The Honeymooner's Hangover

By Marc Coleus

It's not as simple as “I love you, lets be together forever”.

The night was calm; fleeting moments of wind blew over the now-pink opaque hillside. We sat there in near silence, basking in a glow of goodness as unnoticed smiles graced our faces. To say that we felt beyond euphoric would not begin to describe the feeling in the air. All we did was sit there, a thousand lifetimes of smiles condensed into an hour of pure, innocent love. Somehow this moment had escaped all of life's realities; there were no mother-in-laws, no dirty dishes, and no snaky ex-boyfriends to worry about. All there was, was the “now”; grains of hourglass sand more intoxicating then any evenings filled with tequila via lime and shot glass.

It felt like forever hugging a 60-second egg timer -- the realization that all things pass and lovely moments eventually end. Cupid's spell tends to wear off, and you wake up alone and feeling slightly used; the hangover of reality rings loudly in one's ear. As time carries on, lovely surprises are replaced with predictable shortcomings and expectations are mixed with pre-agreed attitudes. There is something so beautiful and discouraging about routine. Where we once spent hours blankly staring at each other thinking of nothing else but bliss, we are now reminded of the reality of the term “long term relationship”.

routine love can be good and bad

The lovely stage in which I dub “the Honeymooner’s Hangover” is the time in which we wake up from our dreamlike state and realize everything that comes with being together F-O-R-E-V-E-R. The true penguin dance of love! A plethora of questions erupt, and in turn, expectations that never existed before suddenly become more important. While beginning with something as simple as a favorite color, issues, attitudes, and questions are raised about religion, family, and “Do you want to have kids someday?”, or “I can't believe I never knew that about you“.

However, let us also be reminded that these things aren't written in stone, and as we travel through this life our ideas will evolve and change, as will our life philosophies and aspirations. I think people tend to forget that:

“You want to what!? You told me you hated heavy metal / morning sex / mushroom omelettes!” (Insert confusion here).

As we all know, true long-term love involves a certain amount of compromise and understanding. Strangely, as I get older there are more and more deal breakers for myself and the people in which I end up getting that warm feeling from. After the car-crash breakup of my first love, and the recovery of my soul with the next, I realized that love doesn't necessary have to be stamped onto one person alone. Successful love seems like  a mixture of luck and timing and where exactly you are in your life. However when it all boils down, love is a choice.

honeymooner's hangover

In the busy process of falling in love, sometimes it's easy to forget about all the “other” things that make us happy. It may seem like a good idea to take a ten hour bus ride to see your girl right now, but will that make sense in three, six, and/or nine months later? I love the concept that opposites attract, but shouldn't we like at least a couple similar things beyond sex, movies and evening walks on the beach? I digress.

To sound extremely cynical, I would break it down to a simple game of pros and cons. To successfully survive this stage of the game, certain levels of tolerance and understanding are necessary, as well as a willingness to grow together. The couple should find out exactly what is important to each other beyond the beautiful fluff, and instead realistically make an effort to better understand each other. As this is easier said then done, I still think it might be worth the effort in hopes of protecting both of your future self's feelings.

There are certain things we can compromise on, but some things just won't budge. As scary as leaving each other may sound, we have but one life to live. Although people change, they rarely can be made to change. If your life's aspiration is to have kids and buy a house down by the ocean, and your partner's dream is to travel the world into his gray years, you might have a problem. Geographic issues arise: Christmas dinner in the East or the West? Should one remain Catholic, or embrace a Muslim religion for their partner’s wishes? What would your parents think? Will you be able to keep that smile on your face for every meatloaf Sunday at the Mother-in-laws’, or will those eyes start rolling in your head again?

You can try to comprimise, but some things are just deal breakers

I think we should never be scared of falling in love with someone, but I also think we should be careful when making the leap from soul mate to lifetime love. Disappointment can turn into resentment, and next thing you know love is tainted like a sneeze upon fresh fruit. Unfortunately love is far from educated and thought out— people have a tendency of telling themselves lies which can sometime's lead towards a far worse heartbreak later down the road.

To flip the coin on the positive, after addressing the important questions of life, one can assess if there is more opportunity or not, and from there things have real hope. Avoiding couple's laziness and learning new things together will often relieve much of the pressure relationships tend to develop. It is in the pursuit of happiness in which we truly thrive, and in that, a little extra effort put towards appreciating your sweetheart's passions will go a long way. Be it cooking, ballet, horses or art galleries, with a little extra effort we can all gain some appreciation for things we were previously not interested in. These things bring us closer together instead of further apart.

There is hope yet.

the persuit of happiness