- Carolyn Hax,Columnist.
- from Washingtonpost
A disagreement broke out about your position of what the two-year mark in a relationship means. Would you mind clarifying?
Some said you believe that after two years, love dies due to repetition and monotony, and others said that’s nothing like what you said.
The butterflies of initial attraction rarely survive past the two-year mark of a relationship.
Those butterflies can cover up areas of fundamental incompatibility. So, people swept up in the floaty in-love feeling often dismiss problems as minor, only to find — when the adrenaline/pheromones clear — that they’re tied to someone who isn’t scintillating to talk to, doesn’t help much and isn’t even that great in bed.
So I advise people who feel passionately in love to save any big decisions for after they’ve been together a couple of years. That’s when familiarity takes over and their relationship’s natural, sustainable pace becomes apparent.
Real love doesn’t die at this point, it strengthens — so that’s actually a better, more accessible measure: If after two years you spend the following year wanting more of each other’s company, then that’s a promising sign. If you spend that third year wanting less of each other, then that might say not to build your future on this one.
I applied to an uber-competitive graduate program and received a call to tell me I’ve made one cut, but they need one more week to make the final cut. I am completely obsessing over it. It’s my whole future and I’m so close, but it could be so easily pulled away. How do I stay CALM these next six days and get out of my own head?!
It’s only six days, but I realize that means nothing to you now.
And, it’s not your “whole future,” it’s merely one possible future. If you want to find people whose great futures were launched by the collapse of their dream futures, then you won’t have to look far. This page is far enough: I’m not just a proponent of the Post-Collapse Recovery Club, I’m also a client.
Finally: You’ve got six days of nervous energy at your disposal. Start cleaning out your junk drawer(s), closets, wardrobe, files, address books . . . and imagine other compelling shapes your “whole future” could take. There’s never just one.
Re: Next six days:
During a suspenseful time in my life, I walked for hours to and through all sorts of neighborhoods. Bonus points if you can leave your phone at home.
The exercise helped me sleep and dilute the nervous energy; the time and privacy allowed me to consider a multitude of thoughts, feelings and outcomes. The different neighborhoods gave me glimpses into the lives of others, often helpful in refining perspectives.
Plan something special for the seventh day, regardless of what the outcome will be.
Thanks. For those who have the time (and whose junk drawers have already been alphabetized), walking is a powerful ally in sorting things out. If walking doesn’t appeal, then I suggest productive distraction — something that occupies the mind, helps someone, shortens the to-do (or bucket) list.
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