The Honeymoon Period In A Relationship Is Probably Way Shorter Than You Think — And Here's Why That's OK
The honeymoon phase in a relationship looks different to every couple. Some people have a massive fight a few weeks into dating and drop immediately out of the honeymoon period. Others seem to stay in a bubble where they don't see anyone else for months or even years. But how long does this period last for most people? Well, new data shows it's not as long as you might think.
Mattress Clarity, a leading mattress review site, conducted a survey of 3,000 Americans about their relationship honeymoon periods and found that the average length around the country is just 6.7 months. The variation was huge — in Alaska the average honeymoon period lasted 11.5 months, while in Rhode Island the honeymoon period only lasted for 2.8 months on average. But many states fell around the six or seven month mark. If you want to see how your state did, you can check out the graph on their website.
Interestingly, 36 percent of couples said that the honeymoon periods end when you start going to bed at different times — which makes sense, because in the early days of a relationship, you often are sleep deprived from all the sex and talking. You sort of forget that you need sleep — and you can actually lose more of it than you might think.
"What we found most surprising is how much less sleep people get when starting a new relationship," Joe Auer, founder of Mattress Clarity, tells Bustle. "Thirty minutes each night doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you consider that over the first month, that’s 15 hours less sleep! We live in an age whereby relationships develop at a faster pace than how it was for previous generations — people spend more time together sooner, they move in together earlier and therefore that initial flame dies out a bit quicker. Having said that, this could be seen as a positive development — it means you are settled, comfortable in each other’s company and know each other better."
At some point, the honeymoon period has to be over. But that's totally OK. Here's why the honeymoon period ending isn't always a bad thing.
1. You're More Comfortable With Each Other
As Auer points out, the end of the end of the honeymoon period is typically a sign that you've become more comfortable with each other — and that's a good thing. You don't need to be the best version of yourself all the time. Your partner needs to get to know the real you.
2. You Start Engaging With The Real World Again
Some people totally disappear during the honeymoon period — and that's fine for a while. But at some point, you need to come down to earth and actually start making the relationship work in the real world. If your relationship can't exist outside of the relationship bubble, something might be wrong.
3. You Need To See If You're Compatible In The Long Haul
When you leave the honeymoon period, you start to really see if you're compatible. Your quirks, your grumpy moods, your real lives — you need to see if those things match up.
4. Fights Can Be A Good Thing
Some couples show off the fact that they never fight like it's a badge of honor, but fighting can actually be a great thing for your relationship. Fights show that you're not just pretending to be OK all the time and that you're willing to be honest with your partner. But they also are a great tool — if you fight constructively and communicate — to learn more about each other.
“All couples argue,” Sarah Watson, licensed professional counselor and sex therapist, tells Bustle. “It’s incredibly healthy to discuss your differences and what you need from your partner. What isn't healthy is screaming and saying hurtful things that you cannot take back.”
5. The Honeymoon Phase Can Live On In Some Form
Saying the "honeymoon is over" makes it sound like you're bored with each other, or like you've gotten on each other's nerves. But that's really not fair. Sure, the honeymoon phase might end, but that doesn't mean that the best parts of it have to end, too. If you keep your relationship alive, with date nights and flirting, you can keep the best parts of the honeymoon phase alive, while still moving into a more comfortable, settled place with your partner. It's the best of both worlds.
The honeymoon phase might be shorter than you would expect, but that's not a bad thing. It doesn't mean the spark has gone out, it just means that you're more comfortable with each other and moving on to the next phase of love. You can keep the spark alive — just put in the time. And if your relationship can't survive outside of the honeymoon phase, maybe it just wasn't meant to be.