When discussing the trials and tribulations of dating, I’ve come back to the “Sending a representative” concept a few times. In the dating world it would seem that people generally like to put their best foot forward for the beginning of a dating situation or fledgling relationship. Essentially, they’re sending their best self out on those first few dates or in those first few weeks of being a couple. But that representative is only on a temporary contract, and eventually our true selves come forward. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; we should be our true selves in our relationships, even if we’re not as shiny and new as we were when we first met that special someone. In some cases the termination of the representative’s contract can mean the termination of a relationship, but when it doesn’t, it can mean something else; that the honeymoon period is over.
Anyone who’s been in a relationship, no matter how long or short, is familiar with the honeymoon period. It’s the golden era of dating; butterflies flutter in your stomach, your cheeks warm at the thought of your new person, and you can’t help but want to spend time together, say romantic things to each other and be as close to that person as possible, as often as possible. You can’t wait to tell your friends about the sweet and wonderful things he/she has said/done. Attentiveness and consideration are at their highest points on both sides of the coin; you want to do nice things for your new person, and those nice things are flowing right back at you. If you’re the type to wait to jump into bed with someone, by the time you’ve reached honeymoon status you’ve taken that plunge and either feel validated by your patience or frustrated that you took so long to experience something you now can’t get enough of. In a nutshell, you and your new love are loving life, and life is loving you right back. That is, until life becomes real, and the honeymoon haze fades away.
I’ve always wondered how and why this type of thing happens. I’ve had it happen to me, and I’ve felt it myself; that realization that the sweetness of a new dating situation has melted away, only to be replaced by the far blander taste of reality. It’s not fun to be on the giving or receiving end of that vibe. Nights that you would have happily given up sleep to spend time with someone are long gone, and needing your sleep to be a person the next day becomes a priority again. You catch yourself getting lost in spending time with that new person, losing hours and sometimes entire days that should have been dedicated to things you needed to do for your own life. While that may have seemed romantic previously, now it seems frivolous and maybe even foolish, and something to be avoided when it was once welcomed. Job stress, money woes and other adult responsibility related things break smash the romantic rose colored glasses you’ve been seeing the world through. The mundane replaces the amorous, and you find yourself struggling to have the same enthusiasm about your romantic situation or even the person you’ve chosen to be romantic with.
My inability to figure out how to move out of the honeymoon period is probably a part of what keeps me single; that and my uncanny ability to choose men that are just as bad at this as I am. I have yet to find the ability to balance, or someone who’s figured it out for himself to show me how. But I’m surrounded by evidence that such a thing is possible; the consistent flow of wedding, baby shower and other couple and family related event invitations that flow in and out of my life proves to me that people can figure out how to make relationships work. I on the other hand will continue in the pursuit of stretching out the honeymoon period as long as possible. And if anyone has any tips on how to shine up the golden era once it’s turned brassy, I’d love to hear ‘em. Life is too short for brassy reality – I’d like to stay golden for as long as possible, and I hope that someday, I can.