When it comes to relationships, there’s no such thing as the perfect match. Even when your compatibility seems ideal from the start, chances are good that you’ll run into some problems down the road. After two years of being together, it’s natural that you may start to grow apart as a couple; While being compatible with your partner is a key factor in ensuring a long-lasting relationship, it’s not going to work for everyone. Those who have trouble supporting each other in different areas may find themselves growing apart, and the question that you need to ask yourself is whether the problems that you’re experiencing are a cause for concern or if they’re simply normal growing pains.
Let’s explore some of the top reasons why couples break up after two years of being together, and what you can do to work on it.
Lack of communication
Communication is one of the most important factors in a lasting relationship. Think about it: you are two separate beings, brought up in different ways, with different experiences, values, dreams and expectations. Even if you’re with the hottest person in the world, eventually you’re gonna have to check whether you’re both on the same page about where you’re going and what you want. How are you gonna do that if you can’t communicate with each other!
Communication helps you understand each other and resolve the issues that arise during your time together. Couples who don’t communicate well will have a difficult time overcoming the challenges that they’re facing: Yelling to be heard, insulting one-another out of hurt or frustration, closing up to protect yourself or just giving up…None of these will ever foster an open and safe line of communication, only distance, resentment, and a dead-end.
Issues that pop up around the two-year mark are often those around deciding the future of the relationship, and committing to a life together; if you can’t get onboard with each other now it certainly doesn’t bode well going forward.
It’s normal to have issues in communication, and just because you are soul-mates doesn’t make you mind-readers! It is important to understand that in order to get to that dream life together you’re gonna have to work on it, open up and be honest.
You don’t share the same interests
One of the most common problems that may cause couples to break up is when one partner doesn’t share the same interests as their partner. Having interests that are different from your partner will inevitably cause problems in a relationship, as you aren’t able to support, nurture and engage with that part of their life. The two of you will be locked away in your separate pursuits and not comfortably share that thing that brings you joy with the one that you love.
Of course i’m not saying you need to be stuck at the hip, doing the same things all day, every day (I loved some of my Exes dearly but like hell am I going to love gold-prospecting all weekend, or footy). But it is important for longevity to at least be able to connect in something other than sex; seriously, the sex drive and attraction to our partners DEFINITELY wanes naturally over time as our other attachment hormones kick in, and you need other things to maintain that deep connection to each other. Otherwise, you become two floating strangers, longing for a deeper connection with someone (-else, usually).
You’re constantly arguing
We argue because we aren’t on the same page. And when we are still not on the same page about the same things, that’s when it gets real.
Couples who argue frequently are not a good match, and if you find yourself locked in hours-long discussions circling back to the same issues, no doubt you will both be incredibly drained and stressed. I know the movies often portray heated arguments between lovers as a weird passionate Pride and Prejudice thing, but in the real world that shit is just tiring and infuriating and doesn’t work for anyone.
The fact is you are locked in your views on a particular (or multiple) thing/s and unless you are able to communicate effectively about it and resolve the issues, they will erode the foundations of your relationship. Trust, honesty, values, love, safety…these are things that come into question for you both as you try to shoe-horn your way of thinking into each other’s mind; and at this point in the relationship you are well past the point of worrying about being polite.
Delve deeper with each other to see what the issues are really about; what is it that is fundamentally upsetting your sense of safety and trust. Communicate it with love, respect and vulnerability, and get help with it if you need to from a counsellor.
Often the most important thing here is how you deal with the issues together (not necessarily the issues in themselves) and agreeing on a path forward that works for you both. If that isn’t established, then it is definitely the time to think about what a life without that balance is going to do for you (Spoiler alert, it sucks).
You have different values and priorities
This is pretty much the basis for the ‘arguing’ paragraph above, when we might rally for a way of living that isn’t exactly what the other had in mind. We question their priorities and how that impacts our safety, security and designs on how you want your life to go, and when they don’t align very well there is often alot of worry and friction.
One massive example of this is whether you both want children and if so, when. Two years in is when we seriously consider what our life will be like with this person long-term, and bebes are pretty dang well near the top for alot of folk. Time after time I hear about couples that break up over the idea that one isn’t ready for kids now, or at all, and given it is a major desire for many to build a family in such a way it can be devastating to know that they will never have that with this person, or on the flip-side that it will be a pre-requisite for the relationship to continue. Neither path is wrong, but if you aren’t on the same one it brings about some hard decisions.
It’s really important to understand that while you may have different values and priorities, it doesn’t always have to be a cause for concern. Every couple has different values and priorities to some degree because #differentpeople, and what’s helpful is that you understand your partner and that you accept your differences. You should not try to change your partner or force your partner to change their values and priorities as even if in the short-term it works, long term one or both of you won’t be living as your authentic self. If after communicating your feelings, and talking through your respective points of view you aren’t happy with those differences, it might be time to reassess the relationship which is perfectly ok. Don’t ever think that just because your values and priorities don’t align with this person, that they won’t align with someone else in the future. Do what is best for your authentic self, and seek a relationship where you are able to accommodate those differences without compromising your true feelings and needs (whether it is this one, or your next!).
You no longer feel attraction
The Mac-Daddy of reasons couples break up after 2 years; they just aren’t that into each other anymore. It might sound unlikely when you’re both infatuated with each other and hammering the nights away, shunning the incomprehensible idea that the passion can fizzle, but believe me it is far more common that people realise. The spark fades over time, and we might question whether there is someone else out there who can make you feel as you both did early on…
There are many reasons we might not feel attraction anymore, and in large part it has to do with our chemistry: Our brains naturally compensate for the inevitable decline in sexual attraction with attachment hormones – the idea being, ‘brain makes you want to mate, then brain makes you want to overlook any imperfections in your partner so they stick around and keep you safe’. When the ‘imperfections’ (ie. flaws you perceive in their looks, values, attitude, priorities, personality, money, job, friends, family etc), outweigh the brains ability to see past them, that’s when desire takes a hike.
Of course it’s possible to have chemistry and connection in your relationship even if you don’t feel attracted to your partner, and a relationship that’s based purely on mutual respect and love. However if this is not what one or both of you is looking for, then you both need to be honest. It is perfectly ok to no longer feel attraction for someone, and to want to look elsewhere to fulfil that desire you envision for your life (like, after you become single again…cheating is a dick move, always).
If there’s no attraction, you both have to be honest with yourselves. Get to the bottom of why you don’t feel attraction for each other, and if it is insurmountable, then it’s time to move one.
Couples often assume that they’re perfect for each other, but even the most compatible of couples will encounter difficulties. After two years, it’s normal for you to feel as though you’re growing apart from your partner what with the mountain of realness that comes around that time: Commitment, future plans, how you are with each other after the politeness and sexy times are relaxed…If you’re not on the same page, the two year mark is actually a really good milestone (albeit a scary one!) to check in and make sure that you are. If you are experiencing any of the issues on this list, it’s ok to confront them and figure out how to move forward in a better way.
Even though it can feel as though your relationship has hit a brick wall, it’s important to remember that it’s not a fate that you can’t overcome. With the right attitude and knowledge, you can work through the tough times. And if it is a mountain too hard to climb, it just means you’re meant for a different one. Have respect for each other, and faith in yourself; everything else will happen as it should.