Today: Feb 27, 2024

Moving beyond the dreaded two-year mark

www.familyresource.com SAMANTHA MCKELVIE — Staff Writer

The two-year mark: a relationship death sentence or a test of real love? According to most testimonials I’ve heard, the two-year mark in a relationship is when things start to get rocky. I’ve witnessed this occurrence countless times with friends and have even experienced it in my own relationships; when the second year of the relationship begins to approach, all hell starts to break loose. I’ve always wondered why this happens close to two years, and after much examination I’ve come up with some theories.

It is common when you first begin dating someone to be completely infatuated with that person and everything he or she does. In your eyes, this person is perfect and amazing and can do no wrong. You spend all of your time with this person, and everything is refreshing and exciting. This is when the relationship is new and both of you are just enjoying getting to know one another. I’d say this infatuation period typically lasts approximately six months to a year.

Before you know it, you are meeting each other’s friends and family and becoming involved in each other’s lives. You go to family birthday parties, weddings and on outings with friends together. You are constantly with each other and do everything together.

Then, naturally, the tide starts to change as you both really get to know each other. When the infatuation subsides and you become more comfortable with one another, you start to see what’s really underneath the surface. You begin to see this person’s flaws, quirks and bad habits, and you realize that he or she isn’t so perfect.

You see what the person looks like in the morning, hear the person fart, and realize some of the things he or she does drives you completely nuts. It is at this point when you both start to annoy each other and the bickering begins. Bickering turns into fighting, and the honeymoon stage is officially over by the time you’ve hit the two-year mark.

Another thing that seems to occur as your two-year anniversary approaches is falling into a pattern. Your plans begin to become routine, and the spontaneity of the relationship dies down. Once you’ve learned all there is to learn about that person and there’s nothing left to discover, the interest starts to fade from what it initially was; you may even find that you’ve run out of things to talk about.

It is at this time that your future with this person starts to come into perspective. When the newness and the excitement of the relationship is out of the equation, you start to see each other in a new light. You question if the good outweighs the bad and if the relationship is worth it. At this point, you know enough about this person to know if he or she is right or wrong for you, and some decisions have to be made.

All of this combined is why I believe the two-year mark is when things start to transform. But, if you do decide that the person you’re with is the right person for you and you want to make things work, I have some suggestions that may help you get through “the big two” and make things along the way a little less bumpy.

First, it is important to be accepting of each other’s flaws because, let’s face it, no one is ever going to be perfect. You need to have realistic expectations and focus more on the good things about each other than the bad. When you do get into fights, which is inevitable, fight fair. Don’t hit below the belt in an argument or drag out the fight; admit when you’re wrong, find a compromise or agree to disagree.

It is also important to give each other space. If you take time apart, you will both appreciate the time you have together more. If you are always together, you are more likely to annoy each other and won’t have a chance to miss one another; sometimes absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

In addition to all of this, I think the key to a lasting relationship is to keep things interesting. Surprise each other, try new things and be spontaneous. This will keep the relationship exciting and the romance alive.

When all is said and done, your relationship doesn’t have to disintegrate with time if you don’t want it to. There isn’t an expiration date on your relationship. If you love your significant other and you are willing to put in the effort, you can make it past those first two years and beyond.

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