A MinD in MoTown


Three year itch.
December 1, 2009, 4:19 pm
Filed under: I could use some help here, Just whatever, Perhaps I am a bit strange

As I slowly approach the two-year mark with my current boyfriend, it’s tough not to think about this same point in previous relationships.

I don’t remember being unhappy or restless, and I’m not right now either. But at this exact moment with my two previous long-term boyfriends, the relationships were already on the downward slide.

I have what I like to call “the three year curse.” Near that particular anniversary, something triggers and my need to escape becomes dire. The +/- six months surrounding year number three cause immense anxiety on my part and fleeing remains the only option.

My high school boyfriend? I’d say it was at the 2.5 year mark where I called it quits, yet we stayed fairly attached for the few months that followed. However, approximately two months before that poignant anniversary, I bid him adieu and that relationship was officially over.

My college boyfriend? We met during my fall semester sophomore year and stayed together one month longer than the three-year point. He and I even moved 500 miles together to the great state of North Carolina where, less than a year later, I broke it off – though I suppose it was somewhat mutual, but that’s another story for another time or never. He swiftly returned to Pennsylvania following “the divorce” and splitting of our belongings*.

Now here I sit, exceptionally happy with this man in my life, yet completely fearful that only a few months down the road I’ll start cultivating problems in my head and trying to make my departure. And damn it, I don’t want this to end! So I’m attempting to recognize the problem – if it is one – now and ensure that he’s fully aware of “the curse” in the hopes that we can tackle and overcome it together. Because seriously, if this boy makes it to the four-year mark, I’m counting it as a miracle and forcing him to marry me**.

Am I the only one who has this issue when it comes to relationships? I mean, clearly I’ve heard of men who can’t commit for more than a few months, but three years seems like an odd point to leave it all behind. My mother once said that I “chase butterflies,” and once a relationship hits the comfortable point and the guy no longer makes me feel like I’m consistently floating on Cloud 9, I feel the need to find someone new who can. I’m not entirely sure I believe that theory, despite it’s plausibility***.

What do you think? What exactly, if anything, can break the curse I seem to have? Am I just turning a coincidence into something bigger than it truly is? Or is it actually possible my mom’s right in her speculations?

* I still wish I got the red steak knives that would perfectly match my kitchen. But meh, I got the Wii, the washer and the dryer. You win some, you lose some.
** Well, not “forcing.” I guess you can say I’m somewhat apprehensive about becoming engaged before hitting four years for fear that “the curse” will prevail. =/
*** That’s a word, right?

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14 Comments so far
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Not at all… Im the exact same way with 1.5 year marker. I get all flighty and shit.

but… you know? that was then and this is now and all that other fun stuff they like to say… Id like to think that NOW, it could be different. If I chose it to be.

A guy who relates? Certainly didn’t expect that, especially from you. But you’re right, maybe if I choose for it to be different, it will be. The power of positive thinking or something like that, right?

Comment by Matt

You at least make it to the 3 year point. My two previous relationships both ended at/around the 7 month mark. Although in the case of Eva, we got back together only for that blow up in my face.

Now having started a new relationship, I know that around May (with me graduating and all that lovely business) I’m going to start panicking.

The roommate has a saying that “it’s only scary if you let it be.” Actually works at times. It would seem like one of your best bets for breaking the “curse” is to do your level best not to let paranoia fuck with your head when that time comes.

At least one of us should be able to have a steady relationship.

Why can’t you be the “one of us”? Perhaps if we help to motivate each other from thinking that way, as if the relationship is doomed at some magical number anyway, then we can both have healthy, steady, long-term relationships… Maybe it’d work.

Comment by Kendall

i definitely know the feeling…there is absolutely nothing wrong with the relationship i’m in (we’ve been together for a year and almost three months), but i feel like i keep questioning whether i’m happy or fulfilled or not. i’ve never really had a relationship last this long (in high school i dated a guy on and off for two years, but we didn’t go to the same school and the longest “on” time was 6 months) so i don’t really know how to gage it. it’s weird, right? people are weird.

People are, indeed, weird. It’s as if you get to that point where you can’t help but question if that’s what you really want, if you deserve more, if you need to be single, if you’re what the guy actually wants, if you’re settling, if he’s too much, etc. etc. etc. I guess it’s surpassing those questions and *knowing* that makes the difference? I’m just making an assumption there though.

Comment by yourinvisiblepixie

I don’t think you’re cursed, I think it’s all in your head. You’ve had track record but I think things will change with the right person.

I hope it’s in my head. As corny as it sounds, I do want this guy to be THE guy.

