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A relationship dip: is this the end?

  1. You think it's all right. But then suddenly annoyances arise, a 'dead' feeling inside, doubts. Is this the end? Mostly not. Know what kind of relationship dip you're dealing with and what to do about it.

Temporary or permanent?

  1. Using the following rule of thumb, you can distinguish the temporary dip from a structural dip, which presents a much more serious stumbling block. With a structural dip, you always end up in the same hopeless tangle of arguments and grief: arguments and annoyances come to the same point every time and nothing changes, no matter what you try. Then it is (very) questionable whether you still have a future. Things are different with the temporary dip. It gives a period of "small" arguments, ambiguities and questions, but you can talk them out, you can work on it together and change things. Ultimately, you both learn from it and your relationship gets stronger and better. There is another way to characterize the dip: it is the turning point to a new phase in your relationship. Those turning points are - more or less - time-bound. Psychologists use a lot of divisions, but a relatively clear division is that in three. The first comes after a few months to a year, the second after a few years, the third after about seven years. Note: this is very global! Dip one may come for you after three months, for another after a year.

Dip 1: pink glasses shattered

  1. Finally you had it: Mr. Perfect. Who needed half a word, never wore white socks under black pants and let your Poekie jump on your lap six times a day without a murmur. But after a few months, the bright relationship horizon is suddenly cloudy. You get the flu. You expect juices in bed and the occasional pat on your pounding head. But no, he thinks it is ridiculous that you stay in bed (he never does that himself), or worse: he wants sex while you have a banging headache (his ex always did). And what do your watery eyes see from under your duvet? A pair of white socks under black pants… just because you're too weak to resist! Subtitles for this situation sketch: This is a typical example of the first dip in your relationship. That thick plate that you had in mind in the beginning (rose scent, super sex, only having eyes for each other) breaks to pieces from both sides. And then it is literally bending or cracking. This dip comes as soon as your crush falls a bit, and that can be after a few months, but also after a year. For reassurance, the shorter your relationship lasts, the more stupid and small the things that annoy you. So don't be too hard on signs of pettiness: you are only human. Him too.

Now what?

  1. Realize that reality always catches up with you, even in a relationship. That in itself is not bad, but painful. It is a sign that you should look at him honestly and at your relationship: do you see a distorted picture? Are you being unreasonable for covertly accusing him of not being the ideal man he "should" be (and the question is, are you really that ideal woman yourself?), Or do you see real stumbling blocks? And in the latter case, can you compromise or accept immutable things? Or are they things that you find insurmountable in a relationship? Time to choose: stick to your wishes (which hopefully are not illusions) and look for the next one, or courageously further on the way to base 2 or true love. As Nicolette (34): "My relationships never lasted longer than three months. When my boyfriend and I had known each other for almost so long, friends said: go and pack your bags. Indeed, the only time I really wanted to break up came during that period. Something bothered me about him from the start: his talk, something arrogant. When he was very annoying during a phone call, I said I wanted to break up. A good conversation followed. We have been together for seventeen years now, and married. "

Signs of a pink-glasses dip:

  1. (So don't worry too much ..) Suddenly you can smell his morning breath. He says you use too much makeup and laugh too hard. You decide he has to quit smoking, nail biting, indoor football He refuses to kiss you when you are wearing your rabbit slippers.

Dip 2: evaluation!

  1. If you have survived dip one unscathed, you often have a breather for a while. Dip number two comes after about a few years. Then it's about more than the wrong socks. Logically, you are also deeper in your relationship, you know each other better. So on Sunday issue you sit together very peacefully reading the newspaper together, you always first the book supplement, he abroad. You look sideways and think: are you the man of my life? Or would I be happier with that nice colleague / tennis teacher / postman? You break out in a sweat. Confused, you mumble about cigarettes. You leave, jump on the racing bike, but twenty kilometers further you are still not out… Continue or break?

Now what?

