The honeymoon stage usually lasts up to two years but will vary for every relationship. It is the time when we fall in love, Hollywood style. You are both wearing your rose-tinted glasses, you spend a lot of time together, there is lots of physical intimacy, and the emphasis is on similarities, not differences. Know that there are biochemical changes in the brain, an influx of happy hormones during this stage to keep you engaged.
Many people look back on this stage with fondness, and some become addicted to the ‘falling in love’ feeling with the rush of happy hormones and the promise that the other person seems to hold.
As we are focussed on similarities in this phase, it is easy to overlook obvious differences and even red flags. A stark contrast in values is a red flag. If he shares with you that he is winding up his business and is planning to take his partners for all they had in the company, this may not align with your values. Or he tells you about his best friend who is having an affair and explains that it is okay because he is a male, and that is what men do.
Some differences are inevitable, like differences in spiritual beliefs, or a preference for one to live in the country and the other to live in the city. It is up to you to decide where you may both need to be flexible and what might be a deal-breaker. For example, if one person wants five children and the other is clear, they don’t want any children. It will be difficult for this couple to both be fulfilled long term in this relationship.
This phase is the foundation for what is to come; we learn about one another and consider our future compatibility. It can feel a bit like bathing in the sun on a hot day, warm and nourishing, but you can hear thunder in the distance, and you know a storm is coming.
Enjoy the sun!