CHAPTER 1: WHEN THE HONEYMOON IS OVER
For any fast paced moving relationship, things always take set with super speed because of how much of a fairytale things have been between you and your significant other. I’ve never really known them to end with an in-between storyline, but I definitely know them to either take a happily ever after approach or a This was some bullshit and I wish I never met you approach. What both scenarios have in common, is the misconception that the same energy level of work isn’t needed to make your “relationship goal”; whatever that may be, work for you and yours. What I’m saying is, the perfect couple has to bring the same 100%/100% to the table just like the struggling couple does. Its just that the struggling couple is stuck in an immature grey area about the reality of relationships which is; there is no 50/50, only 100/100.
So with this, I share my story. Not to say that I’m no longer in the learning process, because I am, but to say that I am wiser now and I hope this touches a young queen and king who once thought they knew all there was to know.
The Honeymoon Phase
Everyone is familiar with the phrase “honeymoon phase” but for those who aren’t clear on its meaning, its simply the puppy love stage of the relationship where each person often puts out their very best, sees no flaws or ignores them, and makes up an unrealistic fantasy for the relationship that often can’t be maintained.
So what’s next? “Get Real”!
When the honey moon is over, coexisting happens and many people can’t mix the honey moon phase with their real life day to day norms. While this isn’t the case in all scenarios, if you’ve struggled with this, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
For me, I think the reality set in when we decided to move in together before we even got to know each other on a deeper level. We were so in love with the thought of how amazing we made each other feel when we were together, that the things that eventually started to kick our ass, never came up and we never made a point to communicate about them either. Real topics like raising children, finances (which by the way, is the biggest deal for couples), boundaries, balancing work and play, dating regularly, religious practices, individual time, etc… we thought would take care of themselves because we were so perfect for each other so absolutely nothing would be a problem.
Now just to give a little background info. My boyfriend and I met in Miami,FL around 8/9 years old at our childhood church where we spent most of our time. My mother was a beautician in the 90’s and one of her faithful clients was his mom. We were best friends that eventually grew apart entering our preteen years, simply because life just took us in different directions. I relocated in 2003 and we reconnected in the summer of 2008 through Myspace (I’m laughing at the visual of that whole era, lol).
Not that any of that was really important, but I wanted to give you guys a view of my head space before I entered into our relationship. Hurt from a prior relationship I was in that ended at the end of 2007, the things I yearned for was clear communication, transparency, trust and familiarity because I hated the thought of having to start over again. Naturally, reconnecting with someone who I felt I knew so well, and then diving head first because we not only communicated so well, but were open and honest and then some, made the our feelings strong and the puppy love stronger.
After about a year of just talking as friends, we decided to make things official. Within the next couple months after that we fast forwarded into a serious relationship we thought we would cruise through and we started living together. Now the honeymoon was officially over. Since he moved to my part of town and hadn’t solidified things for himself yet, I had to work a lot, come home, clean, cook, take care of my son, study, and everything in between. The reality began setting in when we began arguing over the mundane things.
My advice to those who’ve reached this phase of their relationship is to Get Real! and know that communication is key. If you don’t know where to start and are so far gone into the superficial fantasy, snap out of the bullshit and present the topic in suttle but serious way. Don’t emphasize it in a way that makes them feel pressured, but more so in a way that you would when asking talking about your future together.
so, here are some great couple questions for you both to answer when you’re ready to sit down and talk about life after the honeymoon phase. In my opinion, it’s best to start before the honeymoon is over. That way you both know the questions and answers are coming from the most genuine and loving place possible.
Note Some Red Flags:
Not wanting to talk about future goals, antsy behavior, shuts down, defensive, repetitive display of lack of interest
These are just some behaviors to take note of and be aware of when you begin communicating or trying to communicate with your significant other. Obviously, these can either point out some other concerns you both should talk about that’s bothering them or the real truth, that they aren’t interested in long term etc.. either way its best to keep it one thousand.
Let’s Talk About When The Honeymoon Is Over…
(Couples Questionnaire & Must Have Conversation!)
~ Male Vs. Female Roles ~
Lets start off with turning the stones that have remained un-turned in many of our own households growing up, but have definitely molded us and our thought processes to be what they are today. Lets talk about the “Male Vs. Female roles”. Here are great questions to ask your partner, remember never to come into a conversation defensive and with any expectation of the person answering how you want them to. This does nothing for the truth that you’re seeking.
*Don’t forget that these questions are to start a real conversation based on real topics that couples don’t discuss before hand. It’s normal for things to get tense, but the most important part of communication is remaining respectful and taking it a step at a time. read more on healthy communication by visiting my article titled I just want to be heard! for tips
~ Keeping Your Own Identity~
Now that we got that little icebreaker out the way, let’s talk about keeping your own identity. While it’s important to understand the difference between knowing who you are and compromising to keep peace. Everything, and I mean everything has its limits. you can’t lose yourself in another person as a way to fulfill your happiness, just the same way that you can’t abide by their every command. That’s not a compromise! yes, its ok to give in a little bit, be fair, and allow them to feel like their word means something to you from time to time, but not 24/7. These questions should help pull up some red flags. however, you’ll feel inclined to say that you can change this or that, but that’s not your job love.
Just a few quick tips to help guide you to understanding the responses you may or may not get:
At no point should you feel like if you don’t do what the other person says, you will be guilted, harmed, or abused in any way. Having time to yourself and/or with your friends is healthy and advised within means. At no time should you or your partner need to be tracked in order to have permission to go out. How you feel about yourself should be about your personal growth and goals, no one else. Your partner should be in the business of promoting you in every way (sexier you, healthier you, happier you, confident you, secure you, and the best you in between).
“Making the Team Work So The Dream Works”
For me, its always better to talk about the “small” things first because really and truly, they make up for most of the major arguments and tension between you two; or at least I hope it won’t get to that point. Let’s get comfortable enough to talk about the future “us”. What do we want us to look like? how do we plan to keep those gender roles either in place or out the way (whatever y’all chose after discussing it), the plan for keeping a strong sense of individuality (so there’s no regrets and sense of hardship and sacrifice to be in the relationship), and of course working together as a team to not just past time, but make accomplishments and enjoy the ride there. You got to remain on the same team and put in the same amount of work to make the dream happen, if that’s what you both want. Now these few questions are only to tip the glass. These are all open ended questions to spark healthy dialog and get you to the questions you really want to know and the answers you really want to hear. So, please don’t be trapped in the framework of these 6 questions, because their only a platform for the communication you guys are developing in your relationship.
*Again, remember that these questions are basic and meant for you to use as such (a baseline) so that communication is started and dialog, along with the real questions that’s more suited to your direct situation. Don’t forget to have fun with it. Make things a little more light hearted when needed. The point is to get down to the root so you can feed and nourish your relationship and let it grow healthy.
In no way, am I saying to stay in a relationship that is abusive or clearly a dead end for you. However, if you’d like to give things a try and you’ve either just stepped out of the honeymoon phase or tracing back your steps before calling it quits. Then ride along with me on this relationship journey series. We’ve only just become.
Thanks for joining me JaeTalks Fam.