Love in Limestone: From ‘honeymoon’ to ‘Honey, I’m home!’

Photo by Debbie O’Grady.


Dirty Deeds Entry

“What’s this,” he asked, with a rhetorical smirk about him.

Coyly, I turned down the sheets and slipped into bed.

The pamphlet-on-the-bedside-table trick never gets old. I’m confident we could hear Christian Grey blushing.

Can we talk about the honeymoon phase for a second?

That dreaded, gosh-darnit, everything is rainbows and unicorns days or weeks (hopefully not months) worth of rom-com screenplays spilled out into all night texts and talks? Teenage make-out sessions. Sex with the lights off, animal lust and hunger. The anxiety of waiting for the next text. The foot pop after the first kiss. The desire. The thirst. The need.

The fucking honeymoon phase.

As I watch my girlfriends slip in and out of the haze, I can reflect on the perplexities of the honeymoon phase and what’s it been like in the past. And we’ve all been there. Even those of you who have decidedly stuck it out with your partner all these years inevitably had those blissful moments where arguing over where the eggs go in the fridge was all but a distant future memory to be made.

No, let’s talk about the honeymoon phase.

And how – in reality – it actually sucks.

Our hormones – despite your age – throw away the roadmap of rationality and commence firing in rapid succession. Suddenly, you’re smiling inwardly over a song you hear in the coffee shop. You identify with the Julia Roberts-archetypes of yesteryear. You silently stare at the wallpaper on your phone, pretending to be checking the time, when – in actuality – you’re anticipating the next text.

And while these silly, gooey, check-your-lipstick-in-the-mirror, cup-your-hand-to-smell-your-breath moments are adorable, and wonderful, and floaty, and lovely – let’s cut to the chase.

Can we talk about the awkwardness of the first date? The first romp in the sack? Can we talk about fidgeting with condoms, and being worried about ‘going number two,’ or accidentally crop dusting the living room during date night? What if you want to wear your socks while you’re doing the deed, or haven’t made an appointment to ‘mow the proverbial grass’ in a timely fashion?

How long does the honeymoon phase have to last, anyway?

This discussion dominates the majority of the conversations I have with friends, sisters, and gal pals. Eventually, reality must strike. You must fart. You must forget to call back right away. You must get back to work. Right?

I’m a big proponent of keeping love and romance alive in relationships. Date nights, and me nights, and you nights, and wine nights, Netflix and chill nights.

But what’s more to be said about the honeymoon phase is recognizing that you’re in it at all. Once you can shush the feels-too-good-to-be-true switch for just a fraction of a second, you can keep your head in the game, eye on the prize, and quit trying to lose your shoe at midnight for the sake of fairy tales. (Let’s be real, ladies, don’t ever marry a man who needed to fit every girl in the Kingdom with your shoe just to remember what you looked like…)

And what I mean is, while we’re drowning in the romance of a new flame, a new love, a new, prosperous relationship – keep the excitement confined to fabulous dates, kiss-and-tell stories for the girlfriends over martinis, and away from the major decisions.

Isn’t it easy to say: I love this person! We’re going to fly to Vegas and elope on the strip. He’s everything I’ve been looking for! What I’ve been waiting for!

And maybe it’s true. Maybe you’ll meet your soul mate, and you’ll know it the moment you two lock pinkies over donairs and burritos.

But knowing with your hormones you’ve found the one
and understanding with your heart this is the person you want to spend the rest of the foreseeable future with can be two very different things.

It’s absolutely okay to be totally in like with someone.

It’s absolutely okay to be totally in love with someone.

And it’s absolutely okay to know the difference.

I’d like to believe I believe in love at first sight. Except, in my thirties, I’ve begun to understand that while a handful of lucky-in-love fools will stand the test of time after running off together the very first night, the majority of us should let our hormones revel in the infatuation. Let’s let our heads do the talking if we’re going to see this new thing through to the finish line.

Besides. There’s nothing cuter than a new flame at Christmas. The mistletoe pictures. The wrapped-in-red presents. And the best gift you can give yourself is recognizing the honeymoon phase. Because once the blood rushes back to your head, you’ll have actually gifted yourself the chance at many, many more Christmases to come.

~ Lilly ~


Follow Lilly’s dating highs and lows, and get some advice from the lady herself on Facebook at Advice or Anecdotes? We accept either or both at [email protected].

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