Kim Kardashian does a lot of things really well. She's a mother, a model, a reality T.V. star, and an incredibly savvy business woman. But she has no idea what a honeymoon period is. "I feel as though we'll always be in the honeymoon period," Kim Kardashian told Daily Mail, talking about her marriage to Kanye West. "We always say we really like to treat each other like it's our birthday."
It's true that after marriage, newlyweds experience a happiness boost that varies in length and intensity, as University of California Riverside's Sonja Lyubomirsky explains here; this is called the "honeymoon phase." But sadly for Kimye, it doesn't last for ever. For some, the honeymoon phase lasts for years. For some, less than that. "Passionate love provides a high, like a drug, you can't stay high forever," Elaine Hatfield, a psychology professor at the University of Hawaii who specializes in love, once said. Studies that follow married couples over a period time have shown that passion falls off after the first two years of marriage.
Passionate love involves more than sexual attraction (though Kimye do have that going for them). Hatfield and Illinois State's Susan Sprecher developed the Passionate Love Scale in 1986 to show the complex and integrative qualities of passionate love. Passionate love involves cognitive, emotional, and behavioral components. According to the scale, it doesn't just mean wanting to be close to your partner and wanting to know out how they feel, but idealizing them, and experiencing emotions on a higher scale.
"These physiological changes are short-lived, perhaps because we become acclimated to our partner with time," Gary W. Lewandowski wrote for Scientific American. The happiness boost that newlyweds experienced lasted, on average, two years.
Not all honeymoon effects are created equal, though. In their study Drs. Michael Lorber and Richard E. Heyman, note that "not all newlyweds are at equal risk or rapidly decreasing marital satisfaction." They found that every marriage experienced drops in satisfaction over time, but how far that satisfaction dropped depended on how happy a couple was at the beginning of their relationship. Based on how happy Kim and Kanye are, their relationship might not have a huge drop off in marital satisfaction even if the hormone itself fades.
Kim Kardashian married Kanye West in May in an extravagant wedding in Florence, Italy, so they are still well within their honeymoon period. Since the wedding, the couple has been on a whirlwind traveling spree. They honeymooned in Ireland and Prague, jetted to Mexico for Kanye's 37th birthday, and celebrated their daughter North West's birthday in New York on Sunday. Research has shown that "exciting experiences and life events" can boost hormone levels, and thus happiness. So, Kim and Kanye are on quite the marital high.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West may have a blissfully happy, loving, and secure relationship for years to come, but they won't always have their honeymoon phase. They may always be in love, and they may always be passionate about that, but they won't always have the hormones to sustain the blissful cocaine-like euphoria they have right now.