The Ups and Downs of the First Year of Love

Couple smiling at one phone happy and excited the women hugging the men from behind while he sits down

If you’re in the first year of your relationship, you’re probably in the sweet, sweet honeymoon period. Not heard of it? It’s the time in a relationship when both of you are still trying hard to impress the other and everything is exciting and fresh. Both of you feel happy and in love…

But as you start to learn more about each other and spend more time together, reality might start to creep in! For some, this could already cause the end of the relationship – but every relationship is different. There are some common bumps in the road that many couples experience during their first year of dating.

However, don’t let the following potential challenges scare you. Maybe you won’t encounter many, or you’ll manage to deal with them easily. Nevertheless, the reality of the beginning of love includes ups and downs. Read on to find out how you can ride them out!

1. You learn more about them… But it’s not what you expected

Couple laying in bed together watching something on a laptop

The upside of the first year of love is that you learn a lot more about your partner and this just gives you more reasons to love them as you grow closer together. However, many of us make the same mistake in the first year of dating. We assume that the person we fell for is perfect and create an idealized image of them in our mind. Often, we fall in love with who we think they are, not who they really are.

And this becomes a challenge when we learn more about them and they shatter our illusions because they’re not who we imagined them to be. The honeymoon phase comes with a lot of lovey-dovey stuff, but it’s also one of the most important relationship milestones because not all couples proceed to the next one! When you start falling in love, you might not see their more negative traits which become too obvious to ignore once you’ve been together for a while.

Don’t expect your partner to be perfect because you could be disappointed once you see that they are only human, just like you. As long as you keep in mind that there will be things you won’t like about them, you’ll be able to focus on those that you do like. Just don’t forget that no one’s perfect and learn to accept each other’s flaws.

2. You get intimate… But with less passion

Couple in bed together while the man looks at the ceiling and the woman looks at him

Sure, at first, you were all over each other. Now that some time has gone by, you started getting comfortable, and you, your partner, or both of you stopped taking care of yourselves to the same level as before. In the beginning, you would always dress up for them, and they would make sure to put on their best perfume for you. Now, you’re lucky if you see them in anything other than a hoodie and sweatpants.

Well, maybe it’s not that bad, but there’s a chance some of that initial passion has faded away. Naturally, you can’t expect the same fire you experienced at the beginning, but this doesn’t have to be the end of excitement in your relationship. Why not plan a date night and make an effort for each other, like you used to? Or explore a new city together! The romance doesn’t have to disappear in a long-term relationship and neither does passion, but it depends on you and the effort you put into keeping the spark alive.

3. You learn about their past… But you’re not comfortable with it

Couple sitting down on a bench looking at each other and holding hands

The first year of dating is all about discovering more about each other, but you’re not going to like everything you find out. You might not approve of the choices they’ve made in the past, and you might fear that they’ll repeat the same actions. Maybe they aren’t comfortable with your past either.

The truth is that everyone has a past and that can cause issues when you start to build a future with someone new. You’ll have to learn to accept each other’s past and realize that it doesn’t have to do anything with your future. What happened before you were together doesn’t even have to matter because people learn a lot from their past lessons.

4. They used to do nice things for you… But they start acting differently

Couple cuddling in bed and taking a selfie

At the beginning of the relationship, you’d both make grand gestures and do nice things for each other for no other reason than to make each other happy. However, they started to put less and less effort in. You feel like they’ve changed.

Again, this doesn’t always happen, but if it happens to you, it’s a good idea to be honest and talk to your partner. Doing nice things for each other is not something that’s reserved for the early stages of dating: it’s a part of every healthy relationship. You have to pursue each other even when you’re already together and never stop trying to make each other happy.

5. You have expectations… But they’re different to theirs

Woman at the beach smiling as a man takes a picture of her with his phone

Maybe you’re ready for the next relationship milestones because you want to have a serious long-term relationship with them, but they would prefer to keep things casual. Or it could be the other way around instead. The point is that, after a year, you might realize that you’re not heading in the same direction. If you’re invested in the relationship, you’d hope they are equally invested. But if that’s not the case, it might be time to have a chat about how and if you can move forward together.

Have you experienced any of these ups and downs during the first year of love? We hope you’re now more confident about how you can ride them out and turn one year into many more!

Ana Vakos

Ana Vakos

Ana Vakos has been a writer from a very young age and she now specializes in dating and relationship topics. Writing brings her great joy, especially if it can help someone find new love or improve an existing relationship.

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