When the infatuation stage of a relationship wears off, that is when real intimacy can begin. Falling in love is a beautiful and important part of the experience but the “honeymoon phase” of a relationship is very euphoric and those intense feelings can cloud how we view our partners. Once we get through this initial stage, we start to see our partners for who they really are and not just who we thought they were. This is when real intimacy starts. This is a time when you begin to experience real truth, openness, and vulnerability. Partners make choices to work together to resolve conflict and heal unfinished childhood wounds. In doing so, they give each other and the relationship a massive gift.
As a relationship experiences these first bumps in the road and the many realities of “real life” together, you will need many tools and resources to navigate the road together. If you can get through these times, you will experience real, true intimacy, which is not possible during the infatuation stage. Many couples struggle as they come out of the infatuation stage – it is a difficult transition. You are no longer driven by simply hormones and euphoria and only positive experiences. You learn things you don’t like about your partner and it can be hard to face those things. Some relationships don’t survive this transition. But it is during this time that we get to make the very conscious choice to accept and love our partner for who they are. We get to learn to practice healthy conflict resolution. We learn to compromise. This is a time when we discover more about each other’s wants and needs. In every relationship, these are critical steps to moving towards real intimacy.