Is It The Five-Year-Itch Or Is Your Relationship Flat Lining?

July 12, 2017  |  
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The way people do relationships is changing. People are waiting longer to get married and I mean that they both 1) Get married older and 2) Allow relationships to go on for much longer before tying the knot. Here’s a picture you see all of the time today that you would have rarely seen 50 years ago: two people in their thirties who have been together for five to eight years, are living together and are not married. They may even have a dog and a family phone plan together, but no marriage certificate. There’s nothing wrong with not getting married. But marriage does one interesting thing that you may not think about until you put it off for half a decade with your partner; it introduces a little excitement, a milestone and something to break up the monotony during what could otherwise be an uneventful phase of a relationship. If you’re with someone for a long time and don’t get married, you may experience the five-year itch. But is it the five-year itch, or is your relationship just flat lining?

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You love being home alone

If your partner calls to tell you a meeting is running exceptionally late and he won’t be home until after you’ve gone to sleep, you don’t really feel disappointed. You certainly don’t feel the way you used to—when you were devastated any time a minute was stolen that you could have spent with your significant other. Actually, you get excited to watch the movie you want to watch and eat the takeout you like.

 

 

 

 

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Itch or over?

After five years, you feel secure in your relationship and you’ve had a lot of good bonding time. Missing an evening together doesn’t feel like the threat to your bond that it used to. So long as you are still happy when your partner does get home, then this isn’t over! You’ve just learned to still enjoy yourself when your partner is away. If, however, you become unhappy when your partner gets home, you could be flat lining.

 

 

 

 

 

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You fantasize about other people

You don’t necessarily have sexual fantasies about other men so much as situational fantasies. You daydream about meeting someone at a café, or having a dramatic fling in Europe. Your fantasies belong in novels and films more than adult content sites. But, you do daydream about romances with other people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Itch or over?

You can’t control what you think—only what you do. If you actually know some of these people you daydream about, how do you behave around them? If you would never, ever behave inappropriately or even flirty, then you’re fine. You’re probably just pining for the early days of your own relationship when your partner found everything about you novel and exciting. If, however, you find yourself behaving inappropriately around these people, your relationship could be in trouble.

 

 

 

 

 

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You want to go on a major trip

You have a craving to go on a major trip—the kind you take a sabbatical from work for. The kind where you say, “I don’t know when I’m coming back.” You want to see the world, try new things, meet new people and put yourself out of your comfort zone. And you don’t necessarily want your partner to come with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Itch or over?

You could be experiencing the very healthy desire to continue to grow as a person, even if your relationship is standing still. That is mature and admirable. If this craving to travel feels more about nurturing your relationship with yourself than avoiding your relationship with your partner, this is probably just the typical itch that comes when you’ve been with someone for a while, and haven’t spent enough time on yourself lately. If you’re open to having an affair on this escapade, well, I think you know what that means.

 

 

 

 

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You want to put your career first

Lately, you’ve been agreeing to more weekend work, travel for work and long hours. In the past, you would’ve done whatever you had to to get out of an evening meeting, and back to your partner. But recently, you really want to focus more on your work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Itch or over?

When a relationship is new, it requires a lot of attention just to get it off the ground. It’s normal to put your work to the side a little while you’re nurturing a new love. It’s also normal, five or so years down the line, once you know your relationship isn’t going anywhere, to refocus your attention back to your work. So long as this change feels more about wanting to move your career forward than wanting to push your partner away, it’s probably just that itch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re planning more weekends apart

There was a time when you would never have made weekend plans with a girlfriend until you’d figured out your plans with your partner first. You wanted to ensure you got maximum weekend time with your honey. Now, throughout the week, you start reaching out to girlfriends more and craving more time with friends on the weekends. You may hang out with friends all day Saturday, and only see your boo for dinner and a movie that night.

 

 

 

 

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Itch or over?

Again, the five-year-mark is the time when you know this relationship is very stable and doesn’t require quite as much attention. It’s common to want to start devoting more time to your other relationships around this time and not just want to shack up with your man. That being said, if you’ve stopped making special time for your partner altogether, you could be flat lining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Little things cause bigger irritation

You used to think it was cute that your partner would leave music and all the lights on until he was ready to come to bed, just so you wouldn’t fall asleep first—all because he wanted to snuggle. Now you’re getting seriously mad because you want your sleep. You don’t laugh at this tactic any longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Itch or over?

Hey, that thing about leaving the lights and music on does seem annoying. The crazy thing isn’t that it bothers you now, but rather that you were unbothered for so long. But those were just the hormones and infatuation of a fresh love that made everything seem rosy. It’s okay to get a little irritable. You’re only human. The important thing is that you get past it. If you can be a little cold one moment, but back to loving the next, then you’re in good shape. If, however, you allow these irritants to put you in a bad mood for days, you could be flat lining.

 

 

 

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You’ve stopped being playful

When you’re doing the dishes or folding the laundry together, you’ve stopped being playful. Everything is utilitarian. You just talk about the logistics of the chore. It’s not like the earlier days when folding laundry would take an hour because you’d constantly stop to make jokes or tickle each other.

 

 

 

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Itch or over?

Because you’re starting to focus more on your career and your friendships, it’s natural that you’d like to get the dishes done quicker so you can get to those other things. Life only gets busier with every passing year so don’t be too hard on yourself if laundry time isn’t the play time it used to be. Just make sure you still make time to be playful with one another. If you’ve lost the desire for that entirely, that’s something to worry about.

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re thinking about marriage but don’t want to

Truth be told, you don’t really want to get married right now. You and your partner are in a great place, but you just don’t have the drive to plan a wedding right now. You know your partner is your person for life, so you don’t feel the urge to slap a ring on it to solidify that. But, you’ve caught yourself wondering if you just should get married…just because. You don’t really feel happy about the thought—it’s more like a chore.

 

 

 

 

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Itch or over?

You’re probably attending a lot of your friends’ weddings and seeing what an exciting time it is for them. It’s no wonder that you think, “Maybe that’s just the jolt of life my relationship needs.” But you should never use a wedding as a band-aid. Marriage won’t resuscitate a dying relationship. That is not to say your marriage is dying. You could just be feeling the five-year-itch, and looking for ways to scratch it. Get out of this itch, and wait to marry until a wedding would be nothing but a great thing, rather than a remedy.

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