I write a lot about the Honeymoon Period, that exhilarating and hopeful beginning phase of love.
Most people seem to know what it is and pretty much take it for granted that this human phenomenon, this magical span of time, truly exists – and the research seems to bear this out.
A recent study
In a recent study performed at Brigham Young University, assistant professor Spencer James, through the use of stats and marriage satisfaction surveys, has come to the conclusion that most couples, including the married ones, do, in fact, go through a honeymoon period.
The research also appears to suggest that most marriages have within them a great deal of variation, as opposed to any absolute or predictable path through time.
You needn’t be led by others’ experiences with a “one-size-fits-all” notion of how a marriage is supposed to look or progress.
James also emphasizes that all marriages are unique, and that to compare yours to another’s may be ultimately futile, even damaging.
So, navigating your own distinctive way through your relationship is surely the best way to go, for each partnership has its own unique chemistry – and that’s a good thing.
A natural decline of love?
James found that most relationships, mainly marriages in this particular study, usually started on a high note while tending, with time, to decline in partner satisfaction.
He accepts that most marriages start out with a lot of fanfare, but that a lot of the initial community support and excitement experienced by the couple, like that found at the actual marriage ceremony, begins to fade over time. Then “real life” sets in and initial attraction diminishes – just like many Honeymoon Periods.
James makes some remarks about this natural waning process of initial relationship happiness:
“You can get a little bit of an upward tick, but you don’t see anything returning back to honeymoon level… That’s not to say that it was a stark drop downhill after the honeymoon period for everyone. Whatever path marriages took after the first couple of years — whether couples stayed relatively happy or had troubles — they just didn’t seem to get back to being as happy as they were in that initial stage”.
Here, a spouse, once thought to be so wonderful, almost perfect, begins to exhibit and expose his or her flaws, as time in the relationship marches on and reality ensues.
Hope and love
It is true that two people, after some time together, may experience a partial and sometimes painful decline in their initial feelings for each other. They may even feel like some of that first excitement, that first boiling passion which once drew them together, has now calmed to a somewhat boring “simmer” – it does happen.
Yet, if there’s hope and a basic love for one other, these feelings can drive a couple to that ultimate and exhilarating experience of long-lasting love.
And here’s where I differ slightly with the good professor’s view that happiness, perhaps love itself, inevitably declines.
Love that lasts
It’s my belief, especially after interviewing and observing scores of couples, that although the initial happiness and thrill of that first Honeymoon Period may not look exactly the same over time, that original energy of attraction definitely has the potential to flourish and last a long, long time – maybe even forever!
You may be thinking, talk about a fantasy! Honeymoon Periods never last forever!
But, dear seeker of long-term love – they do, they really do!
How many times have I heard older couples still in love, exclaim, “Our Honeymoon Period never ended! We’re still in it!”
A Honeymoon Forever
Not only do Honeymoon Periods exist in almost all love relationships, but they span all stages of love – from the very beginning and sometimes through a lifetime.
The Honeymoon Period exists, is attainable, and can live on and on – but only when two lovers work at it, and ultimately come to realize and fully embrace it.
Something “lovely” to think about, yes?
I wish you all the wondrous experience of enduring love – a true Honeymoon Forever!
Do you have our own particular “take” on the nature of the Honeymoon Period? Can they last forever, or are they destined to fizzle out with a thud? Is eternal love just an unrealistic notion talked about by starry-eyed lovers or something that lives on? Tell us what you think in the comments section below. And by the way…I wrote a book about this stuff! You can check it out here.