We’ve all heard it. “Oh, you guys don’t fight? You’re happy and in love? You’re still in your honeymoon period. Just wait.” Or something to that effect. Those statements do have some truth to it. Usually, the beginning of a relationship is about getting to know your significant other more and during that time period you are merely enjoying each other’s company without the bickering and without the realization of their daily (bad) habits. That is an over-generalization of the honeymoon period, but you get the picture. A lot of people believe that once the honeymoon period is over is when the “real” relationship begins (meaning it was easy peasy at first, and then takes a little more work). This can last a few months for new relationships, or a couple of years for newlyweds. As for LDRs? I’m here to tell you that the honeymoon period is ALL KINDS OF JACKED UP.
I am going to use my experience in an LDR as a point of reference for this post. What does that mean? That means that as soon as we began dating, we had to transition into a long-distance relationship while I was still in undergrad and he began law school. Our honeymoon period experience may be similar to those of you who began your relationship in an LDR as well.
1. The LDR honeymoon period is kind of opposite of the normal honeymoon period. What do I mean by this? Remember how I said a relationship is “easy peasy at first” during the honeymoon period, “and then takes a little more work” once that period ends? Well, it’s opposite day for us LDRers! The beginning of LDRs are TOUGH. With the whole trying to get to know each other better whilst trying to figure out each other’s schedules in order to actually schedule your phone calls but still trying not to bawl your eyes out everyday because other couples are being all couple-y and you’re just depressed because you can’t see, feel, hear, smell your S.O. whenever you want like they can… Not to freak any new LDRers out or anything, but that is pretty much the first… year (?) of your LDR. Once you make it through the first year (or however long it takes you and your S.O. to establish a routine and get you both busy enough to not continually focus on the fact that you’re long distance), the distance gets easier. The relationship may or may not get easier, but the distance does.
2. LDR honeymoon periods last longer. Normally a honeymoon period would last until you get to learn all the quirks and habits of your S.O. (messy rooms, doesn’t pick up after themselves) and until you become comfortable around your S.O. (going without deodorant, peeing in front of each other). Since being in a LDR means you may only see your significant other four times a year, twice a year, once a year… You see where I’m going? What may be a three month or six month honeymoon period for a non-LDR couple may be a one year, two year, three year honeymoon phase for an LDR couple.
3. You get multiple honeymoon periods. Wait, whaaaat? Think about it. Couples in non-LDRs get their honeymoon period while being together, which means they typically get to experience any quirks and habits before moving in together. Not only do we get a “beginning of the relationship” honeymoon phase (which, as mentioned above, can last years), we get a “we live together now” honeymoon phase. Some LDRers may learn the quirks and living habits of their S.O. while in long distance, but others may not. I was super nervous to live with A after we ended our long distance. Every time we visited each other, we made sure our places were pristine. We made sure we looked awesome 24/7 and we never really let on that we both let dishes “soak” in the sink for a bit (luckily, neither of us gets annoyed about this). Once we moved in together, we tried not to step on each other’s toes and tried to
see if make sure that this relationship would survive outside of long distance. This honeymoon period does not last as long. And of course, us LDRers get a real honeymoon period. That one is called being newlyweds.
4. Your relationship undergoes a sort of arrested development in comparison to other relationships. Because our relationships may have a longer honeymoon phase than non-LDRs and because we basically get three honeymoon phases, our relationships may not progress at the rate of other relationships. I am by no way saying that LDRs don’t progress while in long distance (because I can very much argue that LDRs create a much stronger relationship when successful), I am just saying that you may feel like you are starting all over again once the long distance portion of your relationship ends. Therefore, you may not feel like your were in a real relationship during your LDR. To those of you who think this way, I say: “You were damn straight in a real relationship! It may have been the realest one you’ve been in yet!” So, although your relationship timeline may not be similar to the relationship timeline of your friends who do not undergo long distance (I’m talking about those wedding bells I hear from every which direction), be confident that the extremely strong and sturdy foundation you’ve built with your LDR S.O. is all you need to progress along that timeline.
As I mentioned before, my interpretation of LDR honeymoon periods is solely based on my personal experience in an LDR. This may not be what you will/do experience, but hopefully it will give newly-formed LDRs an insight into their future honeymoon phases.
What was/is your LDR honeymoon period like?