Happy But No Butterflies

Submit your questions for Dear Hoopers here 

Dear Hoopers,
I’m not sure of my question exactly. But I’ve been with my boyfriend only about three months, and already things are pretty intense. Not in an annoying, scary, suffocating way. But in a really loving, comfortable way. We talk about it often, and both agree that we love the way things are going. It’s just that neither of us ever experienced the whole “butterflies” crush thing towards each other. We just met and felt completely comfortable with each other instantly. We talked about it the first night we hung out and both agreed it felt like hanging out with a best friend.

There was never the usual first couple weeks where everything is great and then the magic fades away and the relationship becomes kind of hard to keep going. Everything has been easy and realistic from the beginning. Of course we argue and irritate the hell out of each other occasionally, but it never turns into an actual fight. We just talk about it nicely usually, because we both have the same ideas about approaching conflict situations. I’m just wondering if this is all….normal? I guess? Because everyone always talks about infatuation and nervous excited butterflies, which is what I have always experienced. But this relationship began so differently and I have not really heard of it happening that way before. I never felt detached from reality and all googly-eyed lovey-dovey like I usually do for the first month or so after meeting someone. We just instantly became a kind of team and started doing life together. I don’t think there’s anything wrong exactly. I guess I just want to know if this happens with other couples at all?
-Happy But No Butterflies

Dear Happy,
I think most people reading this can relate to the feeling of a head rush and butterflies at some point in their dating life. While the thrill and rush of a crush is exciting, it doesn’t mean that a relationship that starts without it is doomed. You sound like you have found a mature love. I would characterize the behaviors you are reciprocating to one another as respectful and appreciative. Great communication, comfortable quality time, and feeling like yourself in his presence are qualifiers for an authentic relationship.

It’s okay not to have experienced the googly-eyed lovey-dovey phase. I know of many people in loving, healthy relationships and marriages that experienced similar feelings as you. They didn’t feel fireworks in the beginning of their relationship, but developed trust, dependability and commitment that eventually blossomed into the qualities they were looking for in a long-term relationship.

Butterflies are great, but a love that lasts is better.


Butterflies are great, but a love that lasts is better. You should feel calm, safe and like yourself in a relationship. Butterflies can be a sign of newness and excitement, but those may fade after the dating “honeymoon” phase. From my perspective there is nothing to be worried about. Your relationship sounds quite nice and easy going. Enjoy!

Dear Happy,
Your lack of spark could mean something but I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It can take couples a long time to develop a level of comfort with each other and you guys had it from the get go. This is a good thing and shows a strong compatibility between you two. You say that your relationship feels like a best friend. I don’t know of many best friends that I developed in 3 months, but having a best friend for a partner is pretty important. Research has shown that friendship is the basis of long-lasting romantic relationships.

A quick comfort could lead to a quick boring.

-Dr. Ryan

Now, on the possible negative side. A quick comfort could lead to a quick boring. If you or your boyfriend are looking for an exciting and passionate love affair, you could end up being disappointed.

Depending on your past relationships and personality style, a fiery love may or may not be appealing. A trusty partner with whom you have a comfort and trust could be more your style. Even if this is the case, I could see you two needing to be deliberate about igniting your spark as time goes along. Emotionally intimate date nights and seeking quality time together could be the answer.
-Dr. Ryan