Not only is the honeymoon over, but you're starting to notice things: the toilet seat left up, the remote control lost somewhere in the couch every night and far too much time spent playing Candy Crush. But to some degree it was predictable.
Jose Mourinho always felt like a rebound relationship for Tottenham -- a impulse Vegas wedding, even -- after the steady years of the Mauricio Pochettino era. It doesn't mean it will necessarily end badly and after 12 games in less than two months, any early readings need to be taken with a barrel of salt, particularly since Mourinho represents a handbrake turn from his predecessor. But as Liverpool's record-breaking bandwagon rolls into town on Saturday, it's one of those situations where you either jump-start the campaign or electrocute yourself because the cables are all wrong.
Jurgen Klopp's crew, runaway leaders at the top of the Premier League table, are undefeated in the competition for more than a year and have dropped points just once in the past 10½ months Because they played the kids in the FA Cup against Everton (and won) last weekend, it effectively means their starters have gone nine days without a match. Given they're almost all internationals, it will be roughly their longest stretch between games since the summer.
Time off affects teams in different ways. Rhythms get broken, workloads change. What's good in the long run fitness-wise might affect you short-term, which is why Mourinho can sell his players on the idea that they're ripe for a sucker punch. After all, they need to stumble at some point, right?
That's reason speaking, though some might say it's grasping at straws. Because the vibe at Spurs isn't great right now and neither, for that matter, are the numbers. One clean sheet in 12 games. One win in their past five in all competitions. It's true that the gap separating them from fourth place and a Champions League return next year has contracted, from 11 points to just six, but bear in mind that six of the nine league games they played were against sides in the bottom half of the table. They lost to Manchester United away, lost to Chelsea at home and their win at Wolves was a classic "smash-and-grab" with a last-ditch Jan Vertonghen winner.
Then there's the elephant in the room: Harry Kane's injury, which will keep him out until April. Heung-Min Son came up trumps when the Spurs captain went down injured last February with four goals in four games, but that was a different Tottenham playing a different brand of football. Oh, and they could still call upon Fernando Llorente as a Plan B. He didn't score much or move much but he filled space, tied up defenders and brought a wealth of experience. Now their first option off the bench up front is Troy Parrott, who is 17 years old and has all of six Premier League minutes under his belt.
Figuring out how to plug the Kane-shaped hole is obviously Mourinho's top priority. And the uber-confident, cock-of-the-block Mourinho of yesteryear filled you with confidence that he'd find a tactical solution. With this version, you're not so sure.
It's not just the way it ended (badly) in his three previous jobs. There's also a certain duality at work. When he took over from Pochettino, he radiated humility and Zen, talking about how he'd joined a club whose squad was perfect with the best stadium, best training ground and best Academy around. He talked about learning from past mistakes and about finding empathy at White Hart Lane.
Yet the past 10 days have shown signs of the old Mourinho creeping back. (Not the really old one, aka the one who was the Gold Standard and dominated, but the one we saw implode in the past five years.) At Middlesbrough the football was too light -- "like a beach ball." Tanguy Ndombele, the club's record signing is "always injured. He's injured, he's not injured, he plays one match, next week he's injured again, he then plays another match ... You think he has a player but he is in the evolution process." Southampton's goalkeeping coach, to whom he "was rude," is "an idiot." Moussa Sissoko is "not a central midfielder." Ryan Sessegnon, who cost £25m ($30m) over the summer, is "not ready to play left-back."
What's Portuguese for deja vu?
Sure, there are tons of mitigating circumstances. The sense of drift inside Tottenham had set in way before his arrival. Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose -- three mainstays under Pochettino -- are all just a few months away from free agency, which is a recipe for instability. Hugo Lloris has been out since early October and isn't expected back until February. Ben Davies is injured, as is Sissoko. Harry Winks looks injured. Victor Wanyama has played more for Kenya than for Spurs this season and while he's not injured, he's evidently not part of the plan.
But Mourinho is on a monster contract that pays him nearly twice his predecessor precisely because he's meant to be Mr. Fix-It. Supposedly, he can figure this stuff out and right about now, against a Liverpool side marching towards the history books, would be a great time to start. It doesn't even matter if it's the grumpy, irascible Mourinho of old or the New Age empathetic Mourinho we saw at his unveiling who does it.