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Thread: How Do You Successfully Transition From Honeymoon Phase to Real Life?

  1. #1
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    How Do You Successfully Transition From Honeymoon Phase to Real Life?

    I am a 46 year old lesbian. My girlfriend and I have been together for 9 months now. Things have been going great these last few months. Communication is great, we have a lot of fun, the chemistry is amazing, she is my best friend. We both have had a good amount of relationships and looking to settle down eventually.

    Recently, my air conditioner broke and as a result, have been staying with her for the last 10 days which is the most we've ever stayed with each other. While things were fun the first few days I noticed some subtle changes in routine/behavior. For example, she is less "touchy feely", we aren't sexual any more or any less (but is it not strange that we wouldn't take this opportunity to be more sexual?), I notice I initiate intimacy more. She is also pursuing a new career in real-estate and trying to pursue more outside interests like soccer. As a result, our schedule and routine is changing and this is triggering anxiety for me at times. The thought of the unknown (when will we see each other, will she still prioritize me)? We've discussed all of this and she has reassured me that we will work through it and her feelings are the same.

    We've also been having our first little disagreements mainly in regard to the changes in behavior. When I ask her about it, she tells me that being together for more amounts of time does help 2 people see each other in a more "real life" way...and perhaps some of the "La LA" phase is slowly fading out. A completely normal process.

    Can anyone share some advice on how to maneuver through this transition, without getting too much in my head and still enjoying the moment? Am I worrying for nothing regarding her subtle changed behaviors? Is this just a normal phase? How can I differentiate between red flags and triggers from my past?

  2. #2
    Gold Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Even though you're living together albeit temporarily, you still need to give each other time and space. Don't be together too much.

    Getting past the honeymoon phase requires knowing that living together is not exciting 24 / 7. It gets mundane, people have things to do, there are chores, errands, careers to concentrate on and people aren't infatuated nor smitten toward one another around-the-clock. People need a break to chill.

    Since you now know that dating for 9 months is different than living together for 10 days, reevaluate your relationship with her. Realize that perhaps dating is better than living together.

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    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    From your past posts this doesn't sound like such a new thing, in terms of your dynamic and general state of being alongside this person and with her. You've been pretty hyper-focused on things since the beginning, kind of going into this on eggshells, and it sounds like that hasn't waned.

    Moving in, even temporarily, generally exacerbates a preexisting dynamic—the good, the bad, the meh. Ten days in the same space, it seems, has had that effect on you. Kind of sounds like you're reading into a lot and still working with this whole anxious-avoidant paradigm.

    How to maneuver it? Well, maybe try to see the big picture a bit, to see that this is just kind of how you two are. Not something new, but something old, just slightly magnified. Demystify it, you know?

    In terms of red flags vs past triggers—well, they're kind of the same thing, you know? Being in a relationship in which you are repeatedly "triggered" would be, for many, as much of a red flag as being in a relationship where someone behaves in ways that are questionable.

    It's been 9 months. She's telling you she's in it—and the fact that she's letting you stay with her while your AC is broken is pretty generous. Focus on that, rather than looking for signs that she may not mean it. Maybe that helps you stay more present in the moment?

    Outside of the relationship, do you have things that occupy your head and heart—things that drive you, things you can turn to to find balance and release? Kind of sounds like some of these disagreements could be avoided if, instead of asking her what's up, you went out to yoga class or something. Before this experiment in temporary co-habitation, were you feeling secure or still a bit edgy and uncertain about it all?

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    I really liked the movie kissing Jessica Stein for this. So here’s the thing. When it’s a healthy relationship there need not be a real transition because healthy relationships often evolve and change and go through phases. Not always linear either. If you’re a solid couple you’re a team and you don’t need to do any dramatic work because if you want to be with each other you will. Now if your relationship is based on feeling like you’re on cloud nine all the time and you don’t have much in common then if cloud nine becomes four you might find there’s little else holding you up.

    I’m not saying at all that is what is happening here but I know for sure that for many many long term committed couples they never had to do any major adjustment to “phases” in the way you’re referring to it because their core stayed the same - they still wanted to be together whether they felt cloud nine that particular day or not.

