Solving the Mystery of the Two Year Syndrome

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Solving the Mystery of the Two Year Syndrome
How to read between the lines of "I've fallen out of love with you"

People describe it in different ways…the point when the honeymoon recedes and reality enters, when the things you found so cute and charming about each other turn into the very things that begin to irritate, when the real work of relating to one another begins. In fact, many therapists recommend waiting for two years before making any decisions about marriage. Why do so many relationships implode or simply peter out at the two year mark? One frequently heard though superficial explanation is "I've fallen out of love." Okay, from a biochemical perspective there is some truth to it. The transition from "falling in love" to "being in love" is difficult for many people. They're hooked on the chemical rushes of infatuation. They'd prefer to find someone new and hope this time they can make that blissful state last forever.

Why Quitting Now Might be the Right Idea

 

There's potential value in this impulse. Three to six months into a new relationship (the point when the most intense of these chemical rushes are subsiding) may be exactly the right time to end it. It’s when you see the other person more clearly and have no idea what you originally saw in him or her. So, if you've realized this person is definitely not who you want to spend a longer chunk of your life with, go ahead: do it now. It's better not to wait for habit to set in.

On the Other Hand

However, if your desire to quit the relationship has more to do with the "thrill being gone" than any new sharper perspective on how the two of you don’t fit well together, it may be smarter to pause and reconsider your motivations. The desire to run may have more to do with the underlying chemical changes going on in your current relationship.
Singles who perennially play the field may be in danger of becoming "infatuation junkies." These men and women covet the highs that only a new love interest can deliver. They seek the "perfect" boyfriend or girlfriend more than a real relationship with another imperfect person. Only you can figure out whether your relationship with a partner is durable enough to go the distance. But don’t forget to take the chemistry that goes with different phases of love into account when you weigh your thoughts and feelings.

Love After Lust Cools: What's in it for You?

It's known by a variety of names, including the attachment system, and companionable love. In committed love, you move into a less frenetic biochemical circuit, a flatter curve. Like the chemistry of attraction, this one runs in myriad pathways between your brain and body—different, not better or worse. It’s not true that as long time lovers, you won't experience lust again. Surveys say that married people have sex more often and are often more sexually satisfied than singles. But sex and romance are no longer the primary drivers of your relationship. You're thinking beyond Saturday night. You're getting practical.

 
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