So I was talking to my friend about this yesterday, and figured it’d be a good thing to write about! The number of couples who call it quits around the one-year mark is staggering. As it turns out, there are legit statistics that help to shed some light on this. A report by the Washington Post states that around 70% of straight unmarried couples break up within the first year. Holy smokes, that’s high. How can we make sure we don’t become part of that statistic? Well, here’s my thoughts…
- Don’t just “give up” if things get rocky…communicate!
After a year or so, the new relationship euphoria starts to wear off, and reality sets in. Both of you relax and stop being on your “best behavior”. Maybe you’re starting to disagree about things that you were more tolerant of early on. This can go one of two ways…scenario one: You start to get annoyed at him, then he starts to get annoyed at you for getting annoyed at him, and so forth… then you don’t communicate, and then suddenly you find yourself in an awkward, angry, bitter relationship and it’s easier to give up than to fix it. This is the scenario we should try to avoid!! Scenario two: You start to get annoyed at him…talk it out! What is it that irritates you? Does he come back drunk too often? Does he not completely chew with his mouth closed? Whatever it is, if you approach him with it in a gentle way, maybe he’ll make an effort to change and this can avoid the earlier scenario.
- Be conscious of “giving” as much as you’re “getting”
The longer we know somebody, the more comfortable we get… that’s just human nature! An example of my own… the first few weeks of dating Tom I was pretty much wearing at least a little bit of make up all the time! Now, it’s a real treat if I put any on (which Tom says he likes better, I hope he’s telling the truth). We just get comfortable! This is obviously a wonderful thing because you want to be comfortable around the person you’re dating… but there is such a thing as getting TOO comfortable. A lot of people I know called it quits at the one-year mark because their partner got “complacent” and took them for granted. This is a very easy trap to fall into! When you’re comfortable, you just get used to all of the wonderful things your partner does and start to just “expect” them instead of recognize them. If your boyfriend cleans the apartment or cooks or whatever his kind gestures are (there must be some…otherwise you wouldn’t still be dating!), don’t ever forget to say thank you. Maybe the next day you wake up early and cook him breakfast, or buy him his favorite video game, or whatever it is that would make him smile. Trust me, a small gesture goes a long way.
- Make sure to make time for each other
Sounds pretty basic I guess, but I find that a lot more couples have problems with this than you would think! Between jobs, friends, family, and hobbies… it really is tough to find quality time to spend with your S/O. I’m not saying come home after a long day of work and fall asleep to Netflix (although that’s great too), I’m saying block out some time to go out and do something just you two. For Tom and I, we like to watch the sunset. We’re lucky to live a mile or so from the beach, so we like to drive to the bluffs with a blanket and coffee and watch the sun set over the water. It’s so nice after a long day to take a minute to just be with each other and tune everything else out. No matter how bad my day was, looking at that view with the man I love always makes it better. Your “thing” doesn’t have to be a sunset… it could be a hike, a picnic, a few hours of arts and crafts, or whatever! But when couples let life just get in the way, it does precisely that: it gets in the way. It’s much easier to say goodbye to a distant girlfriend that you rarely see than one that you spend lots of quality time with.
I hope this helped! Email me your thoughts or comment below 🙂