One of the best parts about a new relationship is being in the honeymoon phase. Everything is new and exciting, and maybe even headed right down the road to love. You can stay up for hours just talking and never get tired and, literally, everything this new partner says is the most fascinating thing you've ever heard. And those quirks? The ones that are likely to drive you nuts later on? Well, those are the most adorable things you've witnessed.
Studies have found that this part of the relationship, where you're falling in love, is on par with the same feeling cocaine gives you. Yes, love and cocaine affect your brain in similar ways. How nuts is that?
But while the honeymoon phase is indeed fantastic, it can't last — and that's OK. Not just because everything in life is fleeting, including life itself, but because relationships have to evolve. If relationships didn't evolve, then they'd become stagnant. And, you can't honeymoon forever.
"Sometimes people expect the honeymoon phase to last forever and that’s unrealistic," NYC-based therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW tells Bustle. "People interpret getting comfortable with getting bored."
Although getting comfortable is just as great as the honeymoon phase, but in a completely different way, there's still something about that honeymoon phase that feels so damn good. Here are physical signs of the honeymoon phase, according to experts.
1. Your Body Does All The Thinking
Not that the body can think, per se, but it definitely seems to have a mind of its own when you're is in the honeymoon phase. And, if you've been in the honeymoon phase, you know this to be true because all that person you're into has to do is walk into a room and your body responds immediately.
"You might find increased sexual arousal and frequency of sexual intercourse," board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Susan Edelman, tells Bustle.
As certified clinical sexologist, sexuality counselor and author of My Husband Wont Have Sex With Me and The Ultimate Intimacy Guide For Passionate People, Dr. Dawn Michael, tells Bustle, "The physical signs are that of the body wanting the other person. "For women, it can be she gets wet and she feels desire as her body gets turned on just from the presence of the person. He gets an erection and zeros in on her with intense focus."
2. You Have An Actual Craving
According to Dr. Michael, the bodies of two people in the honeymoon phase "literally crave each other." Whether it's a matter of having all that sex or just being wrapped up in each other's bodies, the craving is real. Sometimes you can actually feel the ache of wanting them to touch you when they're away.
3. Increased Energy
If you've found yourself able to stay up all night long with your partner, without getting tired, in the early stages of a relationship it's because of increased energy.
According to Dr. Edelman, a physical sign of the honeymoon phase is increased energy — for which we can thank adrenaline, as it's one of the hormones that's being released during this phase, in addition to dopamine and serotonin.
4. There's A Whole Boatload Of Smiling
"You smile when your eyes lock with your partner," says Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure, tells Bustle, "and [you] make and take the time to do [it]."
Although we should, ideally, be smiling at least once a day, you can recognize someone in the honeymoon phase because even just a look at their partner will bring on the smiling. That sort of smiling that's contagious and addictive.
5. Your Attention On Each Other Becomes Hyper-Focused
"There is also the idea of hyper-focus that happens where [the two people] focus attention on each other, more so than anything else," says Dr. Michael. "This can be caused by hormones — men and women both release healthy amounts of testosterone and estrogen —in the brain leading to lust based in our biology of mating."
Because this is essentially the lust phase of things, the focus on each other can be overly intense. It's as if you can only see that person and no one else.
6. Your Brain Goes Into Overdrive
Not only do you hyper-focus on your partner, but according to Dr. Edelman, your thinking gets intense. It's as though your brain goes into overdrive, and whereas you can only see your partner, you can only think about them, too. It definitely makes for trying work days.
7. So. Much. Making. Out.
Although totally normal, makeout sessions tend to dwindle as relationships progress, but in the early stages, they're hot and heavy and frequent. According to Levine, you're not just giving each other a peck, but making out all the damn time — that delicious sort of making out, because first kisses really are the best. I mean, talk about a physical sign that has a major physical reaction on the whole body.
8. Your Emotions Are Affected
When the physical is so all-encompassing, so non-stop, so near-obsession, everything gets affected — emotions included. "The hormones can be so powerful," says Dr. Michael, "that they affect emotions as well." But this is a good thing. If the emotions weren't affected at some point, you'd never evolve in your relationship.
While there's no denying that the honeymoon phase is essential in relationships, especially from a scientific standpoint of mating, according to Dr. Michael, it's ultimately fleeting. So soak it all in while you have it, because that cozy, comfortable, I-can-pee-in-front-of-you stage is coming. But don't worry, it has its perks too.