Heartbeat

No relationship is perfect. In fact, no relationship is smooth sailing right off the bat. Both people need to put in work to learn patience, love languages, and ways to heal. Especially in the first year of dating, it is crucial to observe and learn each other’s behaviors of anger, sadness, and confusion.

After our honeymoon phase ended, we started to see the truth in each other. We would notice how differently we cleaned our rooms and how stubborn we were with the simplest things. These differences weren’t necessarily bad, but they were hard to come to terms with.

The first step to getting over this tough period is to establish routines, boundaries, and quality time. When you’re first starting to see this other person for who they really are, it’s easy to become obsessed or completely turned off. When you’re in this vulnerable state, it’s important to build in time to see each other, do fun things together, and have little daily or weekly routines that build stability. However, don’t forget to make quality time for yourself and your friends, because this is where a lot of relationships escalate too far.

Step two is to talk about the big things that bother you and come to terms with the little things, but either way, do not allow yourself to hold grudges. Sometimes the smallest things will bother you the most, and if your partner keeps doing this one thing, you have to confront them about it. Be honest but be kind and try to see their point of view. Most importantly, you should practice compromising with your partner because compromising never really stops in any relationship.

Step three is to continue to show interest in your partner through shared passions, friends, and their love language. If this stage of the relationship is making you too comfortable with your partner, and you aren’t doing anything special for each other, you might want to consider putting in more effort to show that you are still committed to growing as a couple. Of course, this entirely depends on the vibes of your relationship. However, most people at this stage of the relationship feel confused and would like some clarity on how you feel about them.

Finally, you need to be able to laugh your way through this stage. Even if you’re doing everything right, things can get tense, and you need to be able to get silly before everything goes downhill. We recommend that you have some safety net rules in place. We make sure that we never go to sleep upset at each other, and we also talk about what we need from each other when we are sad. Most importantly, when we are done arguing about something, we give each other a hug and a kiss and cuddle for half an hour — trust us, it’s a life-saver.

This stage can last for months, but it does get better. After you’ve hashed out all of your quirks and differences, the relationship will start to feel more at-home and relaxed. At this point, we are living together in the same room with our cat, and our big fights are a thing of the past. Just remember to hear your partner out and create some ways to keep each other happy and healthy.

 

larion1@stolaf.edu

rochaf1@stolaf.edu

 

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