Is it normal for long term relationships to go through lulls?

I'm in my first long relationship. I'm used to butterflies, tingles, intensity, which I've lost for my boyfriend. We've been together for a year now and he told me that It's normal for that to fade, because real love sets in instead of something that burns out with intensity. This is my first safe relationship. Is it normal to go through lulls like this?

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Most Helpful Guy

  • It's the same for guys. That excitement of seeing a woman naked will wear off at some point after we get used to seeing her in the shower for the 10,000th time. It doesn't matter if she looks like a supermodel -- at some point that excitement will fade.

    It's the true test of the durability of a relationship. You can't go from washing a guy's underwear or the guy washing yours and get butterflies and tingles every time you see him/her. It'll become routine. The difference is whether you like the routine or not, and can see yourself going through that routine for the rest of your life.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Not necessarily.. I think with enough effort from both parties, the honeymoon period doesn't need to end, so long as the foundation of your relationship wasn't purely sexual.

    I've been with my boyfriend for 2 years, for example. Perhaps our sex live settled down, is not quite as spontaneous anymore but it's great in a different way. Still exciting but paired with a level of comfort. We know what works for the other quite well by now so it's a lot more emotionally fulfilling by now, as well as physically.

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • Relationships hit the noonday doldrums when you stop making an effort to keep the relationship alive and fresh. You stop "courting" and fall into routines. Have date night once a week. Plan an out of town/long weekend trip together. Make an extra effort to be seductive and alluring. Start doing some avocational activity together. Make it work because good relationships don't just happen.

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  • It's absolutely normal; every relationship will have its ups and its downs, its good and its bad. You won't always have butterflies, but you also won't always 'never' have them (if that makes any sense).

    A healthy relationship can take many shapes, as I stated in an answer to one of your previous questions, and it's up to you if you like the shape of yours.

    When you love someone, you should love him for him. Dating, being bf/gf, and living apart are completely separate ballgames from living with someone and being in a committed relationship.

    I believe what you've done here is had a 'fantasy' of what a long-term relationship is supposed to look like. You watch the movies, you read stories, and you gain this mental image or short clip in your mind of what a relationship 'should' look like, but what movies, stories, and your mental thoughts often leave out are the parts not shown in the movies, the parts not talked about in the stories, and the parts glossed over in your mind.

    There are different stages in every relationship and it sounds to me like you've reached the next stage. There will be other stages. There will likely be a stage that will follow in a few years where you find each other bickering a lot, but it's how you handle those stages that will define the success of your relationship.

    I've been with my wife for going on 17 years now and we've hit these 'lulls' and we've crossed over many defining stages of our relationship. Eventually you will come to appreciate his annoyances - you will even miss them when they aren't there. The bathrobe before bedtime will become something you appreciate.

    It's amazing how appreciative you become of the small things that might initially annoy you, but it's all a matter of what's more important: being with someone you trust, love, and respect, or being without annoyances and without conflict? In my opinion, it's all a trade-off. You take the good with the bad, you appreciate the maturity of your new stage, and you find ways to keep that stuff alive.

    You will get your butterflies and tingles back, but it won't be a constant part of the relationship anymore and likely never will be, but love isn't about all that stuff - that's just an added bonus periodically throughout the rest of your lives together.

    Dismantle your fantasy of what love is and figure out whether you trust and love him. Once you figure that out, a new vision of relationships will come into focus and this question will be answered.

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  • it is perfectly normal.
    After the so called Honeymoon phase, reality kicks in. After all the Hormone overdose fades off, you start seeing more clearly and the relationship and the feelings should become deeper. You become aware of routine everyday life and that not everything runs smooth always. The key here is to be a team. to really get to know each other and to grow together.
    It is a process, and you have to be aware that this initial excitement has to be actively worked at.
    Keep on doing what you used to do at the beginning. Like, go out on dates, surprise little gifts or love notes, cuddle in bed on a Sunday morning, and all that mushy romantic stuff.
    The hormones will only get you this far, now you have to keep it going.

    My relationship of 2.5 years has also morphed. I don't have butterflies anymore either, but I love this man to death. When he picks me up from work, as soon as I see him, I get this cheek to cheek smile and am genuinely happy to see him. But not in the puppy love way. In a real and deep way.

