What do you do when that new relationship energy wears off?

When I first met Bubby, the feelings I had toward him were so intense they scared me a little. As time has rolled on, though, those feelings have mellowed to a great degree. These days I’m happy to see and be around him, but that crazy wave of lovey feelings is definitely over and that’s ok; new relationship energy doesn’t last forever.

For the first two months Bubby and me were together, I don’t think my feet touched the ground once. Since I’d never been in a relationship before, it was a surprise to be soaked in the torrential downpour of happiness, but it was great. It was so great that – despite my tendency to control my emotions with an iron grip – I decided it was best to just get wet.

For those first two months, time moved slower. We’d sit in our little bubble and ignore the world. We’d lay around my apartment naked simply enjoying the emotional high and having a ton of sex. Then we had our first fight, and I started to remember that there were other people in the world. Although our bubble didn’t burst, the world outside started to become less fuzzy and distant.

I won’t say that fight tore a side mirror off this purring Corvette Stingray of a relationship, but it definitely made the chrome accents a bit duller. Right after the fight, I definitely wasn’t very warm and fuzzy. It took about a week to get those feelings back but it was never the same – something I didn’t notice until I had some distance from it.

Now, at nearly six months, the chrome is no longer shining like the top of the Chrysler Building. The paint coat has quite a few small but noticeable and well-deserved scratches. The seats have softened and it’s all made this relationship feel more lived-in. For a lot of people, this decline would be a scary thing; I’m no exception.

A few days ago, I realized I no longer felt as strongly about Bubby as I did when we met, and had a moment of panic. I was scared I was falling out of love with him. I mean, we had fought a lot; we’ve had to confront many problems to keep this thing from falling apart. I really was concerned that my frustration had eroded all the affection I had for him. I was even convinced I should break up with him so this wouldn’t end badly.

After the panic subsided, though, I took an honest look back at our behavior and my emotions over the course of our relationship. It was clear that something happened. I definitely don’t have that wild torrent of feelings toward him. Instead, I’ve begun to feel comforted by his presence. The thrill of the roller coaster has been replaced by a cozy familiarity.

Whenever I get a new gadget, I go through many of the same emotions. I’m in love with it at first and everything is thrilling; I’m so excited to use it all the time. Then, as I get used to it and the novelty goes away, I feel familiar. Everything becomes easier to do because I now know all its glitches and flaws. Even though I don’t feel the same as I did initially, I don’t like it any less and I still want it in my life.

I don’t want Bubby any less than I did when I was drowning in love feelings. In fact, I want him in my life more than I ever have. As we’ve grown together so has our relationship. It’s the natural order; things mellow as they age. So goes wine, puppies, homes, cars, cheese, meat and relationships.

Young love is great, but it lacks much of what makes a relationship last. New relationship energy has a single purpose of making us stick to each other while the emotional glue dries. It’s a distraction and it doesn’t last forever. So savor it because it’s fucking great, but just know that things will change, and change is a good thing.

What do you do when that new relationship energy wears off? How do you handle the transition?

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