This is the time in that great new (or not too old) relationship, where you begin to wonder, where did the good times go? In the beginning there was physical attraction, maybe so strong that it seemed unbearably intense. You felt that you were one person, that you knew what the other was thinking before they spoke, that you could read each other’s minds. You thought about that person ALL THE TIME! Any time you could be with them, you were. There was lots of affection – you were sure that it had never been like this for anyone else.
This is “The honeymoon phase”!
The focus is on togetherness, and the feelings are intense. All the emphasis is on what connects you to that special other person as though a lovely bright light is shining on the ways in which you are similar. You feel seen, known, and accepted, possibly as never before. And anything that causes friction or difficulties is minimized or dismissed because what could possibly be so important that it would disrupt this wonderful connection? The bond that develops during this time can be a solid foundation helping couples to weather the inevitable storms of the future.
This period may be short or it may be long. However, I would contend that it always ends, and when it does, many people give up. But wait! You don’t have to let all that go to waste!
The questions for you, are: Did the two of you form a real attachment to each other during that time? Will it be hurtful (sad, painful, cause a sense of loss) to move on and not have this relationship in your life? If your gut feeling is “No, I’ll get over the loss quickly and move on”, then maybe there wasn’t any real attachment. But if your answer is “Yes, we have shared activities, shared friends, maybe we have children together, we may have a home together, possibly financial ties – and I always thought we’d be together forever, so this will be very hard!” it’s time to consider whether what is really needed is to learn how to negotiate your differences once the honeymoon ends. Why? Because in any worthwhile relationship you will come to this point at some time, and learning the necessary relationship skills will always help you.
In a nutshell; what drew the two of you together was real, not a figment of your imagination. Right now you may wonder if you were deluding yourself, but I think many couples give up way too easily. True – relationships do require work and effort. That isn’t just a slogan you read somewhere. But isn’t anything worth having, worth working for?
If you need help deciding what to do, make a list of reasons to leave vs reasons to stay, speak to your partner about what they want to do, and/or see someone like me for a session or two to sort through your thoughts and feelings.