Why is it, then, that the stages of a romantic relationship seem more difficult to decipher? While it's true that every relationship cycles through different phases, what exactly they entail and how long they last differ from couple to couple. When is it best for couples to start getting serious? Does the honeymoon phase really exist? Does falling out of the honeymoon phase mean falling out of love? To help provide some clarity, we asked two dating experts, Bela Gandhi, founder of Smart Dating Academy , and Nora DeKeyser, matchmaker for Three Day Rule , for their takes on the most common stages of a romantic relationship.
How Long Does the Honeymoon Phase Last in a New Relationship?
How Long Does The Honeymoon Phase Last? 10 People Share Their Relationship Stories
The honeymoon period describes the early stages of a relationship, when everything is new and exciting. It can include butterflies in your belly before a date, goosebumps when your new partner calls, constant text messaging and social media activity between the two of you and hours spent fantasizing about your blissful future together. It's an amazing time, but it doesn't last forever. Psychologists call the honeymoon period the "idealization" phase, explains Dr. Joy Davidson, because during this time we convince ourselves that our new partner has all the characteristics of our perfect mate. We pull out all the stops to prove that we are the perfect match for them too. After a few weeks, months or years -- depending on how lucky they are -- the majority of couples find that reality has well and truly set in.
5 Crucial Stages That Have the Potential to Make or Break Your Relationship
Most relationships naturally progress through three stages. The lust stage, or beginning stage, is when you first realize that you like someone and may want to pursue a relationship. The attraction stage, or honeymoon stage, comes next.
You can remain madly in love and consistently romantic with your partner, it just requires more work and conscious effort. Remember how Mom used to serve shrimp cocktail and fawn over your new boyfriend? Or how your friends complimented your girlfriend? In a study published in Social Science Research , researcher Spencer James found that all the fanfare during the honeymoon phase reinforces your intense love for each other, but this outpour of support eventually fades over time.