionate physical contact. ...
  5. Don't be hooked on romance.

How can I enjoy the honeymoon phase? ›

The Do's and Dont's of the Honeymoon Phase
  1. Do have conversations about your values and what's important to you. ...
  2. Don't make long term plans. ...
  3. Do see each other at a frequency you're comfortable with. ...
  4. Don't worry about when things will start to change. ...
  5. Don't fantasize about a long-term future. ...
  6. Do have fun!
15 Sept 2019

How soon is too soon to move in together? ›

Is three months too soon to move in together? Most relationship experts advise couples to wait at least a year before moving in together. But that doesn't mean people who cohabitate after only three months won't last. However, folks who wait a bit longer have a better track record.

How long do average relationships last? ›

Average Relationship Length: Fascinating Facts

The average relationship lasts for 2 years and 9 months before coming to an end. Social media plays an important role in the demise of relationships. The younger the couple, the shorter the relationship – teenagers don't tend to form lasting relationships.

What are the 5 stages of dating? ›

Whether you're at the start of a blossoming relationship or been with your significant other for years, every relationship goes through the same five stages of dating. These five stages are attraction, reality, commitment, intimacy and finally, engagement.

Why has my ex moved on so quickly? ›

One of the most common reasons why exes move on so fast however, is because they can't stand being on their own or dealing with the effects of the breakup. What is this? Ultimately, when confronted with a traumatic experience, we as humans tend to react with our fight or flight mechanisms.

Can a rebound be true love? ›

Yes, gradually, it is possible that you fall in love with your partner in a rebound relationship. You may discover that you have made peace with your past and you are happily living in your present. You have realised that you share a great rapport with your partner and think of him or her as a perfect partner.

How do I know Im not a rebound? ›

  • They seem way too into you way too soon. ...
  • You feel like you're constantly being measured against some invisible yardstick. ...
  • The relationship moves quickly and slowly at the same time. ...
  • You can't seem to reach them emotionally. ...
  • You sense lingering bitterness over their ex. ...
  • They flaunt your relationship at social events…
24 Mar 2022

What can I say to save my relationship? ›

These are the words that could save your relationship
  • 'How can I make this better? ' ...
  • 'I appreciate you' 'I think we'd probably all agree that it's extremely easy to take our partners for granted in our day to day lives,' she continues. ...
  • 'I was wrong'
10 May 2018

Can space fix a relationship? ›

Spending time apart can make your relationship a whole lot healthier, Erickson says, because it gives you both a chance to reconnect with your own values, desires. It'll be easier to connect in a genuine way after you've had some space, as well as a lot more exciting.

What can I text to fix my relationship? ›

Text Messages to Send to Strengthen Your Relationship
  • “Good morning! ...
  • “I can't focus on anything else today because I can't stop thinking about you.” ...
  • “Good night, my love. ...
  • “I am so proud to have you in my life. ...
  • “You make me a better person.
6 Sept 2020

How long does physical attraction last? ›

Just seeing your beloved can make your heart race, your legs weak and your face flushed. Touch him, and well… Movies try to convince us we'll feel this way forever, but the intense romance has an expiration date for everyone. Expect the passion to last two to three years at most, says Dr.

How long should the talking stage last long distance? ›

Psychologists say you should wait at least two months until you ask the other person to be exclusive with you. You might decide to commit to each other sooner than that, but generally speaking, eight weeks is a good timeline.

What is anorexia honeymoon phase? ›

For people with anorexia, the honeymoon is the early stage of the illness, when all they experience is pleasant. And as Mathilde soon realizes, this phase won't last very long. Podcast | First person. See more.

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