    I got engaged October 2008 and married December 2008. By the following August I’d given birth, moved for the first time in 43 years out of my city and hundreds of miles away, was unemployed for the first time in over 15 years, lived with a man for the first time, and had a life threatening medical scare and condition. Talk about phases and transitions and adjustments.

    But the truth is there are many phases just maybe not all crunched in together in under a year. You will do just fine in your relationship if you want to be together and if you have enough in common other than “we’re crazy about each other “. Many people change jobs and careers. I have during my marriage. So has my husbsnd. And remember that all this time spent together was for logistical reasons not desire so keep that in mind too.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Ok having a house guest suddenly because of a situation is very different than going away on vacation for 10 or so days. You need to get your a/c fixed and start staying at your own place again. The situation in itself would make people get on each other's nerves.

    Don't overstay your welcome. Particularly if you are putting all this and her under a microscope and analyzing every single word, action, etc. Not only are house guests stressful, having one that questions everything is extremely stressful.

    So get your a/c fixed, go back to the usual amount of time you spend together, don't put her under a microscope and start planning a vacation so you can both enjoy a few days together but under less stressful circumstances. Then you can talk about "honeymoon phase". Try let go of the notion that it has to be rainbows and unicorns all the time.

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    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by girltalkCA
    I am a 46 year old lesbian. My girlfriend and I have been together for 9 months now. Things have been going great these last few months. Communication is great, we have a lot of fun, the chemistry is amazing, she is my best friend. We both have had a good amount of relationships and looking to settle down eventually.

    Recently, my air conditioner broke and as a result, have been staying with her for the last 10 days which is the most we've ever stayed with each other. While things were fun the first few days I noticed some subtle changes in routine/behavior. For example, she is less "touchy feely", we aren't sexual any more or any less (but is it not strange that we wouldn't take this opportunity to be more sexual?), I notice I initiate intimacy more. She is also pursuing a new career in real-estate and trying to pursue more outside interests like soccer. As a result, our schedule and routine is changing and this is triggering anxiety for me at times. The thought of the unknown (when will we see each other, will she still prioritize me)? We've discussed all of this and she has reassured me that we will work through it and her feelings are the same.

    We've also been having our first little disagreements mainly in regard to the changes in behavior. When I ask her about it, she tells me that being together for more amounts of time does help 2 people see each other in a more "real life" way...and perhaps some of the "La LA" phase is slowly fading out. A completely normal process.

    Can anyone share some advice on how to maneuver through this transition, without getting too much in my head and still enjoying the moment? Am I worrying for nothing regarding her subtle changed behaviors? Is this just a normal phase? How can I differentiate between red flags and triggers from my past?
    It honestly sounds to me like your anxiety is talking. I don't really see any of what you listed as a red flag. I think it would be a good idea to get your AC fixed and move back to your own place. You don't want to overburden your relationship with anxiety.

    Relax, take a step back.

    Only time will tell where this relationship is going.

  8. #7
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    It doesn’t sound like you are being very supportive of her new career , interest in soccer etc?

    Have you ever thought that perhaps her being happy in her relationship with you is what gives her the courage to try new things?

    But instead you think that her behaviour is changing and that’s a bad thing? In your mind? And then you start to question it to the point where she needs to reassure you?

    If there are red flags being raised, it seems to me that you are one raising them?

    The new career will settle , the soccer schedule will become known and there will be routine again. (It seems you don’t cope well with no routine?)
    But you need to start learning to trust her and it doesn’t matter that the next date isn’t planned , just that there will be one.

    There is no method to successfully transition from honeymoon phase. It just happens if you both put in the effort and have the will to.
    So far she is putting in the effort and seems willing.
    Are you?

  9. #8
    Platinum Member LC8328's Avatar
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    Per BC's post I took a gander at your past posts, particularly your last one. You describe your GF as avoidant and you, clingy.

    From here, it makes me think of two things. One, are you compensating your GF in any way for letting you live with her during this time? Paying for stuff, cooking a meal sometimes, etc? In other words, are you showing her your appreciation instead of just worrying that she's less touchy feely?

    Two, I agree with the others that it would be a good time to get your AC fixed and move back home. It's possible that she does have issues with you, newly garnered from your temporary living situation, but doesn't want to tell you this while you're living together, because that could make things awkward. Sorry, I don't want to add to your anxiety about it, but it's something to consider.


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