MANILA, Philippines – It is best to wait for at least two years before deciding that a person is indeed “the one,” a family and relationship counselor said.
Citing studies and personal experience with patients, Maribel Dionisio of Love Institute Philippines said a person’s true colors usually shine through two years into the relationship.
“At the end of the second year, doon mo makikita ‘yung totoong pagkatao,” she said in an interview on radio dzMM on Monday.
“That’s the decision-making phase... Maaaring hindi talaga kayo nagkli-click. Kaya dapat hayaan muna nating makita ‘yung totoong pagkatao, and it usually takes two years,” she added.
Given this, Dionisio said it is not a good idea to enter into a whirlwind romance. “Delikado ‘yung mga ‘yun eh. Tsamba na lang kung sakaling pareho ang inyong mga pananaw at pinahahalagahan niyo sa buhay,” she said.
Dionisio said there are times when couples suffer from a “cold relationship,” which is usually caused by lack of time, communication and intimacy.
She said this can be experienced not only by married couples, but also those who have a boyfriend or a girlfriend.
“Pwedeng mangyari ito sa mag-nobyo rin, ‘di lang sa mag-asawa,” she explained. “Nagkakalamigan because they are taking each other for granted or wala na silang oras sa isa’t isa.”
“Maaaring magkasama sila pero may ibang kasama, so ‘yung connection nila humihina nang humihina,” she added.
Dionisio then shared the common symptoms of a cold relationship, such as a person’s loss of interest in his or her partner.
“’Pag mas madalas nang nalulungkot o walang pakialam ang partner mo, ayaw makipagkwentuhan, ito ‘yung mga sintomas na parang nanlalamig na o hindi na gusto,” she said.
“Tapos hindi pa maareglo, lalong lumalayo… In severe cases, wala nang mapag-usapan talaga.”
Rekindling the flame
Dionisio stressed, however, that it is never too late to rekindle the relationship flame.
In the case of cold relationships, she said the best thing to do is to set at least one day for “quality time,” which may be in the form of an ice cream date or a walk in the park.
“Dapat scheduled talaga ang ‘date day.’ Hindi pwedeng spontaneous kasi ang dami-dami ng ginagawa mo at saka between two people, nahihirapan nang maghanap ng common schedule,” she explained.
“Kunyari every Wednesday, ice cream date, walking date or macaroni soup date. Masarap lumabas kasi iba ‘yun kaysa sa bahay.
“Tapos mga three times a week, magkukwentuhan kayo sa bahay over dinner, or after dinner.”
Daily 10-minute conversations are also important, she added.
“Araw-araw na kwentuhan, kahit 10 to 20 minutes every day ng masayang nangyari sa’yo, pati nakakalungkot,” she explained. “Makinig kasi minsan ikaw nagkukuwento tapos hindi siya nakikinig…Give undivided attention sa ating partner.”