I always remember people saying to me, seven years be mindful of the seven year itch …..And so when I got to this milestone I was expecting and prepared for the worst. Would I suddenly fall out of love, feel the need to explore other pathways, become some sort of vixen on the prowl for excitement and adventure ….well I would have to say …..no! Seven years turned into 14 and then 21 etc. – pretty uneventful! I guess for me the itch came towards the end of the relationship when I felt the world was my oyster.
So if the seven year itch is nothing more than perhaps a myth, is there any mileage in exploring the urge to move on and the temptation of pastures green? At what stage, if at all does the itch need addressing, probably around the same time when your partner becomes un-attentive or less attentive?
When you first enter into a relationship everything is fresh and dynamic, effort gets made, special little touches integrated into the fabric, sex is mind blowing and your new +1 is quite frankly your shining fairytale knight. So at what stage do the rose tinted glasses come off? Again this depends upon a number of factors. Firstly how you were treated in a former relationship…if the new relationship ticks the boxes and previous flaws or issues that existed in the last relationship are no longer an issue then the chances of sustainability are promising. Secondly, security – and I am a great advocate of the more secure a woman feels the less likely her barriers will go up and the greater the contribution is then made to the life cycle of the relationship. Next …. risk analysis – if your new partner is worth taking a risk on for whatever reason and they have proved that they are worthy then the risk becomes lower as does the need to ‘itch’. Acceptance – being approved by friends and family and accepted into the inner sanctum is important and can contribute to the health and success of a longer relationship. Then comes the attachment/detachment part which is an immeasurable factor that tends to slip and slide depending on how you are feeling emotively and how attached you were to your current partner and possibly how detached you are from your ex.
Attachment/detachment can be difficult because emotions are involved, especially if the itch involves regression back to an ex. Emotion isn’t a tick box criterion; it is more like a qualitative analysis that can really screw with your head. Maybe it is just me, but I wouldn’t say based on other girlfriends opinions that I am an atypical type of woman but! ….emotion is the catalyst for the ‘itch’. This can be influenced by any of the factors previously listed, or it can just be how you feel towards a partner at a given point in time (this could change within a matter of minutes). So if emotion acts as the cause and instigates the effect, what intervention tools can be used to diffuse an issue, situation or possible ‘itch’ leading to a break-up?
Intervention tools, well I guess for women tick boxes in terms of feeling loved, secure, and wanted and desired are a must (and yes this goes for men also). If any one of these falls out of balance then the outlook short-term is not good, and if left unattended can escalate to something much more serious long-term. It is difficult to maintain a balance of around 90-100% for each of these simultaneously. This is exasperated if the relationship is geographically long-distance, if there is historical ‘ex’ baggage, if there are doubts about long-term survival because of family or work commitments or if there are variances in age, religion or culture.
Which brings me to a rather convoluted conclusion, if the seven year itch is a myth, is the need to look elsewhere and instigate change under the ‘umbrella’ of an ‘itch’ also a myth? If you’re going to screw around, pastures green etc. don’t wrap it up in some pre-determined ideology of it’s a natural thing that happens at a certain point in time like a mid-life crisis. If you’re going to do it! Do it – but be warned itches on a prolonged basis tend to develop into a nasty rash!
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