Stuck in the Honeymoon Phase

Every relationship has their phases, their ups and downs. This could be in family relationships, friendships and in Nadia and Saeed’s case, romantic relationships. Most couples go through the same stages in their relationships, just the time going through each stage may vary. The ‘Honeymoon phase” takes place at the beginning of a relationship or even pre-relationship. This phase is exciting and new, you are getting to know your partner, you are doing new things together and it is basically impossible to see their flaws. But when the honeymoon stage comes to an end this is where many romantic relationships come to an end. In this Realistic stage, individuals in the relationship start to see the flaws in their partner ,making it easier to disagree and agree with them. Seeing the other person as a whole person outside of said relationship causes a detachment. This detachment leads to a lack of effort and communication, leading to an end in a relationship.

Off the bat Exit West introduces us to a brand new relationship, we get a good look into the honeymoon phase between Nadia and Saeed. From going out to eat all the time, to experimenting sexually and with drugs, they are obsessed with each other. When they moved in together they continued in this phase, they were feeling all love even with a war happening right outside their window. Abruptly things change once Nadia and Saeed decide to leave their country. It is almost as if passing through that door to Mykonos, was like passing through the honeymoon phase into a realistic phase. When they passed through that door, the differences that they had not seen in each other were clear and their flaws were right there, out in the open. What makes Nadia and Saeed’s relationship different is, it can not come to an end.

8 thoughts on “Stuck in the Honeymoon Phase

  1. Abby H

    I think the idea of a honeymoon phase is a very interesting topic, since it is hard to define the end of the honeymoon phase. In Nadia and Saeed’s case, however, it is rather obvious. You present the connection between passing through the door and passing into the realistic phase very poetically.


  2. Nicholas P.

    I also noticed in the novel that near the beginning, Nadia and Saeed seemed inseparable and so in love, and I find it really interesting how you connected the change of love phases to the passing though the door, like that one experience changed their perceptions of each other. Looks awesome!


  3. VAN T.

    I like how you noticed the honeymoon phase, it added to how the audience would see Nadia and Saeed’s relationship dynamic which would help explain the change in how they would act toward each other later in the book. Your take on how after entering the door changed how they would perceived each other was interesting because it offers the idea that in one’s life their perspective can change instantly in contrast to if one were to add up the little bits of their experience to change.


  4. Rachel C.

    I completely agree with the connection of the honeymoon phase to the relationship between Nadia and Saeed. I definitely think that they were on a high in their relationship, but I feel as though the danger outside of their connection was part of it. They were so close because of their fear. I love your analysis, it’s so fitting for the main characters’ story lines.



    I love this perspective on Nadia and Saeed’s relationship. I never thought to consider their happiness in the beginning a part of a phase, but now after reading this I’m curious, wondering if the shift in their relationship is really all because of the phase. I’m also very curious about what phase comes next.


  6. ASHBY S.N

    I really love the connection you made between Nadia and Saeed’s early, love filled relationship with the shift that takes place after entering the first door. I think you have made a really insightful observation about the course of their relationship. I wonder if the entering a new country caused the shift out of the “honeymoon phase,” or simply speed up the process a bit.


  7. CUORA S

    I think the idea or perspective of the “honeymoon phase” is clearly emphasized in Hamid’s writing. I think he shows us how conflict and stress create the struggle of losing yourself and puts forth doors for a different type of relationship. Hamid also highlights the time it takes to figure out that the relationship between Nadia and Saeed changed dramatically as strain and mental toll on each other slowly drove them apart.



    I like your analysis on Nadia and Saeed’s relationship. It is interesting how after a short time of meeting each other they are forced to live and work together to survive, even before they entered the first door. I also like the idea that once they enter the door it is almost as their “honeymoon phase” ends, but I believe the bigger factor is how they are each in an unfamiliar place for the first time and are stressed from it. They have nobody else to safely express anger to so they are almost bound to get angry with one another. However, I still like the metaphor of their door as the end of their “honeymoon phase”.


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