Why Most Relationships Don’t Survive The First Year

September 19, 2019  |  
1 of 11

Happy Afro American couple

Source: filadendron / Getty

It’s often assumed that the first year of a relationship is the easiest to navigate; however, some would argue that the first year is actually one of the more difficult stages of a relationship. According to a study by Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld, 70 percent of unmarried relationships end during the first year. The same study found that after five years, couples only had a 20 percent chance of breaking up and that number continues to shrink after couples make it to their 10-year anniversary, thus proving that year one of a relationship is no walk in the park like we’ve been led to believe. So exactly what is it about that first year that makes it so difficult? Continue reading to find out.

There’s still some residue from the last relationship

Whether your last relationship ended five years ago or five months ago, it’s likely that some remnants of what you’ve been through will resurface during the first year of a new relationship.

Take your biggest bite

Source: ljubaphoto / Getty

Your representatives disappear

At the start of every relationship, everyone makes an effort to put their best foot forward; however, at some point during that first year, the masks fall off and we’re forced to come to terms with the reality of who we’re in relationship with as opposed to the fantasy we’ve been entertaining in our minds.

Bisexual Black Woman Posing in Studio

Source: Willie B. Thomas / Getty

You’re forced to acknowledge each other’s baggage

Baggage is a MF, but the truth of the matter is that we all carry some form of it. Coming to terms with your own baggage as well the baggage that your partner brings to the equation and figuring out how to move forward, in spite of, is no easy task.

Two african women in colorful outfit sitting at home

Source: Vladimir Vladimirov / Getty

You begin to recognize each other’s imperfections

When you’re in the infatuation stage, it’s easy to overlook your partner’s flaws; however, as the relationship progresses, you begin to notice little quirks and annoyances about your partner that you didn’t notice when you were wearing those rose-colored glasses.

Couple Playing on the Grass

Source: Jason Verschoor / Getty

The honeymoon ends

The honeymoon phase of relationship usually comes to an end during the first year, which can be a bit startling to new lovers who have become accustomed to that euphoric new relationship feeling. Some even begin to question the entire relationship.

Lesbian couple

Source: filadendron / Getty

Anxiety and uncertainty about what’s next

By the end of the first year, most people have a clear idea of where their relationship is headed and whether or not they envision a future with their current partner in it. It’s a time when moving in together, getting married, and having children begin to come up in conversation. Discussion of next steps can serve as a tremendous source of anxiety and can cause one or both parties to place too much pressure on the relationship.

This relationship is not working for me anymore

Source: Delmaine Donson / Getty

Conflict becomes a reality

As the honeymoon phase comes to a close, the first disagreement and the subsequent disagreements that will most definitely follow are inevitable. The first fights can be distressing for new couples and often feel like the end of the world because the relationship is still fragile at this stage.

Is their marriage going to make it?

Source: shapecharge / Getty

Differing opinions, ideologies, and beliefs begin to surface

The only true way to get to know a person is to take the time and get to know them. It’s impossible to learn everything about a partner during the first couple of months. During year one, couples may uncover troubling mindsets about one another that causes them to bring the entire relationship into question.

Friends and Social networking

Source: filadendron / Getty

You have to learn to incorporate friends and family within your relationship

During the first few months, new couples often treat their relationship as an island in isolation from other aspects of their lives. However, as time goes on, they’re tasked with figuring out how to integrate what they’re building with their new love with the other relationships that exist in their lives. This can complicate things quickly.

Portrait of smiling tourist couple on sidewalk

Source: Morsa Images / Getty

You get comfortable

After a while, couples settle into the relationship and stop doing the most in hopes of impressing one another.

I know that I upset you, and I'm sorry

Source: PeopleImages / Getty

You set off each other’s emotional triggers without realizing it

We all have emotional triggers, whether we care to acknowledge them or not. Year one of a relationship is usually when partners accidentally discover each other’s triggers.

Trending on MadameNoire

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN