Mmm, it is honeysugar, the beginnings. Every gesture so sweet, every crossed boundary charming, and every habit adorable. All of us possess a little bit of this sparkly honeymoon period nostalgia at the back of our palms.
It most commonly happens with new partners. But romantic endeavors don’t have a monopoly on honeymoon periods. It happens with everything – new jobs, new friendships, and even new purchases.
Remember when you bought that new phone and discovered it for hours? The shiny screen, the many features, the wonderful speed. Now, all of it is just meh. So happens with every friendship. Remember how she suddenly came to your house unannounced? It made you feel so special. Now, it is annoying, this disrespect of personal space. Remember the jitters of your first big client meeting? Now, it’s the same old, same old.
After that blissful period is over in 6 months, 12 months, or if you’re lucky, 18 months, that is when the salt settles in. That is when a former adorable quirk starts to seem annoying. That is when a peculiar pet-peeve becomes intolerable. That is when a ‘mentor’ turns into a ‘boss’.
But, God, why do these heady-drugged-on-false-endorphins-periods even exist? Maybe because it is discovering something new. Look at that, this office has an entire ‘break room’ for its employees. Wow, how can he be so versatile? Get this, my new friend is so adventurous, she shows up with no notice at my door. We’re unraveling something new, something mysterious, something our curiosity had put its paws on.
But sooner or later, the rose-colored glasses come off. Your office is actually a shitty place if you want any work-life balance. Your partner is disturbingly indecisive. Your friend has zero sense of personal space. The disintegration is done. You are now seeing things as they actually are, realistically, truly.
Many call it the ‘honeymoon hangover’ and boy, it is nasty.
But I won’t tell you how to extend your honeymoon periods, you’ve read that BS already, haven’t you? Work overtime for free on challenging new aspects of your job. Get this expensive, uncomfortable lingerie to bring back the spark. Purchase this cute, overpriced back cover to give your phone that ‘new’ feeling again.
Nope. None of that here. This is to speak for ending honeymoon periods.
Yes, end it because that is how you get to the real stuff. And the real stuff is the real fun. It offers rewards that are much more superior. It is the best part, the most fulfilling one at that.
Sure, you don’t get all jittery before an important meeting now. But you know the tiny aspects of your job that contribute to the big picture. You have developed the suave to know better. Yes, the butterflies may have flown away. But now, you get the feeling of an ocean-calm that can only come with a sense of familiarity. You may not be super-excited to learn more about this new friend. Because now, you feel comfortable being your real self that is wholesome & vulnerable.
And if this doesn’t happen (I know it often doesn’t), isn’t it better sooner than later? Now that the honeymoon period’s pink glitter has run out, you can examine things in more realistic colors. You can ask the big questions: Is this job contributing to my real purpose? Is this friendship enriching my life? Is my partner incompatible? Now, you can check for things that you were too intoxicated to notice earlier.
Many things fall apart after the honeymoon period ends. And that is a good thing. Because it allows the other (read better) things to last. It paves way for friends who become your cheerleaders. It trickles partners that shower you with affection, mutual respect, and empathy. It lets you find a job that aligns with your life’s mission.
In the end, you wouldn’t want to be a monkey jumping from one jittery honeymoon period to another in search of a salvation that only sprouts in the warmth of familiarity.