If you know me, you know Ive gone through about 4653 phones in my life. Actually though. The $200 insurance deductible to replace my (usually smashed) iPhone is built into my budget every four months, and the phone insurance agency pretty much makes me scan a photo of my face along with 57 pieces of I.D. every time I file another claim.
I’m not committing insurance fraud guys, I’m just…careless.
Growing up, Ive always been lucky enough to be able to simply replace something when it gets lost or broken. It’s just… that easy. Lost my favourite shirt? Buy another. Back into a pole with my car? Call my dad/boyfriend/whoever to come fix it, stat. Whatever it is, it is easily fixable, with little effort required on my part.
Everything is just so damn replaceable these days.
This ideology, that everything is dispensable, seems to have infiltrated our minds and overflowed into aspects of our lives where it doesn’t belong.
Like our relationships. OOOOhh lawd am I the worst. Just like my phones, my relationships seem to have a shelf life. Their expiration date typically clocks in at about two years. I will have barely taken the bow off of my two-year anniversary gift before something shifts inside of me. Of course, the spark has been running on fumes for about 18 months, but after two years, even the charm of the “playing house” phase has become stale.
So I have been thinking lately, what happens on that god damn 728th day? And I think Ive finally come to a conclusion. It is not one specific factor, it is not one defining moment, it is an intermingling of numerous elements resulting in a compounded and detrimental result.
We simply stop trying.
Somewhere around Day 202, I stopped picking out outfits to wear for when I saw him, and started exclusively wearing pieces from my animal-print pajama pant collection in his presence.
Day 315 saw the beginning of the Death of the Text. The cute “I love you, I miss you” slowly began to parish, a victim of time and routine.
Around Day 366, I noticed the flirt was gone. Upon closer inspection, I realized it had been replaced by “the familiar”. The familiar bickering. The familiar annoying tendencies. The familiar routine of everyday life.
Day 483 I get slapped in the face with the cold realization that we haven’t had sex in over two weeks. Wait, what? We used to not be able to get enough of each other. My rabbit-print fleece pajama pants aren’t doing it for him? Huh.
He stops sending flowers Day 532, I start making girls nights a higher priority than date nights on Day 621, 674 is the day that I become aware that I didn’t kiss him goodbye.. and he didn’t care. By Day 728, I look over at this person who I have spent the majority of my time with for the last two years and see… a roommate. A friend. Someone I know like the back of my hand, but also don’t know a single thing about anymore.
I have barely noticed the unique characteristics that make up our relationship have been slowing petering out because it didn’t just happen overnight.
The effect of the lack of effort on both sides is a silent killer.
It creeps in, it compounds, and it creates cracks in relationships with the strongest foundations.
Routines take over, life tosses a cold bucket of reality on our starry-eyed faces, and little by little, we stop putting the sparkly touches into our every day interactions.
My passed relationships have certainly fallen victim to this. Once the crack of normalcy sets in, the relationship seems “broken”. And what do many of us do with broken things? We throw them out, for something newer, shinier, better. A relationship replacement, if you will.
I wonder where some of my relationships would have landed, had I just kept applying lipstick before he came home, kept writing him the little notes I did when we first started dating, made it a priority to make sure he felt as loved on Day 728 as he did on Day 1? If he had continued telling me how beautiful I looked, planning cute date days for us and never allowing the mold of doubt to creep into my thoughts?
Effort is attractive.
If you have been in a long-term relationship and have continued to apply a little effort elbow grease from time to time, I certainly tip my hat to you. And if any future boyfriends are reading this: if I ever bust out a pair of pink, pig-print pajama pants six months into our relationship, rip them off my body, burn them, and take me on a date, STAT. Foreplay and fleece do NOT belong in the same sentence.