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Thread: Why do so many relationships end after 3 -4 years?? Just a coincidence??

  1. #1
    Destiny2112
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    Question Why do so many relationships end after 3 -4 years?? Just a coincidence??

    I have the impression that 3 -4 years is a certain mark in relationships...

    My own relationship ended after 3,5 years, my sisters after 4...and I know a couple of friends and friends of friends whose relationships ended after that amount of time as well... I also read quite often here on ENA about relationships ending after that amount of time....

    Is that just a "coincidence" or just my impression? Is it that people get scared of a deeper commitment and start doubting if they can truly picture a future with their partners or is it that the honeymoon phase is finally over by then?

    What could be the reason?

    Do you agree with me? What are your opinions and thoughts?

  2. #2
    rapunzel
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    Part of the reason is biological, according to Helen Fisher, PhD. The "seven year itch" is actually a four year itch:

    link removed

    My last LTR ended at 4.3 years, the ex's marriage ended at 4 years, and I'm sure I know of other examples. It's also interesting that many new relationships end at 3 to 4 months which I have also experienced.

    The honeymoon phase, in my opinion, is usually well over before 4 years. Relationships are difficult and take commitment and work. The spark ALWAYS dies at some point, I don't believe that any relationship is immune. Some choose to end their relationships and find the spark elsewhere....and then after a period of time, THAT spark will also die. I think the fast pace of our culture and the constant and rapidly changing media images we are subjected to shorten people's attention span and can lead to a subconscious need for variety and change. This is just an uneducated guess.

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    Batya33
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    I don't think the spark needs to die if the couple is invested in and committed to keeping it alive or reviving it. It might feel a bit different or very different from that first "wow!!" spark but yup, it's still there. I've been with my husband almost 6 years (and we dated in the past for a few years), married for 2 years and being new parents in a new city and having completely changed my career means that our romantic life and the spark easily could have fallen by the wayside permanently with all of our responsibilities and changes/transitions and especially the "mommy/daddy" mentality. But we're both have strong romantic sides (which can be but don't need to be expressed through sex) and both love keeping the spark alive. It's essential as I learned in the short periods of time when I didn't focus on that because of all the changes, especially new motherhood in a new city. At the very least (or most?) it means that when things get bogged down in routines/responsibilities and fatigue it can make all the difference with a secret smile or our one word codeword for romance. Definitely brings perspective back to what it means, to us, to be committed to each other.

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    Captain Obvious
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    I dont think the spark always dies, some people are happily married to each over forever. I guess if 2 people are good for each other but not completely right then it takes a good 4 years for one or both to realise this.

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    Stay_home
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    [QUOTE=Destiny2112;4801763]I have the impression that 3 -4 years is a certain mark in relationships...

    My own relationship ended after 3,5 years, my sisters after 4...and I know a couple of friends and friends of friends whose relationships ended after that amount of time as well... I also read quite often here on ENA about relationships ending after that amount of time....

    Is that just a "coincidence" or just my impression? Is it that people get scared of a deeper commitment and start doubting if they can truly picture a future with their partners or is it that the honeymoon phase is finally over by then?

    What could be the reason?

    Do you agree with me? What are your opinions and thoughts?

    3-5yrs is usually the life/death point of a relationship. By that time you're trying to figure out what direction things are going in and whether or not there's prosperity within the horizon.

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    SapphireNoir10
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    Maybe four years is the point where you REALLY know that person and realise they arent for you or come to the conclusion its not the right relationship.

    It leaves you free to move on to the 'forever' or at least long term.

    I know loadsa people married for ten years plus who are happy.

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    twentiesgirl86
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    I've actually seen that too. I know so many people who haven't gotten past the 3 or 4 year mark. I was just thinking it had to do with my age group. My one friends relationships have actually been like that. Her one ex was three years, and then she broke up with him. Then any other relationship she has had since has been 3 or 4 months. I actually hadn't really noticed that until I saw that post, but it's true. It's very rare to see people make it past five years. Maybe thats why I've always said I don't want to get married unless I've been in a relationship for at least five years. Any less than that seems too soon. Might be for that reason, I guess.

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    Destiny2112
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    Thanks for your input!

    I do have friends in my age group though, who are in relationships for more than 4 years (5-7 years) now, but mostly one (or even both) of the partners also were in a relationship before, which had ended after 3-4 years. I guess, circumstances in my age group play a big role. I guess after spending a couple of years together, the couple slowly has to decide where the relationship leads to, either marriage (eventually) or a break up. Some might not feel ready for a deeper commitment yet and get cold feet and start running or get GIGS....

    One of my best friends married her boyfriend last year after being together for a bit more than 2,5 years and they are still happy, just bought a house and are planning a family. So it doesn't neccessarily have to end in a break up after that amount of time ;-)

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    Destiny2112
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    I also think that after that time, the exciting "being in love feeling" slowly starts to change in a deeper kind of love, which may not cause the butterfly- feeling anymore that we all experience in the very beginning of a relationship. And I suppose some people confuse this change of feelings with falling out of love or having lost the spark and wonder if something is missing in their relationship. So instead of trying to work on things, some try to get the butterflies, the feeling of being in love back and try to find it in someone else....they start looking for something new and exciting again...only to realize that after being together with the new person for a couple of years, the reach exactly that same point like again...

    Just my thoughts...

  10. #10
    Batya33
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    Those are the people who focus on love as a feeling far too much rather than love as an action -giving.

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