The Myth of the Honeymoon Phase and Why This Could Change Everything

advice: relationship lauren gray

Are you already starting to have issues even though you “should be” in the honeymoon phase?

It’s easy to doubt whether you’re with the right person at this point. After all, isn’t the beginning supposed to be the most romantic, easy, fun time?

Actually, for a lot of us, I think the notion of the honeymoon phase is really misleading and I’d love to show you another perspective that may apply even more aptly.

In this post, you’ll learn all about the myth of the honeymoon phase, how to navigate your differences, and get clear on whether this relationship is right for you or not.

Dear Lauren,

My boyfriend and I have been dating less than a year. It’s supposed to be the honeymoon period, but I'm already starting to have issues. He’s a nice gentle guy, but sometimes he can be too easy-going, and can't decide what he wants in life. I’m a bit of a control freak, and I freak out whenever he shows his happy-go-lucky side. I can already foresee we will have many problems and issues in the future with us being so opposite. Should I stay or should I go? I feel lost.

– Elizabeth


The Myth of the Honeymoon Phase


I don’t want you to feel bad or that there’s something wrong with you, your partner, or the relationship because you’re not experiencing the honeymoon period exactly the way it’s been sold to you.

The honeymoon phase is that time in the beginning of a relationship where you’re so chemically doped up with love and pleasure hormones that the world is a brighter place; food tastes better, every song on the radio is just awesome and every day is a good hair day.

But the honeymoon period is also famous as the time where couples notoriously and determinedly ignore all red flags.

The honeymoon phase as it’s been sold to you isn’t so perfect or enviable after all.


FUI: Falling Under the Influence


It’s easy to get swept up in the love-drug effect and most people turn a blind eye to any flaws that sneak through the cracks of their chemically induced rose-colored glasses.

Most people project their version of a perfect partner onto a new partner, despite the actual person in front of them. 

I call this crime an FUI: falling under the influence. 

It can be dangerous, misleading, and hurtful for both you and your victim. Not to mention, it wastes everyone’s time!

Unfortunately, it’s a very common side-effect of the traditional honeymoon phase.

If you aren’t one of these people and you somehow manage to stay awake and aware under the influence of eager hormones, you’ll definitely have a different experience.

And that might be a really good thing.


Real People Don’t Fit in Tiny Checkboxes


If you can avoid an FUI, the beginning of a relationship will be a time where you get to know and be known by an entirely unique and surprising person; not someone you made up but rather someone that challenges your version of a perfect mate.

No one can match what we’ve imagined in our heads; we have a two-dimensional idea of someone, often accompanied by a two-dimensional checklist of “ideal qualities.”


Example list: 

  • Handsome
  • Wealthy
  • 6 foot tall
  • Has a great relationship with his mother
  • College-educated
  • Ambitious


This list is eerily similar to a list I had when I was single. Not officially but an ideal I had in mind.

My partner now of 10 years — the man I think is the sexiest man alive, someone who fulfills me completely — was someone who defied almost everything on my list:

  • I did not initially find him attractive
  • He was unemployed when we got together
  • He’s 5ft 10in
  • Has a great relationship with his mother — he really does!
  • He didn’t go to college
  • He is content to be in the moment and enjoy what he has


And he is absolutely perfect for me.

Real people don’t fit in tiny checkboxes. Real people are three-dimensional.

Make room for someone to surprise you. And challenge your ideals.


Navigating Your Differences


It makes sense that if you’ve got your head on straight, the beginning of a relationship shouldn’t be this perfect-and-problem-free honeymoon phase.

How could it?

You’re reconciling that person’s way of life with your way of life and since you’re faced with an actual person instead of an illusion, there are bound to be fundamental differences that you have to navigate.

It’s a big adjustment and it can be full of frustration and confusion. You see the differences and they look incompatible at first glance. You’re afraid that it will be this way forever.

But really, it’s the adjustment period that is the most frustrating.

Once you come to peace with the person in front of you, things only get easier. You either get a clear message that things are compatible or you get a clear message that it’s time to part ways and break up.


The Illusion of Perfection


Some people experience the honeymoon period for a few months and then reality hits them with a sledgehammer right in the face.

Many couples split after the illusion of perfection melts away.

However, I happen to be just like you. I come into a relationship with my eyes open; I see red flags left and right. And once you move through these, you’re available to genuinely fall in love with the person in front of you. It may not be the TV “perfection” of the honeymoon phase but it’s true love and true love can make food taste good for the rest of your life.

(Good hair days not included. That’s impossible)


Can You Learn from Each Other?


Often in life, we attract the people who have the most to teach us. Some of these lessons are harder to learn than others.

This man may not be directly compatible with the way you do and see things but he’s presenting a new life philosophy to you.

It’s your choice what you want to do with it.

Maybe with his example, you’ll learn to let go of some of your control and learn to accept and enjoy life as it comes.

You’re comfortable being a “control freak” and he’s comfortable being “easy going.” There are valuable aspects to both perspectives.

As long as you come from a place where you’re not trying to change your partner, there’s an opportunity to learn a lot from one another. 

Part of learning something new is being uncomfortable, that’s why it’s called being pushed out of your comfort zone.

Whether or not you choose to stay with him and see this play out a little longer, there is a reason you attracted this man into your life.


The Question Worth Asking


How much time do you want to devote to this man? Ultimately, it's up to you.

Always live in choice: Is this relationship worth my time and energy?

Whenever I’m faced with someone who does things differently than me, I treat it as a learning experience. Every conscious learning experience we have shapes us into better versions of ourselves. I trust that whatever you choose will be the right move for you.


With love,


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