June 4, 2010

The Fast Road to Fizzling Out

(Reposted from Ask Dan and Jennifer)

There is nothing in the world that can compare to the initial rush of a new relationship. You think of the other person every minute you are awake…and some of the hours you are asleep. Your heart aches until you can see or talk to him again. When he is around, nothing and nobody else matters.

Yet we are often told too much of a good thing can’t last. Relationships are no different. If you are not careful, this budding state of like could implode, leaving you wondering just what the heck went wrong. Here are some ways to ensure your relationship lasts beyond the initial obsession.


The #1 Mistake People Make In A New Relationship
The biggest and most common mistake people just starting a relationship make is to ignore friends. They begin spending all of their time with the significant other and forget about the lives they used to live before. When you shirk your friends in favor of the new girlfriend, not only will it make them mad…but it can also put your newfound status in danger. You need friends to remind you that she is, in fact, not a deity worthy of your worship. Moreover, the time away (not matter how brief) can be helpful to the future of your relationship.

Along those lines, don’t quit your hobbies. Making out should not replace going to the gym or building furniture, if those are activities you love to do. It is understandable that your alone-time may be reduced when you begin opting to spend more time with her. But these hobbies should not disappear completely. Remember who and what you are. That sense of self should not fade away in order to accommodate someone new in your life.

Spending Time Apart From Your New Love
What if your hobby is traveling? Sure, keep it up! Going away for a weekend and being away from him will not kill you, I promise. You can even call once or twice while gone, just to make sure he remembers you. Even if you are not traveling, skipping the couple-time for a day or two when you are busy at work or under the weather will not break the relationship. It will actually strengthen it, because you will have some time apart.

Why is time apart so important? The main problem with the intense passion of a new relationship is that it can so quickly burn out those involved. They may be happy spending every minute together…until they are suddenly annoyed with the mere presence of the other. But when you have mini-breaks, you will appreciate this person more, look forward to seeing them, and will not soon take him or her for granted.

The last thing to remember is that, early on, you may feel compelled to talk about the future of your relationship, make plans for next year, or even talk right away about marriage. Try hard to avoid these kinds of conversations until you have pulled out of this phase. These moves can very quickly push a relationship into a later stage, for which neither of you may be ready. Instead, wait to talk about such topics until you can, say, get through a day of not seeing her without crying.


Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the first one. My roommate/friend got a boyfriend and now I am completely irrelevant to her. It hurts a lot, and it's even worse because we live together. I'm glad she's happy with him but shocked and amazed that it doesn't seem to bother her that she's lost a friend. We have 3 months left on the lease, so I am just patiently counting down the days.

Kelli said...

Eesh, that's rough. Hopefully, once you've moved out, she'll gain a little perspective on the matter. I think she probably has her heart-shaped blinders on right now.