Comment by Jessica

Trust your heart.

Will very much try to.

Comment by phampants

ummm…yea, i need to have that problem…i get rid of dudes somewhere around the month mark….eh i get bored! lol

A month? I wish I had that problem actually.

Comment by Felicia

Hmmm see I’m the opposite…. it’s me who gets left and I can tell you it’s not all that great. I get that people worry about finding the perfect person and that once it’s all comfy and normal they get bored and worry that maybe it’s not right.
What I’d say is that at some point you need to realise that relationships and feelings change…they always will no matter who you’re with. You just have to decide if you’re ok with that or not.

That’s what my mother says actually. And it’s so spot on. I think when it’s right, when comfortable still brings that same happiness, that’s when it’s a solid relationship that could last forever. Perhaps I didn’t feel that in the other two. I was missing that joyful component which is all too necessary once things move to that level.

And I’ve been left before, too, and know it’s not so fabulous. The college boyfriend and I split four times during our three years – crazy, right? And he broke up with me the first three of those four times, ha, and it sucked hardcore ’cause I wasn’t ready for it nor wanting it. So I have been on the other side.

Comment by pinkjellybaby

Your two previous boyfriends didn’t treat you ad you deserve. I’m sure they regret it now lol. I don’t think it’s a case of you fleeing, just you getting screwed over. As long as this guy is treating you good then I have no worries for you two lol

I cannot believe you seriously commented, ha. And I totally forgot you read this, so I’m sorry if anything I said bothered you… Don’t give me that regret stuff either. =P

He treats me amazingly well. He’s a great guy. A very great guy. I’m glad you have no worries, hehe. Thanks Jon. =)

Comment by Jonathan

I’m just past that two years mark and my relationship is definitely rocky. I think it’s a miracle if I can survive this. Good luck to you though, at least you have that feeling on wanting to make it work. I pretty am sure I don’t have it anymore.

Aw, that’s so sad hun. I’m sorry. =( I guess that was the same point I got to in the other relationships though. I didn’t care anymore if they worked or not. Maybe it’s time to move on, as sad as it is to say.

Comment by andhari

I think the fact that you’re recognizing this and trying to do something about it is a big change in the right direction. That alone should signal that you shouldn’t worry.

Ah, I do hope you’re right!

Comment by Kimwithak

Just by chance you happened to realize all of the red flags in your previous relationships at the same times.

This time, since you’re more aware of your pattern, you may be better able to handle any issues that pop up during that stretch of time and resolve them differently.

This guy seems somewhat different from the previous ones, right? So don’t fret if there’s continued smooth sailing.

You should be a counselor or something with comments like this!

Comment by thatShortChick

my bff has this issue. however, it happens in the 3 week mark. seriously. I love her, but we tend to consider it a good sign if the boy makes it past 1 month. Her current bf has, I’ve lost track of the months now, but they’re moving to Miami together. I’m crossing my fingers for her.

Miami? Very nice. Is it bad to be glad to not be the only one who seemingly has this problem to some extent? Ha.

Comment by erini

i would say your mom’s take is some pretty sound psychology. without knowing much about you, i would say the same!! i haven’t really noticed this in my past relationships to it being a “three year” thing. i have only had one long-term relationship and that lasted nearly five years, but from my ONE sample, i would say things went downhill after year 3. and i also have a cynical view that relationships tend to cycle in 5-7 year periods. so for example, a lot of divorces happen within that time frame. and if you can’t actively “renew” the cycle together, continuing to commit to teamwork, that people usually break up..

My parents divorced after five years (approx.), so that seems like a very logical explanation. And you’re right, as is my mom (ugh), that it’s “renewing” the cycle. It’s keeping that spark alive that was there from the beginning rather than allowing things to wane…

Comment by floreta

Years ago, I would have said my “relationship itch” (not the kind that needs medication mind you!) happened about the two year mark.

Last year, it was a three months where I started to pull away. This year, it seems I can’t keep anything going past a month.

I’m pretty sure it’s all a big coincidence and it only appears to be a disastrous pattern in our minds. 😛

Personally, after reading everyone’s comments, I’m starting to think it’s a combination of both. Maybe at some point in the relationship I get that “itch” (yes, one that doesn’t require meds) and feel like things have significantly changed, so I tend to run rather than mend that. And maybe it’s a coincidence that it all happened around year three… Could be a combo of everything that I’m creating into something bigger than itself in my head.

As you likely did before (perhaps?), but now, with relationships not panning out, you can see that those other incidents were a coincidence. Hm…

Comment by OmegaRadium




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