  1. Not sure if he's the one? Ask yourself critical questions about yourself, him and your relationship. A very good help (also for unmarried persons!) Is Mira Kirschenbaum's book 'Divorce or Stay.' Important questions are often surprisingly simple. For example: if things are going well between you, is it really good? Is there at least one thing that the two of you can passionately engage in together (and I don't just mean sex, of course)? What is your first reaction to the idea that you will still be with him in five years? Also turn the matter around and ask yourself not "why should I go", but "what are the arguments for staying". How is your daily life together? Do you see that for two years without any demonstrable result as a "road to better", or as a pleasant life with some surmountable points for improvement? All in all, make a fair decision: is this a relationship to invest in or to let go of? After all this time together you really have enough facts to make a realistic choice. Liesbet (32) is also doing pluses and minuses: "I still think he's very sweet after five years. I compare him to friends of friends and think I'm better off. But I have question marks. His enormous career drive, his tendency to superficiality. The idea that somewhere, without my knowing it, the real man of my life is walking around, that makes me sweat in my hands. "

Signs that you are in a relationship dip:

  1. (So there is work to be done) You want to spend a month on a desert island with nothing but your diary and your thoughts. Daily things no longer take precedence over your love questions. You calculate advantages and disadvantages for all your friends and sometimes even acquaintances and hope that they can juggle the answer whether you should stay or go, like a rabbit from their top hat. You look at your loved one with critical eyes, and try to solve it as a mathematical sum: who exactly are you? What do I really think of you? How do you behave towards me - as towards someone your great love, or as towards a vague friend? You come across all kinds of attractive potential partners against your will and you keep asking yourself: would you perhaps be a better fit for me? Am I not throwing my life away?

Dip 3: big life questions

  1. One morning you are standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom (fluorescent light) and you see your first crow's feet. Shock, horror, life doesn't last forever! Choices have to be made. Getting married, children? Does he want that? Isn't this pub tiger a little too infantile to be a good father? Is this your last chance to find the overwhelming passion you dreamed of as a teenager? Are you crazy that you have been sleepwalking for all these years while you had to make great choices about the future? When he comes in innocently to shave, you are overheated with all sorts of questions: what he thinks life is about ... what his goals are ... how he sees your future .. what he thinks about difference x or problem y do .. and so on. And his answer depends on whether he can still put his glass of water on your bedside table tonight, you decide in a slightly panicked state.

Now what?

  1. Known as the infamous seven year itch, this dip marks the evaluation of your entire life. Your life questions, the choices that determine your destiny, are intertwined with it. Is your relationship for "eternity", or at least for an affirmative answer to the question: "And now never another?" Connie (30): "Six months before the relationship with my boyfriend finally broke down, I had a deep dip. After all these years I just didn't like him anymore, felt that he was only concerned with himself. I wanted to get married someday, not he. In short, I only saw the bad sides and I broke up. But now I'm sorry. I don't come across anything nice, realize again how much I love him. Maybe it was a mistake after all… "Moral: think twice. But: think. Because this dip is difficult, but in fact fantastic good for a conscious (further) interpretation of your life. Do you want to find out when you turn 90 that your "ladder of life" was against the wrong wall? In other words: it is about what you yourself think your life should offer you, and the question whether he can play a role in this. Requirement one is thinking, feeling, experiencing what your heart tells you about the situation. Requirement number two is talking. Where are the bottlenecks for you, him and both? Where are your opportunities, your strengths, the parts of the life path that you can really walk together well? For example, a good friend of mine wanted children, he didn't. They have talked until they were blue, but are still together - in the only right way: from a difficult but conscious choice for each other. They decided that the points where their lives fit together were more important than that one point where they didn't.

Signs that you are in a life phase dip:

  1. (Time to take a good look at your own soul) Over the past month, you asked him at least two questions on topics such as: growing old together, getting married, buying a house. Your heart shrinks when he says he's exhausted after spending the night babysitting your sister's kids. Does this mean he is secretly a child hater? He asks if you would like to live in Huize Avondrood when you are 75 or rather in a renovated villa in Portugal (both with him, of course).

Continue reading about relations

  1. What can the relationship therapist do for you?



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