3 Tips for Newlyweds, According to a Relationship Expert

Photo of newlyweds on wedding day

As a Relationship Expert, and someone who is soon to be married, I’m knee-deep in wedding planning and am overwhelmed by all the advice for soon-to-be newlyweds. With articles ranging from: How should the groom knot his tie? To… How much should you spend on a bridesmaid gift? The information is endless. But, most advice stops at the wedding day. Except for advice on wording those all-so-important thank you notes!

It is a shame many of us don’t prepare as much for our future marriage as we do for “˜the big day’. As a relationship scientist, here are 3 tips I wish newlyweds knew for their first few years: 

Your relationship might change

Marriage may not seem like a big deal now that many of us live with our partners beforehand. But, your newlywed days are still a time of adjustment [1]

You have just made a big public commitment to one another, and it is normal if you are feeling some growing pains. 

Prolong your passion

The passion from your exotic honeymoon may fade when your tan does[2]“¦unless you put some effort into maintaining it. Doing new activities together is a key way to extend your newlywed bliss. The first year of marriage is incredibly important for your future happiness. In that first year, look at it as a time to establish good patterns and ways of being together that can continue for the rest of your marriage. Check out our past posts on the science behind date nights and the importance of novelty. What can introduce into your marriage early on to set strong foundations for relationship happiness and marriage success?

And the third and final tip for newlyweds…

Check in with your gut

You’ve just publicly declared your love for your partner in front of your closest friends and family. You’re naturally going to focus on how happy you are in your marriage… and that’s okay! But, you should also do a “˜gut-check’ every few months to figure out how you are genuinely feeling deep down. What are the cracks and strengths of your relationship? Check-in with yourself. You may subconsciously know how you’ll feel in your marriage a few years from now[3].

So, for my soon-to-be newlyweds: While you focus on making your wedding day a huge success, don’t forget about making your marriage a success too!

[1] Bradbury, T. N. (1998). The developmental course of marital dysfunction. New York: Cambridge University Press. 
[2] McNulty, J. K., Maxwell, J. A., Meltzer, A. L., & Baumeister, R. F. (2019). Sex-differentiated changes in sexual desire predict marital dissatisfaction. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48(8), 2473-2489. 
[3] McNulty, J. K., Olson, M. A., Meltzer, A. L., & Shaffer, M. J. (2013). Though they may be unaware, newlyweds implicitly know whether their marriage will be satisfying. Science, 342(6162), 1119-1120.

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