Young love — no matter how old you are — is a beautiful feeling. You feel something you can’t explain, and you want more of it. You don't even see the little quirks, the annoying little habits your partner has, because those feelings of new love are so strong.
At some point — whether it's been weeks, months, or years — that feeling of the honeymoon phase almost inevitably starts to diminish, and the hard work of building a real, lasting relationship starts.
What most people don't understand is that you don't have to have one or the other. The honeymoon phase isn't gone forever once real life starts to creep in. You can sustain the magic of those early days for as long as you're together. And if you want your relationship to last, it's a crucial element to work on.
My wife and I just celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary. After meeting as co-workers at Burger King, we were married at 18. We lost that feeling of the honeymoon phase a year into our marriage and didn't know how to get it back. We even separated for six months before we were able to find each other again.
That process started with — and only happened through — us getting brutally honest with each other about our struggles, talking through our issues, and only then moving back in together. Today, our relationship is better than ever. We have great communication, we actively date each other, and our sex life is better than it's ever been.
Here are some of the signs that showed us our relationship was in trouble, and how we worked our way back into the honeymoon phase. Even if you and your partner have lost that feeling, I hope these strategies can help you get it back. It is always possible.