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  • I've been in multiple long term relationships and to be honest. It's kind of true but at the same time it isn't; if you have connection with someone it never goes dull and the passion never goes away. Even when things get quiet it's still somehow fun

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    • It doesn't exactly go dull, we still are best friends, I laugh at everything he says, and I'm more comfortable and close to him than anyone. The only thing is that the passion, intensity, excitement, fireworks are gone and I worry about that.

    • Ever tried new things in the bedroom?

  • Read your first post about your boyfriend and damn, the third? Anyway, I think you could make a whole change in your relationship and you could still be with him but some things gotta change. I think your relationship lacks of new things, new hobbies and that's why you feel like that. You feel doing the same things over and over again, maybe good though not always, you see him and smile but now spending time it's not what it used to be, sex it's not what it used to be and even the way he looks it's not the same. Does that mean that everythings over? Well, that's on you both and how willing you are to make sacrifices (you said you see him after work = tired or that he's kinda in pyjamas + not even teeth brushed) for your relationship. That's gonna make a big difference, think of something new, might be skydiving, might be traveling or something so simple as to go somewhere new in your town (or do an activity together). That will fire up your relationship = + passion = + (and better) sex and connection + get again that feeling of 'new'.

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  • It's completely normal. Also give yourself some credit, being in an intimate relationship with someone for a year is not a petty accomplishment. Once the honeymoon is over, the real work sets in and serious relationships are hard work (as well as being absolutely amazing).

    You can only get in the shower with someone so many times before the novelty wears off. Once that happens (and it inevitably will), from that point forward what will sustain a relationship and allow it to grow and deepen, is the emotional and spiritual commitment and dedication the two people in the relationship have for each other. The better the two of you are at fostering that sort of depth the better your relationship will be able to continue growing and maturing despite the inevitable ups, downs, highs, and lows of any relationship. Love, honesty about your needs with your boyfriend, and honesty with yourself about distinguishing your needs and your wants, and being patient with your partner (even people you love with all your heart will do stuff that is irritating, so be patient). and learn what their needs are and try to help meet them and his wants (if they don't conflict with your needs).

    I hope this helped ;-)

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  • A relationship is like a farm. Even the best field needs to be plowed once in a while. The act of plowing may not be fun, but you'll be glad you did it. Actively cultivate and show love during the dull times and you will find the next emotional harvest is better than the previous.

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  • It is normal. But if you're absolutely miserable you should talk to him. It's not fair for you to be unsatisfied in the relationship. And it's also not fair for him to think everything is ok while you're slowly growing more and more distant. You two should talk about doing fun things to bring some excitement back :) and depending on how big of a think you want to make it you can word that differently.

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    • Really, once a woman starts thinking something's 'not right' in a relationship, that relationship is over. It's only a matter of time at that point.

    • @ArtDent It's definitely possible for people, women included, to bounce back. Often a person is going through personal things that influence his/her outlook on lots of aspects of his/her life. Bouncing back and rekindling the spark has happened. But if you think it's all over, sure, your opinion.

  • Yes, totally normal. Don't worry about it. You feel comfortable now. So there's not the anxiety and uncertainty that used to seem so exciting... but you won't really miss anxiety and uncertainty for long.

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  • It's common, and what I find helps is doing new things together. Doing the same thing week after week - the same conversations - the same sex - that's when you get into these lulls. When you first meet someone, everything is new - it's exciting. But after a year, it can start to feel routine. You need to mix things up from time to time

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  • Yes it it. A lot of people don't know this, but true love is not always butterflies and roses. The longer your together the more challenges you will go through, it takes true love the stick around and make it last.

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  • Yeah, the real relationship usually begins at about the one year mark. That's when you really need to begin tending to the relationship, similar to how you'd care for any other living, breathing thing.

    You can absolutely keep the spark alive -- and in many ways, you can make things even better than the honeymoon period -- but you've gotta nurture that sucker.

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  • You can put the spark back into it, try something new each week - it doesn't have to be sexual, try going on a date night, get bird guns and have a battle around the house. If you wannabe try new thing sexually, try new positions, different types of intercourse or try tantric sex - nothing is better for building a relationship than tantric! You be the master of the bedroom - leave him begging for more!

