Did you know that there are national (USA) statistics that outline the hallmarks of the average relationship? These statistics provide an interesting benchmark or guideline for comparison as to how you are tracking in the health and wellness of your relationship. They highlight the need to pay attention to your relationship daily with conscious loving and meaningful connection. Neglect to do so and the tell-tale cracks begin to appear! So don’t let your relationship slide – or risk becoming just another statistic in the hall of dysfunctional or unhappy relationships! Take action every day – to keep the love alive and sizzling!
A New or Recently Committed Relationship?
Ever wondered whether it’s the best or right time to take the next steps in a new or recently committed relationship? Or wondered quietly to yourself is the relationship moving forward too slowly or too fast for your liking? Or wondered if what you and your loved one is experiencing is typical or not?
When believe it or not researchers have set about to look at what is typical or rather what’s the norm or rather what are the normal time frames for a couple in a relationship to make those first and often tenuous steps to declaring their interest, love and commitment to one another…It’s a fascinating read!
The Dating Experience
Do you recall those first dates? The nervousness associated with where to go, when to hold hands, show interest, be keen and then eagerly await or anticipate the first kiss? Wondering how he or she will respond! What will the experience be like? A lingering passionate embrace or a short peck followed by a nervous withdrawal or sideways head move….or was it just a natural nuzzling in followed by the sweetest exchange of affection? Was it on the first, second or third date…?
Interested to know the norm? Research has shown that from meeting to the first kiss, is not so much a matter of the number of dates as the length of time two people have known one another! As you might expect the first kiss is a kind of landmark to a relationship forming and typically occurs in the first week of meeting!
What to Know Some Other Hallmarks of a Fledging Relationship?
So what are some of the other hallmarks of a fledging relationship? How about the first sexual encounter or introducing your new beloved to your all too curious friends? Or introducing your newly beloved to your concerned or overly critical or caring parents? In these hallmarks, times have certainly changed!
You perhaps won’t be surprised to learn that the first sexual encounter quickly follows the first of a few kisses. With the average time from meeting to bedding a mere two weeks! – So definitely within the early stages of dating! Grandma would turn in her grave!
And whereas once upon a time meeting friends or family would have occurred in the early stages of a relationship forming, this is no longer the case! The tables have turned on this one! Meeting friends and family is now seen as a much more serious commitment. With couples typically not introducing their new lover to friends, let alone family for at least six weeks after they’ve been dating! And it is not unusual for all this activity to occur without any commitment or loving words to be exchanged, such as ‘I love you’.
While I would hesitant to believe that anyone was truly in love or knew for certain that they were, in love after such a short period, these words are typically expressed by one partner or both in the first 7 weeks of meeting one another. .. (I’ll leave comment on that for another post!)
I remember well the first time I heard those words from a man. I was a third year university student and we’d been dating for a good 24 months and while we inseparable the words felt like a significant shift in the relationship had occurred! For him scary words to utter! Paramount to a proposal! And for me? I just remember how hard those words had been for him to utter, and the passion and meaning that accompanied them. So for me to say ‘Me too’ seemed too lame! Thankfully there are times when kisses can make up for words!
But times have changed and uttering loving words of affection is no longer considered a precursor to marriage. We now appreciate so much more the power of showing and demonstrating our feelings of love and connection as a means of deepening and growing the relationship. Making it so much easier these days to utter loving words in those early star struck days of early love!
Next Stages in the National Averages?
So what would you consider to be the next hallmarks or signs of a relationship progressing? Moving in together, a marriage proposal or getting engaged followed by the wedding itself? How about 30 weeks before moving in together? 2.3 years before an engagement is announced and from meeting to the wedding on average 3.6 years!
Well that‘s the national average for you….And then what?
Work on the Relationship or Lose It!
Well if you don’t keep working ON the relationship- keeping the love consciously alive and zinging here’s the national ‘s average for what I refer to as the downhill slide – assuming that you have married your childhood sweetheart or as the media prefers to refer to it TLOYL (the love of your life) you find yourself 6.2 years down the track assuming that the fact that that you no longer have the time or the desire for intimacy, (let’s be quite frank here- sexual intimacy), that is all to be expected!
In just 6.2 short years!
And if that’s the track you’re on by the age of 34 or perhaps just 9.6 years into the relationship you’ll have bought a house together and for many of you that’ll feel like a noose has just been tied around your neck! Not cause you don’t love your family, your wife and your children but because if you could change things you would! In other words you now realise that you feel trapped by the responsibility, the inability to change things and a sense that if only you had be less impatient to settle down.
Convinced that security will alter the situation- after 9.6 years together couples commit to a mortgage and financial dependency! Great! But that is for many 3.5 years after the intimacy in the relationship has stopped! Hello! Since when did a house provide security? Or feelings of being loved? Desired? It is ONLY a series of concrete walls and structures!
The average American couple has committed to a house or mortgage by the age of 34. As mentioned that is 9 to 10 years from meeting! And given another 5- 6 years that same couple is facing divorce! So 15- 16 years from that first kiss, that first elation of love and care and desire and the house of cards has crumpled!
WOW that is a huge investment in so little time. Granted that not all relationships end this way – so if for whatever reason you are one of the lucky ones…another 42.1 years and you will be widowed! Were you expecting that? Planning for that? Hell NO!
So what do I say to you? Irrespective of what might be your fate? Live every day as if it were your last! Let me repeat that EVERY day! Make every day with your loved ones COUNT! Show them how much you care! Work ON your relationship every day as if your life depended on it – It does!
The early stages of love is not where the real fun lies- it is in the next stages that real love develops and deepens! Grows and matures! And then and only then does your relationship stand the chance or opportunity of developing into the love of your life. Truly TLOML with no media hype!