How to avoid the seven-year itch
eharmony is celebrating getting over the ‘7 year itch’ with its 8 year anniversary in Australia, but does the itch phenomenon still exist in relationships? Psychologist and dating coach Melanie Schilling says yes and explains how to avoid it.
Believe it or not, the old cliché of the 7 Year Itch still exists. I thought this was an outdated, old-fashioned, rather sexist excuse for men to stray in relationships. I thought this was something that happened in the 50s and 60s, I thought we had evolved beyond this into a more mature stage of our development where we can tolerate, or even celebrate, monogamy.
I was wrong.
The research still supports the 7 Year Itch phenomenon in long-term relationships. Worldwide trends indicate that monogamous relationships often last for the period of time it takes to raise a child or two through the risky infancy years, then if the relationship is not stable, things can break down.
If you are already in a relationship and want to maximise your chances of going the distance, pop over HERE for eharmony USA’s tips on how to future-proof your relationship.
What if you’re single? How can you avoid future 7 Year itchiness?
In short, connect with the right person.
If you’re single, it pays to make sure you hook up with someone you share deep compatibility with – someone who shares your values, has alignment with your big ticket items (like having kids or religion) and who shares a common vision for your future life together.
Whilst it is almost impossible to accurately predict who might stray and who might stay, (if only I had a crystal ball), keep an eye out for the following 3 risk factors:
Itchiness Risk Factors
Explore their previous relationships and look for evidence of becoming easily bored or restless in committed relationships. Do they have a history of ‘running away’ when things got tough? This can sometimes be a predictor of future behavioural patterns.
Itchiness in other areas
Consider their approach to other, non-relationship areas of their life and look for indicators of ‘stick-ability’ or otherwise. Do they have long-term friendships? Deep relationships with family members? A long-term membership to a gym or club? Have they committed to a mortgage or other long-term investment? These can be signs that they are not scared of commitment or long-term connections.
What does your intuition tell you? If you get a feeling that they are not in it for the long haul, trust it. Don’t write them off immediately but do investigate further. Ask questions. Explore. Gather more information until you are satisfied.
So, my advice is to be alert but not alarmed. Be aware that the 7 Year Itch is out there but don’t become obsessed with it. It’s a bit like the divorce rate; we all know what the statistics say and it’s good to be mindful of this, but don’t let it become your primary focus.
Do you have any other tips for avoiding the 7 year itch? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.
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