We’ve all been there. You start dating and everything is butterflies and exciting and your day pretty much revolves around cute texts and your life just seems so sparkly and new. It seems like everything is giggles and you couldn’t possibly disagree on anything because you just ‘get’ each other. There are hormones flying everywhere and suddenly dragging yourself apart to go to work or see your friends seems like the biggest effort in the world. Everything is fantastic.
When the initial excitement of the honeymoon period wears off, it can be daunting. If you’re anything like me you probably had a little panic – I say little, but I’m a self confessed drama queen, so what I mean is I had a full scale ‘WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME ANYMORE’ psycho session.
The truth is, I now prefer it that the honeymoon period is over – it’s the time when you realize if your relationship is lust, or if it really is love. When all the hormones have worn off is there anything left? Here are my reasons for why a comfortable relationship is better than a string of hot flings (it probably helps that my boyfriend is a super hottie):
1. IT’S REAL
When you first get together everything the other person does is so funny or so cute, but it’s not realistic. Once you take off the rose tinted glasses, you realise that the other person is not perfect – but that’s a good thing, because neither are you which means there are no idealistic expectations of each other. You learn the true versions of each other – the good, the bad and the ugly – you learn what makes each other tick and what makes each other happy. You no longer lust after one another for physical appearance, but you love each other for everything you are.
You become partners. You’re no longer alone in your problems, because you have one person that is going to be there no matter what, who actually wants to know your problems and help you fix them, because you’re a team and your happiness is their happiness. You begin to open your heart and build a real foundation of trust. My boyfriend is great at knowing when I need him to make me laugh – at least once a month you are going to be more hello hormonal psychopath than hello giggles and it’s important to have somebody that will bring you chocolate without you asking. It also helps that you always have somebody to eat with. No more ‘table for one’ when your friends are busy.
Me and my boyfriend were that ‘jump the gun, dive straight in’ kind of couple. We immediately moved in together and started planning our lives together. In the beginning, it probably was hormones talking – and lots of alcohol. Now, we’re serious about starting our lives together and growing as a couple. You finally get to remove those ugly curtains he’s always had and you don’t have to worry about hot girls being around him, because he just wants to come home to you. You speak with each other’s families and making plans in regards to your future are suddenly joint decisions.
4. YOU CAN FOCUS ON YOUR LIFE OUTSIDE OF EACH OTHER
Once you’re settled down your time frees up again. There’s no longer an ‘omg, when will I see you again’ frantic, or secretly keeping your plans free just in case they call, because you see each other every day – you’re part of each other’s routine. This is great, because now you have more time to focus on the things you want to do outside of your relationship. You can make plans for yourself, knowing that you will see each other at the end of the day. You also want to have a nice life together, so working 6 days a week and barely seeing each other so that you can take a week off for a holiday together suddenly sounds more appealing.
5. YOU BETTER EACH OTHER
As I said earlier, your happiness becomes their happiness, and vice versa. You don’t want the average for each other – you want the best. You can motivate each other to grow in every possible way. When I first met my boyfriend I had the worst job, I was unhappy with being unable to put weight on and I was an emotional roller coaster. I never thought that I would find a solid sense of self within a two person relationship, but the patience and motivation of someone that encourages you to be yourself is phenomenal. Not because you become someone you are not, but because you are free to be who you are. We are all self critical, and so if someone can teach you to see yourself through their eyes, not your own, your confidence will grow. In the right relationship you will become more patient and understanding, because you learn not to sweat the small stuff. For me, I’ve also become more grateful – when you are surrounded by love, you will become it.
Ah, my favourite thing by far. Compromise – what a lovely thing. Everything can be bargained for. If somebody chooses what food to eat today, the other chooses the film you watch tomorrow. If you cook, I’ll wash the dishes. Compromise is such an important thing in a lasting relationship, especially with the big stuff. As my budding dream is to be a writer, I can pretty much do it anywhere, whereas my boyfriends career is already blooming and so despite me wanting to, there is no point in us running away to another country. However, we do have an agreement that we can make a ‘relationship bucket list’ and at least one thing can be ticked off each year – backpacking for a month in Asia, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, etc etc. He will keep me sane and I’ll keep him a little wild. It’s a trade in. Sacrifices will always happen in a relationship – for both people, but in any case that sacrifice can be avoided and replaced with a compromise it should.
There are a hundred other reasons why being in a comfortable relationship is great – you no longer have to wake up an hour early to pretend you ‘woke up like this’, your boyfriend knows you are not Beyonce at this stage – but I wanted to list the bigger important factors of a long term relationship. It’s easy to become a little jealous of your friends when they are in the honeymoon phase, but don’t be – you have the things that matter most; unconditional love, stability and security.
So I’ll tell give you this pearl of wisdom – never compare your own relationship with someone elses – it used kill me that my boyfriend hates pictures together when all my friends have their cute profile pictures on Facebook, but then I’ve also taken their calls when their boyfriend has been drinking for three days and won’t reply to their texts, which I have never had to deal with – be grateful for the positives of your relationship. Anyway, enough from me – go and show your partner some loving!