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7-Year Itch? Should Be 4-Year Itch Actually

7-Year Itch? Should Be 4-Year Itch Actually

Does 7-year itch really exist or not?

When couples who’ve been many years together and break up, people often become so shocked and would attribute that to 7-year itch.

“Oh…how come? They’ve been so sweet together! I just can’t believe that…Maybe it’s 7-year itch…”

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It’s always a pity to see promising couples to break up. It’s like forcing you to accept the truth that nothing lasts long.

But is it really a phenomenon we can’t avoid? Or, it’s just an excuse?

7-year itch is partly truth

Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University, did a project to see if 7-year itch really exist or not.

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She found that although the median duration of marriage was 7 years, most of them divorced at the 4th year[1].

    ▲The peak is at the 4th year

    Image credit: Statistics New Zealand

    By coincidence, another research shows similar results. This time the researcher Dr. Larry A. Kurdek, studied more than 500 couples to see the trend of their marital satisfaction over the years. The biggest decline occurs at the 4th year. And there’s a second decline at the 7th year, which scale is smaller though.[2]

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    Some reasons scientists suggested for the 4-year itch and 7-year itch

    4-year itch

    For the peak at the 4th year, researcher Helen Fisher tried to explain it by taking references from animals. She said most mammals don’t stay with their partners forever. Usually they just stay with them long enough to raise their offsprings to the age of 4. After that it’s time to say goodbye. This is also a common phenomenon in some tribes. Biologically speaking, this is beneficial because as they have offsprings with different partners, the genetic variety increases.[3]

    7-year itch

    For the 7th-year decline, one explanation is that human has big changes every 7 years[4]. This is a theory that has been widely adopted in the education field. That’s why a lot of educational systems divide children’s development into three stages from the age of 0-6/7, 6/7-14 and 14 and up.

    So…should I try to save the relationship or not?

    The 4-year itch and 7-year itch do exist. But it doesn’t mean every relationship that reaches the 4th year or the 7th year is doomed. If you can overcome such crisis, your relationship will only become stronger.

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    One important thing to note though is that you should make sure if you are just bored, or you’re really in a wrong relationship. Once you know the person is right for you, don’t let the petty stuff and time ruin you. If the person is wrong, don’t hold on for the sake of holding on. The 4-year itch and 7-year itch might just help you make up your mind better!

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    More by this author

    Chloe Chong

    Chloe is a social media expert and shares lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on October 17, 2019

    How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

    How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

    You see your partner every single day. They are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you kiss goodnight.

    But does seeing each other day in and day out equal a healthy relationship? Not necessarily.

    Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong. This means going above and beyond sitting together while you watch Netflix or going out for the occasional dinner. You deserve more from your relationship – and so does your spouse!

    What does quality time mean? It means spending time with your spouse without interruption. It’s a chance for you to come together and talk. Communication will build emotional intimacy and trust.

    Quality time is also about expressing love in a physical way. Not sex, necessarily (but that’s great, too!) but through hand-holding, cuddling, caressing, and tickling. Studies show that these displays of affection will boost partner satisfaction.[1]

    So how do you spend quality time with your partner? Here are 13 relationship tips on making the most out of your time with your partner.

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    1. Recognize the Signs

    If you want a healthy relationship, you have to learn how to recognize the signs that you need to spend more quality time together.

    Some telltale signs include:

    • You’re always on your phones.
    • You value friendships or hobbies over quality time with your spouse.
    • You aren’t together during important events.
    • You are arguing more often or lack connection.
    • You don’t make plans or date nights.
    • You’re not happy.

    If you are experiencing any of these relationship symptoms, know that quality time together can reverse the negative effects of the signs above.

    2. Try New Things Together

    Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language? How about skydive or ballroom dance?

    Instead of viewing these as solo hobbies and interests, why not involve your partner?

    Trying new activities together builds healthy relationships because it encourages spouses to rely on one another for emotional and physical support.

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    Shared hobbies also promote marital friendship, and the Journal of Happiness Studies found that marital satisfaction was twice as high for couples who viewed each other as best friends.[2]

    3. Schedule in Tech-Free Time

    Your phone is a great way to listen to music, watch videos, and keep up-to-date with friends and family. But is your phone good for your relationship?

    Many couples phone snub, or ‘phub’, one another. Studies show that phubbing can lower relationship satisfaction and increase one’s chances of depression.[3]

    Reduce those chances by removing distractions when spending quality time together and showing your partner they have your full attention.

    4. Hit the Gym as a Couple

    One way you can spend more time together as a couple is by becoming workout partners. Studies show that couples are more likely to stay with their exercise routine if they work out together.[4] Couples also work out harder than they would solo. One study found that 95 percent of couples who work out together maintained weight loss compares to the 66 percent of singles who did.[5]

    Join a gym, do at-home couples’ workouts, try couples yoga, hit the hiking trails, or get your bikes out. No matter which way you choose to exercise, these healthy activities can promote a healthy relationship.

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    5. Cook Meals Together

    Pop open a bottle of wine or put some romantic music on while you get busy – in the kitchen, of course!

    One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together.[6]

    Spice things up and try and prepare a four-course meal or a fancy French dish together. Not only is this a fun way to spend your time together, but it also promotes teamwork.

    If all goes well, you’ll have a romantic date night meal at home that you prepared with your four hands. And if the food didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you are guaranteed to have a laugh and create new memories together.

    6. Have a Regular Date Night

    Couples experience a greater sense of happiness and less stress when they are spending quality time together.[7] One of the biggest relationship tips for a healthy partnership is to include a date night in your weekly routine.

    The National Marriage Project found that having a weekly date night can make your relationship seem more exciting and helps prevent relationship boredom.[8] It also lowers the probability of divorce, improves your sex life, and increases healthy communication.

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    Some great ideas for what to do on your date night include:

    • Have a movie marathon – Gather up your favorite flicks and cuddle up on the couch.
    • Play games together – Cards, board games, video games, and other creative outlets are a fun way to spend quality time together.
    • Recreate your first date – Go back to that restaurant and order the same meal you did when you first got together. You can spice up your evening by pretending you’re strangers meeting for the first time and see how sexy the night gets.
    • Plan a weekend getaway – There’s nothing better than traveling with the one you love.
    • Dinner and a movie – A classic!
    • Try a new restaurant – Make it your mission to rate and try all of the Mexican restaurants/Irish pubs/Italian trattorias in your area.
    • Have a long sex session – Intimacy promotes the release of the oxytocin hormone which is responsible for a myriad of great feelings.[9]

    Here’re even more date night ideas for your reference: 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

    Final Thoughts

    The benefits of spending quality time together are endless. Here are just some of the ways it can contribute to a healthy relationship:

    • Improves emotional and physical intimacy
    • Lowers divorce rates
    • Improves communication
    • Reduces marital boredom
    • Bonds couples closer
    • Improves friendship
    • Boosts health
    • Reduces stress

    These are all excellent reasons to start making date night a regular part of your week.

    It’s easy to have a healthy relationship when you set aside dedicated time to share with your spouse. Try new things together, make your spouse your workout buddy, and look for innovative ways to be close and connected.

    These relationship tips will bring great benefits to your marriage.

    Featured photo credit: Allen Taylor via unsplash.com

    Reference

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