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  • Absolutely. Love is what you do with a relationship when the infatuation is gone. Love is not a feeling. Every successful couple goes through lulls. The idea is keep the union strong anyway and find ways to bring romance back into the equation.

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  • Part-part. Yes, there is some normality behind it - but it could also mean that your love is actually fading due to the long distance and its complications.

    "Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable." - Bruce Lee

    If it's fading or just getting deeper, calmer is for you to decide.

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  • The only one who can keep the butterflies up and running is your own dedication. You have to be eager to connect, even though you have been doing that for a year now.

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  • Having lulls like that is quite normal and healthy for your relationship! Everyone experiences emotions in a different way and you don't need to get a tingly feeling in your stomach everytime you're around him. It's great to get comfortable. x

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  • Once the fire burns out, it's difficult to relight.

    And yes, it's common NRE usually fades because it's brain chemistry which has evolved to keep people coupled long enough to make babies.

    Since we are putting off having babies, we have to deal with these side effects

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  • That is the female equivalent of a one night stand for a man. A man just wants to have sex and get off. A woman just wants butterflies and tingles.

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    • That's... not accurate.. at all

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    • 1. I'm very happy in my relationship. 2. I would never think to cheat on anyone in my lifetime.

    • You literally said you are losing passion for him in one of your last questions.

  • of course it is, not your job is to maintain the magic with trust, compliments, some surprises and such. But aLL the spark will fade away, you are used to him and he is used to you, love is like that.

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  • Oxytocin. That's not love. It's your brain telling you to fuck a prospective mate for prospective offspring. It goes away, because humans aren't naturally monogamous--like geese, for instance, who stay with one mate their entire lives: even if their mate dies, they never mate again. Humans are different. We're serial monogamists (closer to polygamy than monogamy, if you ask me). Our brains tell us to fuck someone else, because the mate we're with has had their chance at offspring: or you already have offspring from that particular genepool and need to diversify for optimal offspring survival.

    Generally, the feelings you speak of (oxytocin) stops flowing at 6 months to 2 years.

    Real love is much more muted. It's almost more a form of respect and familiarity (and arguments), rather than what you would think of as love.

    Just think and don't do the same thing pretty much everyone else does.

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    • "because humans aren't naturally monogamous" -bullshit bullshit bullshit... Society keep son coming up with these weird explanations even high science can't answer

    • @Tormentarian So. You believe that humans naturally stay with only one mate for their entire lives? You're one deluded person, or you have no idea what "monogamy" means.

      I don't even understand what the point of your sentences were. But, saying "bullshit" with 0 reasoning behind it. Convincing argument.

  • I guess.. but then again I only had one serious relationship, and I married him. Now, it's been two years.. and its starting to slowly go into lull as you say. We had a baby recently but there are certain things that I've only come to realize about him. At least you have time to test it out. See where things go. See if he really does love and enjoy being with you, sharing things and going out together. Those things are important in a relationship. And of course, the love you have for one another. After a while, relationships can get complicated but life is complicated so you have to fight for it in a way. Same motto for relationships.

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  • Every relationship has a 3 month period call the honeymoon phase where you fuck like rabbits, constantly want to see each other and "in love", Then after 3 months that high decreases and level off.

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  • As someone who was in a long distance relationship for years and now we are together. You will experience that kind of feelings whether its an ldr or someone who is close to you. You can always get into a lull or rut. If you really love the person talk to them, try and figure out things you can do to spice up your relationship. every relationship needs to grow and things change. If you love them you both will work on trying to find ways to help the other one out when you are in a rut. If you can't think of anything yourself to maybe help out with the lull just look up ldr and you'll find many things other couples have used to help them through the same situation.

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  • Yes very normal, what you are describing is lust, it does wear off then you enter a more settled and loving aspect of your relationship

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  • No its not ok all, it seems like you are bored and he doesn't do anything to make you feel like that anymore, wait till Valentines and dump his ass. You ought to deserve your pleasures. Move on girl

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  • yes that is normal. Relationships loose momentum after awhile. This is not a reason to give up on it but rather its like a bike you need to keep pushing forward to regain that moment. So you'll have periods like this but if you invest in the relationship it will get better. In fact most couples report being very satisfied with their marriage for the first couple of years, then very unsatisfied. This lull is where most marriages end in divorce but those who pushed through eventually report even higher levels of satisfaction then they had originally.

