There is nothing sweeter than new love. The heart pitter-patters, butterflies dance in the stomach, and the sun never seems to pass being the clouds. It is an exciting time in any relationship, a time when everything is fresh, new, and exciting.
This time is often referred to as the “honeymoon period,” and like all good things, it does come to an end. Based on a survey of 3,000 Americans, we found that the honeymoon period can be as short as four months or as long as 11 months! It really does vary from state to state.
That being said, the honeymoon phase isn’t really the end of something. Instead, it can be the beginning of something deeper and much more meaningful.
What Is The Honeymoon Period?
As I explained above, the honeymoon period is that time in a relationship when everything is coming up roses. It is hard to see anything wrong with one’s partner, and love is, truly in the air.
Now, while most of us know the excitement associated with those first few months, we may not know that it has more to do with science than the poetry of Rumi.
First off, research shows that when we are in the early stages of a relationship, our dopamine levels are higher. Dopamine is a hormone that is connected to feelings of wellbeing. During a 2005 study, researchers actually performed MRI scans on college students in the throes of young love. They found that when the subjects looked at a photograph of their romantic partner, they saw more activity in the caudate nucleus and the ventral tegmental area, parts of the brain that are full of dopamine.
Now, while we may feel better, we may also be more on edge. A 2004 study found that lovers in the early stages of a relationship had higher levels of cortisol when compared to those in the latter stages of a relationship. Cortisol is connected to stressful, more keyed up emotions.
Gary W. Lewandowski, Jr, associate professor of psychology at Monmouth University, told Scientific American, “These findings suggest that romantic love is an arousing but stressful experience. These physiological changes are short-lived, perhaps because we become acclimated to our partner with time.”
Now, while the honeymoon period can be sweet, it does not last forever. That being said, this isn’t the end of something, but rather the beginning. After the honeymoon period ends, a deeper connection can begin to form where couples really begin to trust and rely on one another.
That being said, according to the Relationship Counseling Center of Austin, there are a few ways to keep that exciting honeymoon fire in a relationship. This includes scheduling regular date nights and continuing to do nice things and show appreciation for one’s partner. Also, other relationship counselors suggest taking up new activities, such as dancing or cooking classes.
Tips For Sleeping With A Partner
Now, a major source in contention in many relationships has to do with sleeping arrangements. Namely, sleeping together can become difficult as time goes on. While cuddling and sleeping together during the honeymoon period can be great, soon couples can begin to develop the following issues:
- One partner snores and keeps the other awake.
- The combined body heat of two sleepers causes one or both partners to overheat.
- They fight over sheets or other bedding during the night.
- One partner’s movements disturb the other.
These are just a few of the problems that can arise, and they may cause couples to consider a sleep divorce, where they decide to sleep apart. This is increasingly common and, according to a recent poll, 50 percent of Americans would prefer to sleep without their partner.
Now, there are a few steps couples can take before deciding to sleep apart. They should consider our best mattresses for couples. Mattresses with memory foam are often a great choice for couples, as the material can cut down on motion transfer. In addition, each partner could get their own bedding or comforter so that they do not have to share.
Again, the conclusion of the honeymoon period does not have to be the end of anything. Relationships really start to deepen at this point and, with a little work and fortitude, they can turn into something very rewarding.