Picture this: you strike up a new relationship, and there are fireworks right away. You begin to feel awash with happiness, and you start to think that you’ve finally found that special someone. Fast forward 90 days, and the magic is gone—you’re left wondering how your intoxicating relationship could have changed so drastically in such a short period of time. Does this sound familiar? If so, don’t despair, it’s an all-too-common problem.
The 90-day curse can be incredibly frustrating if you’re ready for a serious relationship, but if you can just take the time to understand what causes this pattern, then you can take steps to break it. Take some time to grasp these three hallmarks of a doomed relationship so you can avoid that painful crash and burn at the 90-day mark.
1. Sexual chemistry is the priority. If there are so many sparks flying early in your relationships that it’s practically a fire hazard, you might be prioritizing your attraction to him over genuine compatibility. That’s fine if you’re looking for a fling, but it’ll never last. It usually takes about 90 days for the initial thrill of that sexual chemistry to fizzle out, so you have to consider long-term building blocks early on in the relationship. Will he make a good partner? Can you depend on him? Do your goals align? Is he really into your relationship, or is he mainly interested in sex?
Try to wait to have sex with him until you know whether the relationship has true potential. The right man will never pressure you to have sex sooner because he’ll primarily be interested in getting to know you better. That means that if you float the idea of waiting a while to have sex and your new man isn’t too keen, it’s a good indicator that your relationship isn’t build to last. It might be tough to suppress your attraction, but it will pay off in the long run.
2. It’s a microwave romance. What exactly is a microwave romance? It’s a relationship that heats up quickly, and often explodes in your face. You get emotionally involved far too early, and expect more than you ought to in the “getting to know each other” phase. With your emotions at stake, you may begin to expect a commitment, while he might be left wondering why you’re so demanding when the two of you have only just begun your journey.
The best thing you can do to avoid a microwave romance is to simply take it slow. Pace yourself. Don’t heat up at a rate you can’t sustain—your relationship is not last night’s leftovers; if it’s meant to be, it’ll keep. When you stay open to seeing where things are headed rather than getting annoyed that he isn’t meeting your already-impossible expectations, you’ll be much more fun to be with. Don’t apply undue pressure to yourself or to your new beaux, just enjoy getting to know him and let the chips fall where they may.
3. You sabotage relationships because you’re scared of love. Believe it or not, the people who want relationships the most will often undermine them at the critical moment—even subconsciously—because of fear. If you’ve been burned in the past by cheating, abuse, or a messy breakup, you might be scared of opening yourself up to heartbreak again. Maybe deep down you can’t shake this gnawing feeling that you don’t deserve love or happiness. These feelings may be partly to blame for your rocky love life, and facing them head-on can give you the tools to help you break free from the curse of the 90-day relationship.
First and foremost, you have to recognize that you can change your love life. Putting yourself out there in earnest does not mean that you have to get hurt again. Millions of people have had bad experiences with love, addressed their issues, changed their patterns, and then ended up in happy and fulfilling relationships—there’s no reason that you can’t, too.
The Bottom Line
It’s easy to blame your lackluster love life on the men who can’t commit, or the ones who just aren’t that into you, but the truth is that you’ll find more freedom and power when you take responsibility for your mistakes then make an active effort to break unproductive patterns.
It can be tough to turn inward and ask how you’ve been contributing to your own issues, but if you want to break the curse of the 90-day relationship and achieve the fulfilling love life you desire, then it’s a journey you have to take on.