Dear Love Doctor

Why Do Romances Only Last Nine Months?

Why not send former Kingston-resident Love Doctor your relationship queries? Use the form to submit your question(s).


I’ve noticed that most of my friends are happy in relationships for nine months and then they are forever unhappy until they split or live a miserable life together.

It has made me wary after the recent lockdown of dating again because going out has been boring with friends. Is this something that happens in general with only nine months happy together?

Shaun – St Ann


Love Doctor MontiLove Doctor’s Answer

In any romantic relationship true love is heavily reliant on a daily commitment to each other, but what you are referring to with partners drifting apart is what is generally know as the honeymoon period and by psychologists as the idealisation phase.

Naturally everything is extremely exciting for a couple when in a new relationship, and because of the endorphines produced individuals leap through hoops to try to prove that they are the perfect match for their lover.

The early stages of a relationship is when individuals are convinced that their latest squeeze possesses all of the perfect characteristics to be their last ever lover.

However, these early days of lust and endless fun may last just a matter of weeks, months or years depending on the circumstances such as external pressures, lifestyles and proximity to each other. You mention nine months from your experience of couples you know, although that seems short because two years is when this honeymooon is likely to conclude.

This is when the reality truly sets in with both bad habits and flaws becoming transparent, with a night of passion replaced by solid night’s sleep. The individuals are not changing, which is often what couples claim in their fights when the honeymoon period is over, it is just apparent who their partner really is.

There is no need to be wary of embarking on a long-term relationship, but when the idealisation phase has ended then it is simply a question of reigniting the spark into the relationship by being spontaneous and committed to making it work.


The secret to a successful long-term relationship is to accept and respect. You need to accept that the person you’re with is not quite who you originally thought you fell in love with, but by showing attention, care, consideration and respect to each other you can have all the ingredients for a long lasting partnership.

So embrace the opportunity now that lockdown has concluded to go and responsibly socialise with friends. If your current set of friends seem boring, then maybe it time to gradually upgrade as you’ve outgrown them. Add some fun elements into your life and you’ll start to attract those who want to be around you, and remember Cupid’s Arrow can hit you at the most unexpected moment.

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