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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Sexcapades: The honeymoon: love or lust?

Published: October 1, 2010
Section: Opinions

GRAPHIC BY Ariel WIttenberg/The Hoot

How wary should we be of the honeymoon period in a relationship? I used to think that it was a good indicator of a long-term possibility–after all, if you didn’t really like each other, how could you spend so much time together? But maybe it’s something to think about that we possibly learn too much about each other too quickly.

Obviously, a huge part of the phase is lust and the inability to keep your hands off of one another. It’s exciting and powerful, and causes you to want to cloister yourselves from the world, and just explore each other. Whether getting together means you’re enjoying each other sexually for the first time, or just monogamously for the first time, it changes the dynamic in a sexual relationship.

Sexually, the honeymoon phase is almost the best part of any relationship. You’re hungry for one another, and you learn each other’s wants and needs in a fairly accelerated setting. Likely, you have sex multiple times a day, until you can no longer maintain the pace. It’s almost as though you are in a daze.

Emotionally however, I wonder how good it really is. Without really being sure about the potential for longevity in the relationship, you dive into each other, spending every possible moment together. You learn about each other, and come to rely on one another, even if the relationship barely makes it beyond the first few weeks. Is it a good idea for us to put all of our eggs in one basket?

In college, relationships are accelerated in an extraordinary way. Whereas in high school, or post college, you may see your significant other a few times a week, or maybe go on a date on the weekend, college is an environment where we are not held accountable for our actions in the same way. Getting into a relationship can be dangerous in the sense that you disappear at first. You sleep together every night and try to see each other during the day. Whether you go on dates or you always stay in, you are exposing yourself to the other person in a way that you never will at any other point in your life. Some people remove themselves from their friends and activities and risk being even more alone if the relationship ends. Being together for a month in college is the equivalent of being together for two or three months in the real world, simply considering time spent together.

So how can we make sure that we are in the right relationship before we fall in? While I’m just enjoying myself, and wondering if we’re really “taking things slowly,” my guy wants to know where I see our relationship going, what I want from it and just how invested he should get in case I decide that post-graduation we can’t really work together. We’re living in a dream world that is defined and confined by our fears about the future. Those fears themselves spring from the very fact that the honeymoon phase is so intoxicating. There is no promise that those feelings bubbling to the surface at that time will continue once the novelty and lust wear away.

So what can we do to make sure we are content? I don’t know that there’s one real answer. Every relationship is different and so there are no overarching rules, but maybe we can hope to be really open and honest with one another. If there are doubts, maybe it’s better not to fall in (although I’m definitely a proponent of taking the risk). It may be better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all, but it hurts like a bitch.