It’s funny how my previous post was about being all in love with your partner even through a hectic and demanding life that Yahoo! should feature a somewhat similar article about relationship the very next day.
It talks about the infamous Seven-Year Glitch, where after seven years into a relationship, couples tend to be, quote – “disenchanted with their relationship and tempted to stray” en quote.
However, according to the article, nowadays things may seem to stray even after just 3 years. It’s known as the Three-Year Itch. After the third year, real life starts to sink in where financial obligations are becoming more and more demanding, properties and assets are considered and investments and insurances are made, especially if couples start to have family.
This is the reason why I didn’t want to (previously) get into a relationship.
Not that I have fear of commitment or wants to be saved from sharing life’s obligations with someone and all that, I simply just didn’t want to be bored with that one person.
I remembered asking my parents when I was a teenager, how do they go about living their lives with each other for so many years? I wonder about things they talk about. Don’t they ever run out of topics? Don’t they think they will be bored with the person’s same mentality throughout their whole life?
First of all, my mom said that there’s always things to talk about because things kept happening around you and time changes. You will always have something new to discuss and talk about so that’s not something I should worry about.
Then she said if you should already know or at least, able to see a person’s mentality before you decide to get married. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to you when you’re finally living your lives together. Unless that person’s IQ suddenly drop way below 70, then you don’t have much to worry about.
And one thing that she told me after that that I think I’d remember until I’m old and will pass on to my kids and grandchildren was that, you should never be surprised with your partner’s sudden revelation of a character you didn’t know they possess.
A lot of us tend to spend sometime dating someone before we decide to get married. So some of this dating time can last from 3months to even 10years. I admit that there’s not much you can learn about a person in 3months no matter how an open book you think they are and there’s probably nothing else left to find out should you be with a person for 10years before getting married.
But my mom said, there will always be something new that you will discover about your partner. Especially before, during or after an argument.
And by something new, I think my mom is indirectly telling that it’s usually a negative thing that you will discover. Of course good sides can emerge after having an argument but so far in my own experience, I usually learn the ugly sides of us.
Mohen and I have just passed the 3 years threshold and I admit, there were times I thought our passion has waned or that the heat has somehow cooled down and we’ve fallen into the routine footsteps of committed couple.
Whenever we argue or something bad happened, I always wonder why I bother being in a relationship. I can’t imagine why would I submit myself to such mental torture and unnecessary heartache where I can live by myself and not worry about anything else except for where should I go for dinner later.
Then I realized that that’s the irrational me talking. The one that sometimes think I should be a free bird instead of being in a relationship that’s obviously the best thing that ever happened to me.
I realized how I’ve stick to this relationship, how much I’ve fought to be in it, how I’ve hold on even when I’m convinced I really shouldn’t anymore and above all, how much I really truly feel that I want to be with Mohen no matter how I sometimes want to strangle him.
Although it has only been 3 years, I feel that I’ve learnt some pretty strong basics to gear me up for the many more years ahead of us. I may not be an expert on relationships and probably the last person to be playing Dr. Phil but I think as someone who is apart of a new relationship and a young partner-mother, these much I can share:
- Do things just because – I love preparing special dinner for Mohen just because he’s been working late for many weeks. Even though it’s not his or my birthday or our anniversary, I will text him early in the evening saying that I’ve something special prepared for him and I would love for him to be back early for that one night only. It gives me thrill to cook up his favorite meal, select and download romantic songs that we both love, put up candles around the house and probably get me a nice new dress to greet him in. It’s the warmth and atmosphere of the night that will make us remember how much we love each other’s company and how important it is to stop and be with each other in the middle of a hectic schedule, even if it means just for one dinner
- Prioritize date nights – Although this is something my mom don’t quite get, it is very important to sometimes leave the children with a sitter and go out just the two of you. My mother is more domesticated than I am so she has this guilty conscience of going out without her children. But for me, I need to feel that the relationship is about Mohen and I, not with the kids. We, of course, have several different types of relationship even among family so I need to be with Mohen just as he is, not as a father to my children. We’ll go out, have dinner, catch a movie, or perhaps a long night cap at a bar; it doesn’t matter. Just as long as we’re together just the two of us, like how we used to be before we start having a life together
- Be curious – I always ask Mohen about his day, ask more questions if it seems like a good day, wait few hours before asking what’s wrong if it isn’t. Or ask him about his favorite sports even if I don’t really understand when he explains it. It makes me feel nice to see him talk about something so enthusiastically
- Take things with a pinch of salt – When Mohen comes home and tell me things about work or about people he meets, I do feel left out. More than feeling left out, I feel as though I’m growing obsolete in his eyes. What I tell myself each time is that it’s part of the our lives that we can’t avoid that no matter how strong we are together, there will always be certain part of our lives that differ. So I take things lightly and when certain stories start to annoy me, I will tell myself to relax and instead feel good about the fact that at least Mohen is sharing
- Leave love notes – One thing that I always do for Mohen ever since we first got together is that I love leaving notes for him in unexpected places. Like when he asked me to iron his work-shirt that he wanted to wear for the day, I will quickly write a small note while he showers and put it in his pocket after I’m done ironing. Or that when I’m tired and wanted to sleep in early and not wait up for him, I will leave his dinner in the fridge but with a love note on the Tupperware. It doesn’t matter if he throws it out after reading it but I’m contented with the fact that while he reads them, he may feel a spark of something and thought of his love for me, even if he was reminded of it only for a second or two
It’s a working progress, Mohen and I. We know that we have a long way ahead of us. There are times when it’s very trying and one of us may secretly feel like giving up but I’m proud that we’ve always been able to talk it out and stick to what means the most to us.
I hope we’ll have a chance of staying together like our parents do. It’s nice to grow old together, knowing that you guys have been through so much and laugh at how naive you were when you were just 3 years together, thinking the world is going to end if you have another argument about the bills.
I want that feeling. And I want that feeling, knowing that we’ve proudly got 27 years under our belts.
- Scratching the 7-Year Itch (psychologytoday.com)