Relationships go through many stages from start to finish and the dynamic within a couple drastically changes too. I analysed where my partner and I are after four years together, and compared it to the first few months to see how different we are now.
1. ‘They’re the One’
Ah, the honeymoon period is great isn’t it? The time when we think our new love can do no wrong. We’re bursting with happiness, counting down the hours until we see them again and getting butterflies every time their name flashes up on our phones. Everything we learn about our new partner is perfect and we wonder how we ever lived without them because they’re the one. Four years later, I look back at the honeymoon period with fondness but also think what an effort it was. You see, the honeymoon period is all about showing yourself off at your best, it’s the time when you put all your energy into ensuring that you’re the perfect match and it can be exhausting.
2. ‘Good Old Days’
Luke and I often reminisce about the old days, when we’d dress up and go out together and drink, dance, and sing, before staggering home in the early hours with two pizzas and a box of chicken wings. We’d climb into bed (with the food), I’d take a slice of pizza and then sneak off to brush my teeth so our goodnight kiss was minty-fresh. By the time I’d returned, he’d be asleep, face down in the box of chicken wings and I’d find the whole thing hilarious. These days, falling asleep in a box of chicken wings is infuriating. We’re two cats into the relationship and cannot afford to be leaving cooked chicken around, for fear our fur babies will raid the box and leave chicken wing carcasses all over the place.
3. ‘The Maintenance Illusion’
Maintenance was imperative during the honeymoon phase. Only seeing each other at weekends allowed me to maintain the illusion that I always had a perfectly pruned peony, but living together soon shattered this illusion. Luke was witness to the post-wax rash, the awkward stage where nothing can be done and of course, the weeks where the gardeners took an extended annual leave and my once perfect peony became somewhat of a meadow.
4. ‘Levitating Love’
Farting and pooing in each other’s company was something that we held off for a long time which, I’m pretty impressed with considering my IBS status. I specifically remember clenching for the entire car journey home once after a weekend of staying at Luke’s. Once I’d closed my front door behind me I thought I was going to levitate with the force of my suppressed farts bursting out at once. It became a joke in Luke’s household that I hadn’t managed to poo there, the ‘poo fear’ was real and their sparkling white bathroom was enough to induce fear-constipation. When I finally managed to go, I was congratulated by his parents. Brilliant.
5. ‘Patience is a Virtue’
I had a lot more patience during the honeymoon period. Luke is a professional dawdler; one time it took him 15 minutes to leave the house when he had everything he needed in his pockets. He has this blood boiling habit of running off to the bathroom when I tell him his food is ready, and taking around eight hours to make it to the table to eat it (which also takes a lifetime). I didn’t notice this when we were first dating and I often wonder how much time I spent waiting for him. These days I give him one look and he knows he’s run out of time to do another pointless lap around the house.
6. ‘It’s Not All That’
Whilst the honeymoon period is probably where your love for one another reaches its peak, the comfortable stage isn’t all that bad. We know each other now, which means we can provide proper support and comfort when needed. My wild garden is still appreciated, and date night consists of having a beer together whilst he watches some crap on Netflix and I slyly shop online, both feeling smug that the baby went to bed without any fuss. There’s no pressure and if we do make it out of the house dressed up then it’s appreciated more than ever.
So there you have it, after thorough analysis it seems that although the honeymoon period seems like a bubble of happiness, it will inevitably pop, and maybe that’s not a bad thing. Being comfortable and not-so-perfect is much more manageable and less time consuming.
Author: Issy Belle Fox