Can Couples Please Stop Announcing Three-Month Anniversaries?
“You light up my life. You’ve changed my world. I don’t know where I’d be without you. You’re the yin to my yang. I can’t believe all the stars aligned to let us meet. Happy three month anniversary my love!” was the caption on a friend of a friend’s Instagram post recently. It was her and her boyfriend, cuddling and kissing as if they’d known each other for decades. Three months?! Ugh. I honestly found the post very touching until I saw that part. Three months. 90 days. One fiscal quarter. One trimester. The free trial period for some subscriptions. A season. Just one. Come on.
I don’t mean to be a total buzzkill here but celebrating a three-month anniversary is a bit ridiculous. The concept of the year is even built into the world anniversary (aka the ann comes from annual). Three months is not an anniversary! I feel a little disappointed in myself for “liking” the post. I don’t want to encourage this type of behavior. Baby announcement? Wedding day? Company got covered in Forbes? These are things I will like. Purchasing a first home? I’d love to like that post! These are real accomplishments—these are things that change someone’s life forever. But three months of dating someone? Nah.
Somebody has to tell these people. I imagine the reason they don’t know how silly it seems is because they’ve never really dated anyone for more than roughly three months. But when they are, one day, five years into a relationship, they will feel quite embarrassed about these posts. Couples, can you please stop celebrating your three-month anniversary? For your own sake, don’t celebrate it in person, and for our sakes, stop posting about it online. Pardon me as my age has made me a bit blunt but somebody had to say it.
That rate of celebration is not sustainable
So, you’re going to celebrate every three months? Every 90 days, it’s going to be a whole thing? The photo collage. The pronouncement of love. The recalling of all the “memories” you’ve made in the last…90 days. The proclamation of commitment and how “far you’ve come.” You cannot sustain this pace of celebration.
And it diminishes each one
If you celebrate every tiny anniversary, it makes each one less special—including the actually special ones. Anniversaries are things you earn by making it a truly long time together. And because they are rare, they feel special when you celebrate them. If you celebrate one every few months, it takes away the novelty and magic of each one.
Anyone can date for three months
Truly, anybody can date for three months. Even two people who are terribly wrong for each other can date for three months. Almost anybody can and will pretend to be someone they aren’t for roughly three months, if it means getting to say they’re in a relationship—and people do that all of the time.
You don’t know each other
Nobody truly knows one another after only three months. That’s true of any pair of people—friends or lovers. You just don’t. It takes years to really get to know somebody. And an anniversary is something that should be celebrated between two people who have real history, and a deep understanding of one another.
You haven’t been through anything
You likely haven’t been through squat together. You haven’t been through a rough patch during which time, say, one person faces unemployment, loses a family member, has an identity crisis, or goes through a depression. I think part of celebrating anniversaries is celebrating what you’ve made it through, and a three-month-old couple hasn’t made it through anything.
It’ll feel silly when it’s over
When this relationship ends—and there is a very good chance it will end because it’s only been three months and most relationships aka every relationship will fail until you find the single one that doesn’t—you’ll feel very silly. You’ll put your palm to your head and say, “I can’t believe I posted this professional photo shoot of us on the beach when we barely knew each other.”
It’s insulting to real long-term couples
You know—the ones who have been through thick and thin together. They live together. They’ve been together for years. They travel with one another’s families. They know each other’s friends very well. They’ve supported each other. They’ve seen one another’s ugly sides. How do you think they feel when they’re asked to celebrate a three-month-old couple?
Let’s not even talk about the gifts
What are you going to do? Buy gifts for each other every three months? How’s that going to work? Even getting modest ones will become expensive when purchased that frequently. And then there’s the fact that anniversary gifts are meant to get fancier with each passing anniversary. What will you buy by that third aka nine-month anniversary? A solid gold chair?
You’ll have many three-month relationships
Many, many, many. Three months is that standard little chunk of time that mini relationships you have will last before meeting someone with whom it sticks. Three months is about the lifespan of every relationship that fails. Translation: there is a good chance that right after you celebrate your three-month anniversary, you’ll break up.
Our social media feed is full as it is
Everybody’s social media feed is already overloaded with information. There are already more truly important updates and posts than anyone has time to read. So considering that they won’t even make it through the actually significant stuff, they really don’t have time for the novel you have written about your “once in a lifetime” love (that you will actually repeat many times).
You don’t even understand your compatibility
At three months, you have no idea whether or not you’re actually compatible. Not really. You’re still in the phase of making lots of accommodations and telling little white lies to impress each other. You want things to work out so badly, that you’re still willing to not entirely be yourselves.
You’re just banging all of the time
That’s what this phase is: you’re having sex all of the time. You’re spending most of your time together, just the two of you, in a bed. You aren’t even yet dragging each other to dinner with your family or a friend’s housewarming party or your office event. You haven’t got a clue how your relationship holds up when it’s exposed to the real world.
Honestly, don’t even celebrate one-year
I mean, truly, many of the things that I’ve said about three months are true of one year. In my experience, before meeting the one whom you will spend your life with, you will have plenty of relationships that last anywhere from three months to one year. Some will implode at three months, and others will make it a year because you’re mostly compatible and overlooking clear issues for a while.
Let us know when you’re at three years
Three years. Honestly, that’s the first true test of the relationship. You’re in the honeymoon phase until then. It can last a little younger, or a little shorter, for some. But if you’re clearly still in it, then you don’t really know how strong the relationship is. All those exciting brain chemicals and hormones are fogging your vision.
Let us know when your sex drive dips
You want to know who gets to celebrate anniversaries? Couples who no longer want to have sex all of the time—in fact, they schedule sex, like an appointment—and who argue about dirty dishes and who know and perhaps don’t like one another’s families but still love each other and want to be with each other.