How do you get past the “7-year itch”?
You have probably heard the expression, and you may even be familiar with the comedy movie “the 7-year itch” featuring Marilyn Monroe.
Clearly, a long-term couple is defined as two individuals that have been together, married or not, for quite a few years. It used to be that twenty years was considered “long term”. Today, the twenty-year commitment has shrunk considerably, and it is probably safe to assume that the “seven-year itch” could be renamed the “three-year itch” if we put our current trends in perspective.
If you google the main reasons for this milestone in a relationship, it comes down to a decline in happiness and a surge of boredom. You become too entrenched in your daily routine, too comfortable in your slippers, and too predictable. In other words, it is something that can be fixed, and YOU can fix it. How? The answer is simple: keep the romance going! Oh, you have children, and they are completely in the way? That is understandable, but not unsolvable. You may be one of those protective parents who will not trust grandma and grandpa for half a day, even less, hire a baby-sitter. If that is the case, the situation can be tricky. However, that is not the majority. Most people manage to escape from the kids, making all three generations perfectly happy thereby.
It is very important to do that at least once a month for the sake of your union. Have a date with your other half, surprise her, impress her - and by the way, you can replace “her” by “him” … It goes both ways! Plan a walk around the lake together, then go to dinner. On a tight budget? Then go back home for dinner, and make it special, cook a meal that would be considered out of the ordinary. It does not have to be exceedingly fancy, but it should be unique by your standards. It does not have to be lobster and caviar, but it should be creative.
How does a French dinner sound? Unattainable? Think twice! Yes, it would be so if you were going out - French restaurants tend to be pricey just because they are “French”, but French cooking at home can be quite simple. You decide who surprises whom with the appetizer, the entrée, the side dish, and the dessert, and … Voilà! Light up the candles, turn on the spa music, and bring out the fine dinnerware. After dinner, sit on the patio outside, build a small bon fire, gaze at the stars, play cards or Scrabble, bring out the guitar, and talk to one another with the background sound of the cicadas – softly, calmly, stress-free. Treat her like you treated her the first night you took her out and tell her how much you appreciate what she does for you, for the children, for the household. You will earn brownie points. Careful the way you express that appreciation… Be natural and genuine. If your praises are too contrived, it may be at the risk of losing those brownie points…
You see, the reasons for the “3-year / 7-year / x-year” itch are numerous - You take each other for granted, or you spend too much time on the phone or with the kids, or you have no common interests. Whatever the reason is, you need to start bringing some romance back. Think about it: it is the romance that started this relationship and that solidified it. If you take the romance out, you are taking the bubbles out of the champagne, and it will go flat. You need to keep the bubbles in it. You need to keep the romance going.