7 Relationship Dealbreakers You May Only Discover After The Honeymoon Phase Ends
The early days of a relationship are always incredible. You're happy, super into each other, and nothing ever seems to go wrong. During the honeymoon phase, everything just flows smoothly. But as we all know, that can only last for so long. At some point, the rose-colored glasses will come off and you will start seeing your partner and your relationship for what it is — which in many cases could be a positive thing. But according to experts, there are some dealbreakers that only pop up once the honeymoon phase is over.
"We initially won’t notice many negative things as the flood of happy endorphins are flowing in the new relationship," Kelsey M. Latimer, PhD, founder of Hello Goodlife, tells Bustle. "But right around six months, it’s estimated that the honeymoon period ends and we begin to see the reality of the relationship."
When you're super invested in your relationship, you don't want to see the dealbreakers that are there. But if you want to be in a healthy partnership that lasts, Latimer says, figuring out which things are small annoyances that can be worked though and which ones are absolute dealbreakers is essential.
So here are some dealbreakers that only pop up after the honeymoon phase, according to experts.
1. Their Values
"True dealbreakers for most people tend to be centered in the important stuff, such as values," Latimer says. Early on, it's easy to brush off what your partner sees for the future of the relationship. When things are going really well, it's easy to believe that maybe they'll change their mind around marriage or having kids. But according to Latimer, that is unlikely and can lead to a sense of lost time and resentment if the relationship eventually ends. "If you find differences in those areas, it’s really worth exploring and not ignoring as it won’t resolve itself and likely won’t change," she says.
2. Their Fighting Style
When you're in the honeymoon phase, chances are, fights are kept to a minimum. According to Stef Safran, matchmaking and dating expert, it's easy for someone to hide poor communication and conflict resolution skills when it's the early days and things are still flowing smoothly. "However, if you start finding 'it's their way or the highway,' or they they call names or treat you disrespectfully, this is a red flag," Safran says. It's going to be hard to sustain a successful relationship long-term if your partner doesn't know how to fight fairly or in a healthy way.
3. Any Incompatibilities In Bed
Everyone's sex life has its fair share of ups and down. "However if there is an issue with performance, life issues or even wanting to try something new, sometimes it doesn't come out until you've been together for a decent amount of time," Safran says. Open communication can help. But sometimes what your partner wants in bed may not be compatible with what you want and it can cause problems down the road.
4. How They Manage Their Money During Rough Times
During the honeymoon phase, you should have a good idea of how your partner spends money. "If you both are gainfully employed and want to go out and do things, managing money might not seem like an issue," Safran says. "If one of you has a change in your financial status, you might see that their strategy to deal with it isn't something you think is beneficial to financial security."
5. You Can't Stand The People They Hang Around With
When you're in the early stages of dating, you may meet their friends every now and then for small gatherings or birthdays. Even if you think their friends aren't a good influence on your partner, the natural tendency is to let it go for now. But once you get serious, Samantha Morrison, wellness expert for Glacier Wellness, tells Bustle, finding out that you really can't stand your partner's friends can be a big dealbreaker, especially if they're a bad influence.
"This crucial point is usually when ultimatums are given, which never helps a relationship grow," she says. "Sacrifices and compromises have to be made, many of which deal with factors outside of the relationship."
6. They Don't Handle Personal Stress Very Well
"Part of being in the honeymoon phase is being blind to your partner's flaws," Morrison says. "Likewise, it's easy to overlook anything external to you and your partner during this stage like stress." Everyone handles stress in their own way. When you're in the honeymoon period, you may not easily see how your partner deals with overwhelming situations. They may hide it or pretend that everything's OK. Some people may turn to alcohol and others may shut people out. If their coping mechanisms are not healthy, it may be worth it to talk it out, and suggest therapy as an option for them.
7. Controlling Behavior
At first, your partner wanting to stay in constant communication or wanting to be around you all the time can be sweet. But if they need to know where you are and what you are doing, Kyle Wright, relationship expert and founder of Wright Wellness Center tells Bustle, that can turn ugly very fast. This is a big indicator that your partner may be emotionally abusive.
"Navigating these dealbreakers is key as your relationship grows," Wright says. "If you work proactively on your relationship you can often see what could be a dealbreaker coming before it's an issue." If it's something that you can't fix, like anything that's abusive, it's best to re-think the relationship.
Editor's Note: If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org.