Is your relationship experiencing the 'five-year fizzle?' Here are the signs

Move over seven-year itch, it seems couples now have to navigate the five-year fizzle before they get there.

We all get overly comfortable with our significant others. But for some – nearly 50% of couples, in fact – the ‘spark’ and excitement in their relationship gets lost at around the four to five-year mark,

This lack of sexual chemistry seems to be compounded by a lack of work/life balance and money worries, which 60% of couples found impacted them the most as their five-year anniversary loomed.

All this seems to create a perfect storm for couples who also reported cheating and infidelity becoming an issue at the four or five-year point, as well as trust issues and disagreements.

Paired, a dating app for couples, polled more than 1,000 users and found that mental health problems for those in a couple also peaked at the five-year mark. However, these were shown to tail off as the relationship continued.

The app’s in-house relationship expert, Moraya Seeger DeGeare, says that, while each relationship is unique, these are the common signs of fizzle that you might want to look out for:

  • You’re easily irritated by your partner
  • You feel emotionally disconnected
  • You don’t prioritise spending time together
  • You’re not interested in resolving conflicts
  • You have little to no emotional connection
  • You stop doing new fun things together
  • Your partner is not the first person you want to share exciting news with.

Don’t worry if this is what your relationship is looking like at the moment – Moraya says there’s still hope to change things.

‘It’s always possible to shift from feeling disconnected to reconnecting with your partner if you’re both willing to put attention and energy into finding each other again,’ she explains.

‘Sometimes you “lose the spark” because life gets in the way, and you forget to make time for intimacy, but other times it’s because there was a big rupture in the relationship (such as infidelity). The reason you drifted apart doesn’t always directly indicate how easy it is to feel that deep connection and spark again.’

For couples staring down the barrel of this five-year fizzle, Moraya has some advice.

‘The first thing I want you to know is that the spark is not real,’ she says, ‘so searching for it is a lost cause.

‘Shift your focus back to a place of being curious about your partner and what
might be blocking you from inviting your partner into knowing you deeper. So when you think “We don’t tingle like we once did”, shift your curiosity to “What blocks me from feeling open to my partner being as intensely close as we felt when we started dating?”

‘For most of us, it’s prioritising time and having moments of intimate connection without distraction. When we lose the ability to truly pay attention to our partner and the relationship needs, that’s when we want to tune in even more.’

It’s time to start thinking about what you’re really missing about and from your partner.

Moraya says: ‘Often it feels easier to complain about what isn’t working, but instead think of framing it as what you desire and what you can do together.

‘Try saying “What is satisfying to me is when we massage each other after a relaxing bath,” instead of saying “When we first dated you used to actually want to spend time together, not just have sex. You don’t do that anymore.”

‘So we take the blame out and simply ask for what you want.’

Moraya’s tops tips for fighting the fizzle:

As for how long fighting the fizzle will take, Moraya says: ‘There’s no fixed timeline — it’ll take however long it will take. As you work on improving your communication skills, open up about what might have caused you to drift apart.

‘You can then work on addressing those underlying problems and rebuild trust and affection with your partner. It can take time to rekindle a sense of closeness and requires consistent effort and commitment from both partners.

‘In the process of working on your relationship, don’t lose sight of what’s going well. Staying present to feeling a sense of belonging with your partner, having passion with them, and feeling like you understand each other in whatever chapter of life you are in is a key part of feeling connected and having little moments that spark your craving for each other.’

And remember, it’s completely up to you whether you think your relationship is worth fighting for, or you’re better off spreading your wings and going it alone.

Moraya explains: ‘As a relationship therapist, one of the most common
questions I get is “Is it okay if I do xyz” and I always first respond with “What do you WANT to do?”

‘When it comes to intimate relationships, we need to know what we want and ask
for it. Relationships will include a lot of compromise, but if you get to a point of not wanting the relationship anymore you need to trust that and talk to your partner about it.

‘Not feeling a “spark” is often not why people end a long-term relationship, but if it is what ends your relationship, then that’s okay.’

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

Source: Read Full Article

Previous post Sophy Ridge panics when expert explains how easily he can frame her
Next post Are shops open on bank holiday Monday? Opening times for Tesco, B&Q…