Throw Out Your Relationship Timeline, Because No Two Couples Are The Same

You probably know women who have their entire lives planned out — maybe you’re even one of them. You know exactly where you want to be in your personal and professional life at every turn, and the thought of veering off course probably makes you anxious as hell.

Even if you don’t go to such extremes, you likely still have a plan in mind when it comes to relationships. After all, if it’s not leading to engagement, then marriage, and eventually kids, then what are you even doing together? You’re looking at things the wrong way, and it’s time to throw out that timeline.

  1. Every couple is different. Forget what society tells you about relationships. There’s no one-size-fits-all speed for every couple. Some couples work better at hyper-speed, while other work better super slow. Stop comparing your relationship to others. You need to work with what you’ve been given.
  2. Every relationship is different. Don’t compare the speed of previous relationships with the one you’re in now. Sure, things worked well when you moved in after eight months last time, but that doesn’t mean it’ll work again. After all, you’re not even with that other guy anymore, so something definitely went wrong. Start fresh.
  3. Sometimes, fast works. You’ve likely heard of couples who moved “too fast.” They got married after knowing each other for only a week, and got it annulled a month later. But for every horror story like this one, there’s another where that same quick couple stayed together for decades. Sometimes, fast just works, if both people want it.
  4. You don’t need to get married. One of the reasons why so many marriages end in divorce is because they just didn’t want to do it in the first place. They felt like they had to because of their make-believe relationship timeline. Don’t fall into that trap. Your relationship isn’t any better off because you’ve got a piece of paper.
  5. It’s good to go with the flow. It can be hard for some people to go with the flow, myself included. But that rigidness can get you into trouble. Rather than making your relationship fit into a box, let it flow freely and see where it goes. The best relationship timeline is the one you didn’t have to plan — the one that flows naturally.
  6. You could ruin a good relationship. So you want to get married before you’re 30, but your boyfriend isn’t quite ready yet. You have to remember that a relationship is a two-way street. The timeline should be written by both people, and not just you.
  7. Most of life is out of your control. While having a fantasy for your ideal relationship is fun, it’s almost completely out of your hands. Anything can happen to disrupt your timeline, like illness, arguments, or the loss of a job. You just may not find the right guy in time to fit your ideas for getting married before you turn 30, and that’s OK. Rather than trying to make everything fit into your timeline, bend and mold your timeline to fit the circumstances.
Trisha is a full time writer living in Montana. In her free time, she paints mountainscapes on her skin with body paint and reads a ton of YA lit.