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When the Honeymoon Phase is Over

It’s concerning to think that there are people who believe their relationship — particularly if it lasts beyond months and stretches into years — will always have those high-energy, high-octane honeymoon emotions. Those relationships are usually high on expectations and low on reality.

When passionate feelings are running high, many couples think their relationship will last forever. But inevitably the fever pitch cools off, and a seed of doubt is sown. What then? If they can develop a relationship based on lasting qualities and true friendship, they stand a good chance of staying together. However, it is fairly common that one or both persons will not stick around when passion fades.

There are four primary reasons why most relationships never get beyond the stage of passion or infatuation:

1. Some people are addicted to all the excitement that is present in the early phases of the “passion period.”
Like an addict constantly in search of the next high, some people simply thrive on supercharged feelings. So they date one person after another, relishing the thrill of soaring emotions—as long as they last.

2. Some people don’t want to move on to the next stage.
They know that a friendship kind of love may lead to a deeper relationship, perhaps even marriage, and they are frightened of the commitment. For whatever reason, they put the brakes on just when passion is transitioning into something much more meaningful and lasting.

3. Some people don’t know how to move to the next stage.
They’ve never done it before, and the challenge is beyond them. They’ve got the dating scene down pat—where to go, how to make small talk, when to call for the next date. But they are totally unprepared for the demands of something deeper.

4. Sometimes passionate love fails to develop into a deeper kind of love because one or both people recognize their relationship is just not right.
It’s not sturdy enough to make it through the inevitable challenges of married life. And when this happens, the dating process has worked. The final verdict is, “Don’t proceed.”

Even though this may bring sadness, think of the alternative. Moving forward would only bring heartache over the long haul. Someone has said that the best divorce is the one that happens before two people get married.

Passion draws two people to each other, but there must be more to hold them together when they get involved in each other’s daily lives. Healthy people should be able to share their values, goals, beliefs, interests, and ambitions. In short, the romantic lovers must also become real friends.