We’ve all been there. You meet someone, they’re all you can think about, and you want to spend every waking minute with them. When you’re first starting out, this is how it usually goes. But what happens when you’ve been together for a while and the initial sparks eventually wear off?
The period of time when you’re more or less obsessed with your significant other is known as the “honeymoon phase”. And it makes sense, doesn’t it? All you see are their good traits and everything is roses all the time. It doesn’t bother you that they pronounce words weirdly or don’t pick up after themselves, or burp loudly after they’re finished eating. All you can see is how pretty their smile is, how their taste is music is so good, how you get butterflies every time you text/call/see them. It’s just how it goes.
After a while, though, you begin to realize they’re human, and humans have flaws. This is when the honeymoon phase starts to wear off, usually around the 6 month-1 year mark. When this happens, suddenly they’re not as perfect as you might have thought, and you start to see them for who they are/aren’t. That’s not to say they weren’t being honest with you, but it’s natural for us to portray the best version of ourselves (and sometimes even who we want to be) when we first begin a relationship. More than anything else, we want that person to like us, so we exaggerate our best qualities. A lot of the time we don’t even mean to, it just comes naturally.
However, when we portray a false sense of who we are to impress someone, we’re setting us (and them) up for some form of disappointment because we ultimately could never live up to the standards we’ve set for ourselves. For us, we believe it’s best to get it all out in the open when you first start dating someone. Let them know “this is my crazy” and be honest with them. Don’t give it all away, because there’s always room for a little mystery, but don’t hold back on the big things, the deal breakers, the stuff that you would be tempted to exaggerate at first. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Because there will come a day when the butterflies stop and you won’t get that feeling of excitement when they call or text, and you’ll have less patience with their oddities than you did before, and you’ll see them for who they are. All of that isn’t to say we don’t still get excited to receive a text or a call, or a random “I love you” doesn’t still make our day, and we still feel like we couldn’t live without the other, but there’s a difference in those feelings from when we started to where we are now. Honestly, they’re deeper now because we have history and a life built together. When you’re just getting started though, that electricity will eventually fade a little after a while, and when that happens, you have a choice to make. At that time, you either choose to love them for them, or you don’t. That’s not to say you “fall” out of love with them, but love is a choice. It’s an action, not a feeling, like we’ve all been made to believe through romantic comedies and love songs.
Knowing love is a choice makes it all the more meaningful. Figuratively speaking, you could choose to be with anyone in the world, but you’re choosing to be with this one person who you feel you couldn’t live without. You’re choosing to be with them despite the fact that they leave their washcloth in the shower even though you’ve told them a million times not to. You’re choosing to be with them even though they clear their throat every 2 minutes and it drives you INSANE. You’re choosing to be with them despite the fact that you know their deepest, darkest secrets and their insecurities they’ve trusted you (and only you) with and the parts of themselves they’ve shown you that maybe aren’t the most beautiful. You’re choosing to be with them despite all of that, and to us, that’s more romantic than any amount of butterflies in your stomach. And as time goes by and the days turn to weeks which turn to months and then to years, you suddenly realize that it’s not despite any of those things, but in fact because of them instead.