Relationships are hard, especially as we grow older and we try to settle down with one person. And in this age where finding a new ‘partner’ is as easy as buying a white handkerchief in Lagos traffic; (if those partners are good for us or have noble intentions towards us is another thing entirely) it’s incredible when two people decide to dedicate an entire year non-stop to getting to know one another, adapting to each other’s differences and investing their emotions. So it is normal to have a lot of questions, worries and even fears when you approach the one-year relationship mark with your partner especially if your purpose of dating is to get married to that person. Let’s look at some of these questions and worries.
HOW MUCH DOES HE/SHE LOVE ME?
If your partner hasn’t told you they love you, and how much they love one year into your relationship; you might be right to start wondering if they will ever say it. While it is true that men take much longer to fall in love; 365 days is more than enough to let his woman know what they are both up to in my opinion, and same goes for the woman too. I am not saying a man must propose to his woman after one year in a relationship, but if both of you are old enough and financially independent. You should be able to know without a doubt how if you both love each other and how much, or you guys are just messing around.
SHOULD WE CO-HABIT?
I know a lot of young people in relationship who feel they should move in together after one year. Some people feel this is like test running a marriage and see how it will work when they eventually walk down the aisle. While this may work for some people, I don’t subscribe to it personally. I understand occasional sleepovers, getaway weekends, or spending your entire leave period with your partner. But co-habiting? Hmmm. Not advisable, but it depends on what you both want.
DO WE/I MAKE DECISIONS
It’s totally normal to worry as a woman when that one year mark is approaching, especially when you are nearing age 30 and you have been dating the same person consistently for same period. It is not out of place to be looking forward to probably hear him pop the question or for him to at least indicate where the relationship is headed. And for the man, it is absolutely normal to start worrying about his woman not wasting his time, especially if he has decided to stay faithful and committed to his girlfriend of one year. As a guy I know that men who want to settle down worry a lot especially when they are hitting ages 33-35. They would want to be sure the babe won’t say “NO” to their proposal or the babe won’t just run off with someone new leaving them to start all over again, wooing another woman entirely from the scratch and proving their love once again. And most times the partners could have known they were happy in the relationship all the while, but it is a different ball game determining if they could be happy forever with each other.
WILL HE PROPOSE?
A lot of us think of a wedding ring as a nice present. Be it as a birthday present or an anniversary present, we just believe the day a man pops the question should be memorable and be tied to something significant. And considering the amount of time it takes to plan a wedding, a girl will be right to think her boyfriend will/should propose one year into the relationship.
SHOULDN’T I HAVE MET HIS/HER FAMILY?
This is very important, normally if your parents live in town, there is no reason why they shouldn’t have met your boyfriend/girlfriend even before you clock the one year mark. If a guy is in for a long haul with you, he will not hide his family members and friends from you. Though I know some guys will still mess with their woman’s heart even if she knew and have met his ancestors. But if after one year of dating, you haven’t met each other’s parents, you need to have a talk about it. That is not negotiable in my book, except you are just having some consistent flings.
SHOULD WE CELEBRATE THE ANNIVERSARY?
To some, celebrating important dates means a lot. To others, celebrating landmarks in relationship further validates the relationship. But I think it is between both of you, if you want to celebrate it or not. One year anniversary should not be a big deal in a relationship if you don’t make it to be.
WHEN IS OUR ANNIVERSARY EXACTLY?
Sometimes it is hard to determine the exact date when the relationship began. Was it the first day you met? Was it the first date? Was it the first time you kissed or slept together? Or the first time you said “I love you, and I love you too?” But this shouldn’t be a problem as well, you can have a discussion about when you want to make your anniversary date and stick to it until you get married and begin to celebrate wedding anniversary.
IS HE/SHE GETTING BORED?
Relationship especially long-term is a tricky place to be in. Sometimes, it makes you feel like the happiest person in the world; and at other times, it spirals you back onto the ground and makes you wonder if you even want to be in one. And you just might get bored with everything after a while, and start looking for the next best thing. But you should know that, almost always, boredom sets into a relationship because you didn’t do anything to prevent it. You should both constantly and deliberately make you relationship fun and not just worry that the other partner is getting bored or not. Realize that it takes two to tango. Don’t stop those things you used to do when you started the relationship and ensure your partner doesn’t stop as well. And if you both have, revisit and restart those things, and that way, you both won’t have to worry about getting bored as you hit one year together.