You’ve been married and it ended in getting divorced. You met someone else and everything seemed perfect but after dating and spending lots of time together it all ended somewhat unexpectedly. So what went wrong?
Limerance - what's that?
It would be wonderful if the all consuming intensity of the first stage of a relationship could last forever but it never does. In fact it lasts for as little as three months but can last for up to three years. This is known as ‘limerance’.
This is a good time to settle down with someone as you are more likely to overlook their faults and studies show that the optimum length of time for courtship is between 18 months and three years when the love hormones – oxytocin, phenylethylamine and dopamine – are at their peak in a relationship.
However when this wears off and boredom sets in this is also a critical point for a relationship and many a marriage has ended when one or other of the partners decides that going off to find a divorce solicitor will solve all their relationship problems.
The biological clock
For women, their desire to have children in their thirties will help determine their desire for stability. Men alos have a biological clock related to their ability to become an active father but theirs starts ticking a little later at around 42 and where a first family is involved this situation can become even more complicated with many divorced men and women unwilling to risk another failed marriage and the attendant heartache of getting a divorce.
The commitment clock does not stop at any prescribed age but can go on ticking well into middle age where a couple may have a perfectly affable relationship without living together or taking the decision to marry and this can continue till the death of one of them puts an end to any prospect of marriage (or divorce) or co-habitation.
No longer the most important thing
Being able to tell when you have reached the point of no commitment is not too difficult. If your relationship is no longer mutually exclusive or one of you starts to spend more time with girlfriends or down the pub then it is probably time to close the door on things.
Salvaging the situation
Couples often teeter on the edge of commitment before falling out of love and because they fail to confront what is happening. This can also occur within marriage and often leads to a couple seeking a divorce instead of trying to resolve the situation. If you feel you have missed the boat then it may not be too late to salvage the situation.
A relationship can be resurrected by meeting for dates as you might have done in the earlier stages and making an effort to get to know each other all over again and remember, it s not only men who can pop the question so take courage and do the asking, it may be just what he was waiting for.