How To Deal With The Pressures Of A Relationship Timeline

Maintaining a strong and thriving relationship is challenging. Each person brings with them past experiences, expectations that are sometimes difficult to meet, and — sometimes — a preconceived timeline of how things should go. Social media and other avenues of comparison add unneeded pressure to an already pressure-filled situation. If you're in a relationship currently, you have already felt some influence from your community and your friends. This influence is fine unless it evolves into something irritating. Some of this tension can come from other couples, and some are timelines based in tradition. These traditional timelines are unstated and exist even inside the realm of online dating. 


With this outside pressure looming, it can make couples feel like they need to rush to put labels on their relationship before they are ready. It can also make way for miscommunication and unaddressed expectations that can lead to disappointment and misunderstandings. Artificial relationship timelines can impede a healthy and emotionally intelligent feeling of connectedness (via Mental Help). The burdens of the pre-determined relationship timeline are relentless. 

Don't compare your relationship to others

The pressure for relationships to follow the traditional path of date, marry, buy a house, and have children is extremely outdated. Not only does this not include all types of couples, but it also ignores the reality of life today. Bustle explains, "More and more Millennials and Gen Zers in partnerships are choosing not to have children, going against the grain of society's pressure to walk the traditional path." Some relationships feel the burden of the presumed timeline, and there is no one-size-fits-all relationship path. Not following this tradition is actually becoming a popular way to live.


Moreover, what used to be considered the norm is changing with each generation. Marriage therapist Ariel Hirsch tells Keepler App, "Realistic financial goals have changed dramatically for Millennials and Gen Z, so buying houses and having children is coming much later in life, and impacting whether or not that timeline is realistic — or even feasible — in the same way as it was generations before." If you are feeling frustrated looking through Instagram and noticing other couples moving through the traditional timeline, try not to compare yourself to them. Oftentimes what we see on social media isn't as accurate as we perceive, and your relationship is just that; it's yours.

Communicate your desires

If you're feeling like your relationship is just fine the way it is, you're probably right. Don't let societal pressures or preconceived expectations get in the way of what's working. If you aren't happy with the unique timeline that you and your partner are on, speak up. They may be unaware that things are not what you expected, and a conversation may be all it takes to solve your woes. Talk about your expectations and desires for your relationship and listen to your partner tell you theirs, suggests Women's Health.


When it comes down to it, there is no need to put added tension on yourself and your partner where it isn't needed. Recognize that you are on your own, amazing path, and no timeline defined before you were born should dictate that. If you and your partner are open about your expectations and desires, enjoy your time together and know that the best route to where you want to go is the route you're on.