The First Ninety Days

A friend of mine recently commented on the amazing number of romance novels written and the huge amount of money being made in that industry. He then shared his observation that these romance novels don't usually tell their stories beyond the first ninety days or so. He said people just want to read about the romance of falling in love, not of the day-to-day life of being in long-term relationships.

I told him that it's not necessarily ninety days, but that's a fair enough number to use for discussion purposes. I went on to tell him that those first ninety days of a relationship set the tone for the rest of the time you're with someone. Typically, if a relationship goes sour in the first ninety days, it's not going to survive much longer. If on the other hand, it's a beautiful first ninety days, then the relationship has a foundation to grow on. In the first ninety days, the atmosphere of a relationship is set. When rough patches occur in the relationship, the couple often looks back to that honeymoon stage for inspiration to work through the problems. If the first ninety days doesn't create something worth fighting for, then where's the motivation to keep the love alive?

I thought back on some of my own relationships. I have had three major relationships as an adult. One never had a 'first ninety days.' I had decided to marry someone who was just a friend in order to give my two young children a chance at having a dad. The only thing that motivated me to work through the problems was my children's desire to keep their new dad around. When they quit wanting him around, I was no longer motivated to bother with him. Another one's 'first ninety days' only lasted about a month. By the time the first ninety days was over, I had gotten pregnant despite using two forms of birth control. Again, for the sake of our child, I would try to make it work. However, during that first ninety days, he had cheated on me and done many other horrible destructive things to our relationship. Finding the motivation to stick with him was very difficult. Another one had an amazing and wonderful 'first ninety days' that lasted for a year. As a result, I fought tooth and nail to make that relationship work when things weren't going well. All three relationships had good days and bad, but it was so much easier to believe that we could have a beautiful future together if we'd had a beautiful past together.

The first ninety days is very important. It sets the foundation of 'happily ever after.' No relationship can be all perfect all of the time, but with a strong foundation created right from the start, couples have something to hold onto, something to call sacred and holy. That foundation should include elements of romance, trust, magic, attraction, and a likeminded long-term vision of how their life together will unfold. The first ninety days gives you something solid to believe in.

Romance novels typically end with the couple happily married and delighting in the beauty of their children. It's a safe place to end the story because they've already established a rock solid foundation to build their lives upon. Look at the ending of Gone With The Wind. Scarlett and Rhett did not set up a strong foundation at the beginning of their relationship. We were left wondering if he would ever accept her back into his heart. In the sequel, she finally creates 'the first ninety days' with him. She had to create an atmosphere of romance, trust, magic, attraction, and a likeminded long-term vision of how their life together will unfold. She had to be the one to do it, because she was the one who refused his attempts to create that foundation in the first movie. He then had to wrestle with his conflicting memories of the first time they had been together as a couple and the second time they were together. He eventually gets in touch with that part of himself that had loved her all along. They finally can end the story with 'happily ever after' because the foundation was finally built and accepted as real. It's not very often that people get a second chance to create the first ninety days.

I love to ask couples who have been happily married for a long time how they met. I also ask them how they knew this was the right person for them. Their stories of the first ninety days are always beautiful and often last longer than ninety days. So many of them are love at first sight stories. So many of them have one basic element that flows throughout the entire story of their relationship. Just like in the first ninety days, every time they really take a long hard look at their partner, they fall in love all over again. There's something enchanting about that other person that no matter what happens, they keep falling in love with them, over and over and over again. They relive that first ninety days regardless of life's ups and downs. They seldom tell stories of losing faith in the relationship or of ever really wanting to walk away. .

Romance novels sell so well because we love the stories of romance. Movies are no different than books. Look at some of the all time greatest movies that center around love stories. We love to hear of others setting up such amazing and powerful foundations that can never be torn down. It's hidden in the depths of the human soul, that need to believe that happily ever after really happens. We especially like to see the couple overcome adversity only to have it bring them even closer together. It gives us hope. It gives us something to aspire to. We love those first ninety days.

Copyright 2003, Skye Thomas, Tomorrow's Edge

About The Author

Skye Thomas began writing books and articles with an everyday practical approach to spirituality, motivation, and inspiration in 1999 after twenty years of studying spirituality, metaphysics, motivation, and parenting. More of her articles can be found at www.tomorrowsedge.net as well as free previews of her books.

 

Relationship articles

  1. Warning Signs He / She May Not Be The One

    We've all looked back on past relationships and said, "What was I thinking". Problem is, you weren't thinking. You were caught up in the chemistry and the wonderful feelings of the moment that you chose to overlook some warning signs that t... more to this article

    Article category: Relationship Information

  2. Telling the Hard Truth

    Watching television's "sitcom's", I can't help but notice that most of the plots revolve around the same theme ? someone being afraid to tell someone else the truth. We saw it in the years that Ross loved Rachel, that Niles loved Daphne, or... more to this article

    Article category: Relationship Information

  3. Spice Up Your Relationship Tonight

    Every relationship needs relief from the same old bedroom routine now and then. Here is a collection of tips to boost the Scoville units in your romance.Get Wet and WildThe bath or shower can be more than just a place to get clea... more to this article

    Article category: Relationship Information

  4. Abusive Relationships

    Abusive relationships are so painful that I often wonder why it takes so long for us to know that it is abusive, addictive love we are experiencing. The damage created by an abusive relationship only worsens over time, weakening the abused and giving... more to this article

    Article category: Relationship Information

  5. Authentic Relationships - 5-Question Exercise to Explore How You Show Up In Relationship

    The focus of this article is to explore what it means to be authentic in the context of being single in the dating world and/or in the context of coaching singles. Take this five-question exercise to explore your relationship to authenticity.M... more to this article

    Article category: Relationship Information

The First Ninety Days information

Article categories

I Have A Secret to Share

Dear Candace,I have been through a lot over the last ...

Relationship Information

Romantic Tips ? Gift Giving

I believe that we have all heard of the standard romantic gi...

Relationship Information

A Friend in Need

Here's the scenario: Julie, a hardworking secretary, lent mo...

Relationship Information

Living in Fear!

As we are aware, our relationships are that bigger part of o...

Relationship Information

How Do I Get Him or Her To Talk To Me?!!!

This is a common concern in our society for single people of...

Relationship Information

Great Relationship Advice: Declaration or Demonstration

Q: Could you help us settle a growing conflict in our...

Relationship Information

Building the Bond in Your Relationship

A bond (relationship wise) is when two people have a connect...

Relationship Information

Relationships That Really Last: Is This the Secret?

In my e-book, How to Build Relationships That Stick, I told ...

Relationship Information

To Apologize or Not to Apologize...That is the Question

We don't like to say it and we don't always mean it, but des...

Relationship Information

Ending a Relationship Gracefully

Ending a relationship is never easy. When you feel you must ...

Relationship Information

Is There Romance In The Zodiac?

Many people know that the zodiac is a circle in the sky whic...

Relationship Information

The 100 Laws

In any group of abused women there's almost always at least ...

Relationship Information

Dont Avoid Conflict and Confrontation with Your Spouse

"I just let him handle things his way." "We're not ve...

Relationship Information

He Still Hasnt Popped the Question - Should You Give Him an Ultimatum?

You've been dating the man forever, and he has yet to cough ...

Relationship Information

Relationship Advice: Safety, Intimacy, and Fun

When people come in for marriage counseling, they bring thei...

Relationship Information