A study that was reported in the Washington Post indicated a high percentage of straight unmarried couples tend to break up within the first year. Relationships fail because people remain in denial with themselves regarding what they can and can’t tolerate in that particular coupling. Every relationship generally goes through a three-panel conclusion that helps you determine if you want to be with your partner for the long term, or not.

Projecting beyond reality
A new relationship begins with projection, and for the uninitiated, that means you don’t see who the other person is, you just see who you want them to be. Side bar: isn’t projection such an apt term? I imagine someone projecting a delusion of movie-type romance onto the stars and expecting real life to mimic reel life…
Dissolve the disillusion 
Around three to four months into the relationship, this built-up image of a fairytale typically fades away. You see your partner for who they are. This stage is when you see beyond the veil, through to their innate character, personality and habits. Have issues? Never deny them when they crop up, for it’s almost certain that they will resurface sometime in the future and shoot you the trigger finger. Get to know your partner better, and at the fifth or sixth month, you will find yourselves mutually trying to decipher feelings (if any) for one another.
The “make or break” stage
Coming up to the end of the 1 year mark, you and your partner will be looking toward the near future, consciously determining if you want to be with each other from hereon out. As this is the last stop of the hayride, you have to ask yourself some pressing questions. Are strong feelings involved on both sides? What happens after the honeymoon chapter of the first year?

As it happens with all things under the sun, there are the good and the bad. Bear in mind that your relationship needs tend to change in tandem with age, situational circumstances and family demands. Resistance and moods mellow over time too. Strike a balance, give and take a little! Should you decide to stay on this bandwagon with its challenges, your partnership will only strengthen with time. Put ego aside and see the bigger picture, for we all want that end goal in the foreseeable future: a real life happy ending.

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