Why do some couples fail and others not? Can you ever tell whose going to make it? Is there some secret recipe for relationship longevity?
This topic came up the other night when I was talking to my partner. He mentioned that the partners in a couple we know are quite different from each other and he saw that (amongst other things) as a stumbling block for them being together forever. I wasn’t so convinced. I pointed out that we’re also somewhat different and many people didn’t think we’d last as long as we have. He conceded this was true.
I think sometimes when you’ve been together as long as we have you can start to feel a bit like an authority on relationships. But, when I start feeling this way, I just remind myself Jared is my first boyfriend and this is my first adult relationship. Yes, we are very happy 99% of the time but we definitely don’t have things figured out. And, even if I do sometimes feel like we’re nailing this whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing, not everyone is into what we’re into so who am I to hold myself up as the Knower of All Things Commitment? Hell, I can’t even commit to the fucking gym some weeks.
That being said, there are a few signs that tend to crop up when things aren’t going so well in LoverLand. If a couple fights all the time or rarely spends time together or there’s dishonesty, cheating or control issues, you might assume the end is nigh. However, some people will stay with someone no matter what (for whatever reason) and some people thrive in what others would call dysfunction. Basically everyone’s different and I know there are many people out there who would be unhappy in my relationship, even though it works for me.
I don’t think it matters how alike you are, what the age difference is or if you met on Tinder or any other myriad of excuses people give for why something will/won’t work. I think it comes down to whether or not you wake up in the morning and still see more things you like about that person than things you don’t like. Do the things you love outweigh the things that annoy you? And there will be things that annoy you. Do you still enjoy their company? Can you still recognise the person you fell in love with? Are you excited about the future? Can you see them playing a meaningful role in it?
Because if you have that glimmer of hope/faith/love, you’ll be able to get through those times when you can’t bear the sight of them. When you want to tape their mouths shut or lock them out of the house or lock yourself out of the house and throw away the key. Or go for a walk and keep walking. Forever. You get the picture.
You have to remember who they were to you and then whatever strife you’re going through will seem minor and temporary because you know that person’s still in there. They’re just annoying the fuck out of you right now.