"Even healthy relationships need routine maintenance" (Cosme, 2013). In a survey of 2,000 adults in long-term relationships, it was proven that “warm and fuzzy” falls flat after three years. The 'Seven-Year Itch', starring Marilyn Monroe, illustrates the ‘itch’ as the urge to cheat after seven years of marriage.
Today, with dating and shacking, the urge is to move from one situation to the next. The ‘itch’ may have you or your partner believing the grass is greener on the other side or strongly considering a new direction for the new year. Whether you want to transition from shacking to matrimony, smooth last year's rough edges, or reignite sparks--here are a few remedies to ward off the 'itch':
2-versus-1 Principle. You have two ears (and two eyes) for a reason. Listen more, speak less. Actions speak louder than words. In the early stages, you hang onto every one of your partner's words. Later, you repeat the last words of their last sentence to show that you heard them. Instead of hearing them, listen. Everyone evolves, so it would be wise to pay attention for cues that offer insight to your partner's change of thought, heart, or behavior.
This includes monitoring your social TMI. Don't make your mate feel like they have to put out a gag-order on you. Not saying you two should be ghosts, but discretion is advised.
Me, Myself & I. Some goes as far to say you should disappear every once in a while. Pursue your goals and hang out with YOUR friends. Yes, your partner is considered your 'other half' but live out your other half. It’s healthy to miss each other. Single parent? Scheduling ME-time tends to be more difficult since you’re consumed with your child's interests and potential. Make a conscious effort to meditate for clarity, identify personal interests, and chart a course of action. A happy woman makes a happy home.
Change the Game. Don't do the same thing expecting different results. Initially, you present your best with hopes of getting to the 'privileged' point: wearing sweats and headscarves, redundant dinner and movie nights, etc. Don't get too comfortable. Once the prize has been won, the fight to keep the title has begun.
The I-stopped-looking, love-will-find-me approach may free you from rejection, but will you like or accept whoever approaches you? You may not know exactly what you want, but I'm sure you know what you DON'T want. Don't rush, but be proactive.
Bark v. Bite. Address it, don't press it. Articulate yourself and demand results. Some believe speaking up is "ghetto" and "un-ladylike". Really? You don't have to be long-winded, head rollish, finger-pointing, or cursing to make a point. The course of the relationship depends on the solution. If there is none, you know what it is. Move on.
Quality and Quantity. With time, couples begin to take each other for granted, argue more, and have less sex. Did you know only 16% have sex three times a week compared to 52% of honeymooners? ‘Lovebirds’ get an average of three compliments a week, compared to one for third-year couples. For fifth-year or more couples, slim to none. Wow. Where's the love? Appreciation? Attraction?
Believe it or not, in a relationship, sex is quality time. You two should have combustible chemistry between the sheets. “Talks” transform to a single word, movements, sounds, and expressions. Less talk, more attention to the signs in lovemaking. Between work, sex and sleep, make sure you date. Get out to see, learn, and do new things. Experiences make memories and holds you together.
For more of the relationship survey, click here
For the 'Who's Who' and characteristics of the "Sevens", click here