I’m in the throes of a new relationship, and the sex is red hot. Every first and new experience is exciting, and I cannot wait for the next steamy sesh. In the past, I’ve been burned by having high “sexpectations.” As soon as the blissful butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling fades, so does the relationship. (Not all the time, but it happens.) In this instance, there’s a shelf life on the relationship since my partner is moving cross-country. So even though I’m totally intoxicated by new relationship energy, I have realistic expectations — whether I like it or not.
“The honeymoon phase is a very exciting time for couples,” Jenna Ponaman, a relationship coach and expert, tells SheKnows. “Emotions are at their all-time high where an allusion is created that they have met their match in every way possible. Things are seemingly perfect, and this person can do no wrong. However, what usually happens is that all of the qualities and things that you originally held at high value in a relationship can easily become undermined or swept under the rug.”
Ponaman reminds us it is very easy to jump the gun at this point in time and start to imagine a future with this person: “This is a bit of a catch-22, because while you want to remain open to seeing what possibilities lay ahead, you also want to proceed with caution.”
Instead of playing fortuneteller, make sure you are crystal clear on what it is you are looking for in a relationship and what the other person wants. “You may find yourself in a relationship where the other person may not want to be committed while you are looking for that kind of commitment,” she says.
Whether you’re in the intoxicating beginning of a new relationship or recently got hitched, here are a few things to keep in mind during these intense moments of attraction.
Communicate — often
There are several things people should keep in mind during those magical early days of a new sexual relationship. Kayla Lords, a writer and sexpert for Jack and Jill, tells SheKnows that she encourages couples to communicate often.
“What you do in the beginning of a relationship will stick with you throughout it,” she says. “If you don’t develop good communication skills now, while the sex and romance are at a fever pitch and everything feels good, it’ll be harder to do when reality sinks in.”
Share likes & dislikes
Share what you enjoy and what you don’t during sex. “Talk about the fantasies you’re comfortable sharing and ask about your partner’s fantasies and desires.,” says Lords. “Anything you can do to make it easy to talk to each other now will help later.”
Don’t make assumptions
“When everything feels good at the beginning, it’s easy to think your partner feels the same way or is having a good time too,” Lords advises. “Don’t assume you know anything or that you’re on the same page. Ask plenty of questions and pay attention to the answers you receive. Lords suggests asking yourself, “Do they match with what you see with your own eyes?”
Honesty is key
Whether it’s about your STI risk or what you enjoy during sex, be honest. “Say what you mean and mean what you say,” Lords says. “A good feeling can turn bitter quickly once you start hiding your true feelings or carrying resentment around because a need isn’t getting met.”
Don’t fake it
“If you pretend to like something now, your partner will probably keep doing it throughout the relationship,” Bethany Ricciardi, a sex educator at TooTimid, tells SheKnows.
“Talk and be open about what feels good and what doesn’t. Don’t start listing off things they do wrong, but show them what you’re into,” she advises.
Be sure to protect yourself when you’re having sex. “You would think this is common knowledge, but in this current day and age more and more young couples neglect common precautions when it comes to sex,” Ponaman says. “[The] honeymoon [sex] phase does not mean you’re in a serious relationship, so protect yourself from the things that will force the relationship to go somewhere it is not ready to go.”
Take things slowly
“When you’re just starting to create a new physical relationship with someone, it might be tempting to pull out the whips and handcuffs,” Ricciardi says. Still, she encourages couples to take it slowly and leave your partner wanting more. “You can introduce something new to them every time you’re back in the bedroom together and keep the sexy spontaneity and mystery alive!”
Don’t compare a new partner to your ex
Whatever you do, don’t compare this new person to your ex. One of the best parts about them is that they aren’t your ex, and you have an open door of brand-new memories to create. There might be things you like and dislike about why this person does or doesn’t remind you of an ex, but shake the thought off and focus on what you want this brand-new relationship to look like.
Don’t let adoration blind you
Don’t let the butterflies and adoration blind you. Everyone tries to be their absolute best in the beginning, and you want to see through that and still love them for their imperfections. Be sure to stay clear-minded enough to make rational decisions.
You don’t want to totally lose yourself in this relationship, especially right at the start. Be sure to stay your own person, and don’t become too emotionally dedicated too soon. Be honest with yourself; is who you’re with the type of person you want to stay with?
And it should go without saying, but have fun! Getting to know a new partner can be an amazing experience, so be present in the moment and enjoy it.