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  • Did you have butterflies, tingles, etc before wth him? When I had a boyfriend, I never felt those tingles. But usually with long term relationships, as the relationship moves forward, you're not feeling those constant tingly feelings. You feel more like... when you are with him, it just feels right and natural. Not necessarily exciting... but you feel happy. It feels like you can play off of each other, and know each other. So don't worry if the tingly feeling goes away. But don't mix that up for not being attractive to him. Listen to your heart.

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  • Very normal. First of all the Sparks you get in the beginning always eventually fade. The newness dies down and it's just your norm now. The key is to not let it to far. Don't just allow it to get boring and mundane. Try new things in and out of the bedroom. I've been with my boyfriend for 14 years and we have had many many ups and down. We r actually coming out of a rut of having sex once a month or so. We r still working on it but I know we will get there. when life gets hard and you start to kind of question things , that's when your love is tested. And if it's real then you stick with it and figure it out. If you do that then your bond will only become stronger.

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  • It only gets that way if you let it. You have to find ways to keep it going and spice things up. If he's not prepared to do the same it's not much of a relationship is it.

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  • Yeah, normal.

    It's called not being in the infatuation stage anymore.

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  • Never been but i guess that's fine like in strong friendship. They don't talk daily but Nothing will change

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  • Loving someone doesn't come by pure feeling. If you really like that someones personality it will be easy to keep "loving" that someone.

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  • I'd consider it to be normal. What shouldn't happen is the loss of the romance. If you stop spending time together, eat by yourself, go to bed separately, stop going on dates, and there's no exact reason behind doing so. Then I'd say you need to look out, but overall relationships will hit that lull state eventually.

    My wife, and I have been together for over two years, and we're both still very much in love. Of course; we have our lull times, but we talk, laugh, eat, and sleep in the same bed almost every single day. Which has helped greatly. I've also made sure to keep up my traditional habit of buying my wife flowers at least once every couple of weeks. As well as cooking dinner at least twice a week.

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  • All relationships have an ending to the honeymoon phase. Its up to you two to bring back that spark for each other.

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  • Yes and no! It's normal to feel less butterflies because as you get more comfortable with someone you're not nervous anymore? So the pressure of that goes but also the thrill of the chase is over which isn't a bad thing if it's a good relationship you'll gain far more from it then those things but they can make you feel like the relationships less passionate? You have to be careful that the relationship hasn't just become apart of your routine though! Because that is not good for you and is not healthy! When you look at him you have to ask yourself if he makes you happy? If the guy stood in front of you makes you feel good about yourself? It's so hard to explain what I mean to say! It's not the most straight forward topic and I don't think anyone will ever know for sure so just follow your gut instinct I think that's that's the only thing that you can do really!

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  • You've obviously never been around a married couple

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  • My economics teacher said that companies close because doing many things bad for a long time.

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  • Aren't you the same girl that was saying you don't feel a spark for him anymore or something?

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    • Posted this question before. Just dump his ass obviously he isn't doing it for you.

  • No, I don't believe it can happen like that.

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  • wtf is lulls? ? lulz?

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  • Yeah its normal, but if you feel unhappy about it you could try to find ways to make it exciting again. Try something new and romantic :)

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  • Women have unreal expectations. You aren't ever going to have that same feeling that you got when you first met. You will probably dump him soon, find another guy who gives you that tingle and then after awhile it will go away again and you will repeat the same process. Dump and find a new guy.

    Eventually, you will do this until your in your 30's and then ask 'where are all the good men gone' and you will realize that you have dumped all of them and now you want them back in your 30's and to your shock they don't want you anymore.

    And then you will settle for the much older, less attractive guy because you feel like time's running out. You hook him and get him to marry you. Then 5-10 years down the road you get a divorce. Because he wasn't really what you wanted.

    You have unreal expectations.

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  • Of course, you got used to being around this person. Routine does reduce excitement, it is inevitable.

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