5 reasons why the "honeymoon phase" is actually the worst


Yes, falling in love does all sorts of odd things to you. 

You're both drunk in love, you've got that glowing face, and the make-up after a fight happens almost immediately because you simply can't bear the thought of having your hands off each other for longer than a second.

Basically, you feel like you're on top of the world.

And you slowly become that friend who can't stop gushing about your relationship to your single friends (FACT: it annoys them to the core).

But we're not here to talk about that.

We're here to talk about the sweaty palms, weak knees and totally stressful dates. The fact that, gradually, the effort and pressure of having an all-perfect and happy relationship becomes all-consuming and you can't wait for the "honeymoon phase" to be over.

Read more: Does playing hard to get really work?

Sound familiar?

There are a number of reasons we can think of that makes us believe the honeymoon period is really just the worst part of any relationship. In fact, some couples helped us out with their experiences.

1. You're on edge all.the.time.

God forbid you burp or snort in front of your S/O. I mean, some people just can't embrace the fart and will even go so far as to consider a break-up

While some couples may find it okay to let go, others just prefer not to give away their personal privacy and have their partner see (or smell) them in any raw form. 

The anxiety we have relates to the pressure we feel to continually put our best foot forward; to show only the good, happy and positive version of ourselves instead of just relaxing and being the full uncensored version, says Shelley Lewin, life and relationship coach at TRA Coaching.

"I remember how painful it was to hold in all that gas during the first few weeks of dating my now-husband," says Charissa* (not her real name).

"My first fart in front of him was probably six or seven months later and it was a milestone, but also very awkward.

"We were waiting in a drive-through and I literally couldn't hold it in any longer. As soon as I let go, we gave a blank stare to each other for about two seconds and then started laughing.

"I can't remember what I ate but it was bad. Like, really bad. I put the aircon on full blast and rolled down the windows at the back.

"We've been married for four years and have farting competitions on the regular – but he's never seen me poop. And never will!"

2. You feel the need to make every date fancy and unique

You may only have the budget for two boerewors rolls and a tin of coke, but come what may, you're going to go all out and ensure you go overboard with effort and some ka-ching. After all, it's part of dating etiquette, right?

Let's just put it out there: extravagant dinner dates should happen less frequently. Be creative. Have a romantic game night, have a sunset beach (home-cooked) dinner, have a movie marathon or go camping in your backyard. 

I mean, how cute is this?

3. Nothing annoys you, and it doesn't prepare you for what will

He chews loudly and your misophonia surprisingly disappears. He's an untidy freak and you're a germophobe but you aren't even wondering about the gazillion kinds of bacteria lurking in his bedroom.

You embrace every flaw and every irritating habit. 

Lewin adds that we tend to idealise our partner during this phase, magnifying all their good qualities and minimising all their flaws. 

The problem with this is that a few weeks or months down the line, you'll no longer turn a blind eye to your partner's flaws and every TINY thing will irritate you and make you seem like an irrational freak who's suddenly annoyed at everything.

4. You force yourself to get along with their friends, even though you can't stand their company

"I used to hang out with girls who were in high school while I was 26," says Roshan.

"My (now ex-) boyfriend's friend's girlfriends were, for some reason, all five or six years younger than me and I'd just awkwardly try to blend into their conversation. Did I mention it was awkward?

"Lit, fam, sliding into my DMs – I often had no idea what they meant and those few hours usually felt like torture.

"Thankfully it was just a handful of times we hung out, but I wouldn't do that to myself again."

5. You don't truly know who you're dating

Think about it: you mask who you are during the honeymoon period. According to Lewin, the phase can last as long as 9 months–2 years.

You're trying to be the best version of yourself, and what's wrong with that? After all, first impressions really do count.

However, something happens to your brain (chemically) over time and things change as you start to get more comfortable with each other. Some feel like genuine love that comes afterwards is much deeper and it's when the best part of a relationship happens.

Read more: Love and sex - is the key just a 'new' brain chemical?

"When the dopamine levels drop off and you begin to see each other clearly (with balanced, not blinkered eyes), if you have been true to yourself and given your partner a ‘real life’ experience of who you are, there is nothing to fear," says Lewin.

"It is when we pretend to be someone we are not that we create unnecessary problems. The best advice is to be yourself from the beginning, that way you will know earlier on if you are compatible or not.

"If you are a good match, you will enjoy each other long after the honeymoon phase ends and the dopamine has worn off.

"And, you can make someone feel appreciated and special without being extravagant or over analytical and indulgent."

WATCH: The scientific reason the ‘honeymoon phase’ goes away

So enjoy the honeymoon period while it lasts, but know that getting past the burst of infatuation might just be the best thing to look forward to. 

It becomes about a journey of enhancement. See it as a step up, rather than a step down.

WATCH: Why does passion fade? | Love, Factually

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