Why the “in love” feeling fades and why it is crucial for your relationship to fall out of the “honeymoon” phase in order to keep growing
You fall in love. You really do fall head over heels. You want to spend every moment with that person and you think about him or her in every moment of your spare time. You start dating and for the first few months you cannot possibly imagine anything going wrong with your perfect romance.
When we first fall in love with someone we pour all of our energy into that person. We become infatuated with them. Studies have shown reward-giving brain chemical dopamine is at higher levels in those in love. Dopamine is key to our experiences of pleasure and pain, linked to desire, addiction, euphoria, and a surge may cause such acute feelings of reward that it makes love hard to give up. Mood-altering serotonin levels may fall in a similar way to those seen in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, explaining why love can make us feel anxious and jittery. The hormone that causes our hearts to race when we see the person we like is adrenaline.
Now let’s say that after the first few months of dating, the initial feelings of love start to disappear. Even though you might be worried about not feeling those initial butterflies or attraction, you should know that it is completely normal. We often experience this because our expectations of whom our significant other is or who we believe they have to be doesn’t match the reality of who they are.
The disappointment of falling out of love is where the relationship really begins. This is where you really see your partner for who they are. Partners in every couple eventual see each other’s good, bad, and ugly. When the initially butterflies go away you are able to more clearly see whether or not you and your partner are good matches for one another. If you are then you can truly begin to build a deeper foundation within your partnership. This is where you can deepen your trust, your respect, and your teamwork.