Aside from the responsibility aspect, long-term relationships intimidate a lot of men. Personally, I'm not sure if I'm ready for a long term relationship and to give a woman what she desires and deserves. (opens in new tab)
Relationships evolve, and the evolution of a long-term relationship presents challenges.
Here is a list of things that happen in long-term relationships:
You Get Used To Each Other
Getting used to each other is a good thing overall. You learn how to push each other's buttons appropriately, when to ease up, how to make each other happy. It's the same thing in friendship when you grow from compatible acquaintance to good friend. (opens in new tab)
It's that right of passage where you're no longer a drinking buddy, but you're expected and allowed to be there for each other at all times.
Once you're used to one another, you've come to grips with each other's annoying quirks. (opens in new tab)You devise strategies to keep annoyances from being deal breakers, like preparing for mosquitoes at the beach-they'll be slightly annoying, but they are a fact of beach life and you can't let them take away from your enjoyment of the beach. (opens in new tab) Actually, mosquitoes are deal breakers for me.
It's intimidating to know someone so well. I guess it feeds in to my fear of intimacy. I'm so healthy.
You Both Get Less Challenging
As you get used to each other, "challenge value" goes down as the security of the relationship increases. This eliminates that fun tension and uncertainty you feel in the beginning of the relationship.
When things get less challenging, human nature dictates that we let up and don't work as hard. it can lead to you taking each other for granted.
Life Gets More Challenging
If you look at a relationship from first date to retirement, (opens in new tab)it's a bell curve in terms of time challenges.
Children stress the household (opens in new tab) as you turn your attention to getting them where they need to go in life. The challenges divert your attention from each other.
My parents are on the end of this bell curve. Both my sisters are married, (opens in new tab)and we are all done with college and supposedly on our own
(even though I recently made my mom buy me a giant box of Ramen from Costco). (opens in new tab)
It's no coincidence that, at the end of this bell curve, my parents seem happier, and seem to be rediscovering one another.
The Spark Turns Into A Flat Line
Sparks fly in the beginning of a relationship, and there are certainly ways to keep these sparks flying. (opens in new tab) But, after a while, you settle in to life with each other, and it's a flat line more than a spark. It's tough to keep things new.
You Get A Little Complacent
Once you're securely in a relationship, it's easy to forget to create special dates, push yourself to be the person that the other person fell in love with, and maintain the relationship. It's scary because, often, you're not even be aware that you're complacent.
The Stakes Get Higher And Higher
The more serious a relationship, the tougher it is to break up. (opens in new tab)It's easy to not call someone back two weeks in and let it fade. And it's easier to break it off after six months than it is after a year, etc.
Once you're married, you can't break up when things get challenging. You have to face it and make it right.
You Have To Make Sacrifices
Married friends often list things they gave up when they got married: "once I was married, I gave up my dream on writing that book," etc. It's certainly possible to pursue individual goals and improve yourself within a relationship, but it's much easier in single life. (opens in new tab)
You Second Guess
I struggle with this the most: how will I know when that person is the one I should settle down with? (opens in new tab)And if this question still creeps up 2 years in and onward, it's a little scary to consider it...but you always wonder, right?
You make Group Decisions
How much easier is it to make decisions on your own? When you're in a relationship, it becomes a group decision, or you're checking with that other person for a large percentage of your own decisions. I don't like that so much.
You're Stranded on An Island
You don't have to party forever, but life gets boring if you're not socializing as much as you used to. You must avoid being stranded on the island together.
You Fight Temptation
Sometimes you do run into a person that is motivated and "new." But if you're taken, you must resist this temptation. (opens in new tab)
What scares you most about long term relationships, and do you agree or disagree with my list?
Follow me on Twitter:twitter.com/richravens (opens in new tab)
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