Jill Layton
Updated Aug 25, 2017 @ 9:46 pm
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Credit: FOX

After you’ve been in a relationship or married for a while, things start to, well, shift. You and your partner are no longer newlyweds (figuratively speaking if you aren’t married), and you’re probably starting to notice all kinds of signs that you’re not in the honeymoon stage anymore. But that’s totally natural and not something to worry about. Because the truth is, the honeymoon stage isn’t even the best part of a relationship.

The longer you’re with someone, the better you know them. You learn what makes them happy, sad, how they feel love and what makes them super pissed. Most importantly though, the more time you spend with your partner, the more you know their soul. And that usually doesn’t happen until well beyond the honeymoon stage.

Here are some of the reasons why the best part of a relationship happens after the honeymoon stage ends:

1. You no longer take dates for granted.

Once real life starts to happen, going on dates with your S.O. becomes harder. But if you set up one specific night a week or month for date night, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll look forward to that date more than you did before things got extra serious between you guys.

2. You know exactly how to love your person.

The book “The Five Love Languages” beautifully explains the five different ways people love and need to be loved: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. By now, you know exactly what your partner needs from you and you’re happy to give it.

3. Your person knows exactly how to love you.

Loving someone brings endless joy, but when that love is returned in exactly the right way, it’s unstoppable.

4. You can completely be yourself without worry.

By now, your S.O. totally knows you… and loves you anyway. Seriously, we all have faults, so finding someone who you can be 100% authentic with 100% of the time is a major benefit of a longterm relationship.

5. You aren’t mortified if you do something gross.

If you’ve made it past the beginning stages of a relationship or marriage, chances are your person isn’t going anywhere. Even if it’s something gross like accidentally dutch ovening him or her nightly.

6. You can be honest when an in-law is overstepping boundaries.

In the beginning, it’s hard to tell your new partner that his or her mom probably doesn’t need to pop by unannounced whenever she feels like it. But later on, well, that conversation is a lot easier.

7. You both know how to get the job done during sexy time.

Because practice makes perfect.

8. You can both spend time alone without it being an issue.

Alone time is just as important as together time, especially when you share almost everything with someone.

9. You’re both pros at arguing and making up.

No relationship is perfect, so arguments are bound to happen. In fact, they’re healthy. It’s how you react to them that makes all the difference. By now, you both know how to react (or at least apologize) to maintain a healthy and happy existence with each other.

10. You can be absolutely honest.

You’re no longer pretending to like sushi, your S.O.’s best friend or horror movies. You’ve laid everything on the table, and that table is still sturdy AF.

11. You fall deeper in love every day.

Because you’ve chosen the right person and so has your partner. It’s a beautiful thing.