I used to resist the transition from euphoria to real love. No more.
All my long-term relationships could be divided into two eras: the honeymoon phase and the post-honeymoon phase. I like to call the latter “the comfortable phase,” and for a long time I severely underappreciated it. Instead I focused completely on the honeymoon phase. It was a high like no other, but I made the mistake of using its euphoric sensations as a standard for happiness.
The scariest part of the honeymoon phase was the crash that came after, when I realized the relationship wasn’t “what it used to be.” It was no longer rainbows and butterflies. It suddenly required energy to maintain. That’s when I started asking myself what went wrong and what I could do to restore that happiness.
When we both started prioritizing work, friends, or family over each other, it hurt. asked myself why I wasn’t as important anymore and whether or not that meant we should part ways. I let myself believe that the perfect relationship was supposed to stay in the honeymoon phase forever. But that was an unrealistic expectation. More importantly, this wasn’t even something I wanted.
As romantic as it may seem, having someone constantly on my mind is distracting. How am I supposed to achieve any of my ambitions when all I can think about is the next time I get to see her? We all need our space to chase our dreams and maintain other important relationships.
I came to realize that I needed to trust the transition. This was especially difficult when we started to disagree more often. The more comfortable we got with each other, the less likely we were to hide our flaws and opposing points of view. This led to more conflict, and we fought much more than we used to. But it wouldn’t be love if it wasn’t hard. Anyone can stick around when it’s easy. That’s not impressive, and it certainly isn’t love.
That’s why the comfortable phase eventually became my favorite part of the relationship. Even though we fought more often, we were at least being genuine and honest with each other. It’s not that we were deceitful in the honeymoon phase. It’s just that we no longer had a sense of euphoria coloring all of our actions and opinions. When we had hard days, it wasn’t some fleeting happiness that kept us together. It was a conscious decision we both made to keep our eyes on the prize: love.
Andy Do is an actor, writer, and director based in New York City. Follow his Youtube Channel here.