By: Revanche

The first six months

April 25, 2013

MemoriesDo you remember the first six months of your best relationship?

Full of newness, and discovery, questions and sometimes “terrible” decisions.

We remember sitting on LA freeways for hours. Both ways. At completely, utterly unreasonable hours.  Very scheduled phone calls post-9 pm to take advantage of those unlimited night minutes and lasted hours about nothing. Flowers every month, just because. Overly fancy restaurants (for us, at the time) the better to bat our eyes at each other.  Cramming in one social obligation after another, stacked with work and school obligations, because sometimes, that’s the only way we could see each other without abandoning our friends or family.  I’m sure there were more foolish decisions, and a lot less eye batting than I assume, but I can’t remember now.

A mutual friend laughed at our rueful reminiscing: the first six months don’t count!  You do stupid things in your first six months together.

This is true, we did do stupid things to be together.  We spent stupid money sometimes.  Things that my normally pragmatic self would laugh at now, or even raise an eyebrow over wondering if this was setting ourselves up for a lifetime of impulse buys and trips. [I did (politely) ask PiC to stop bringing flowers every month around month 6 or so. I loved the thought but hated the idea he was spending so much.]  And the first six months theory is a handy “it’s ok!” dismissal of it all. But you know what?

The first six months did count.

We spent time frivolously and had a great lot of fun. We enjoyed each other’s company without undue worry, which was a huge thing for me in my early 20s otherwise weighed down with worry and pain, and learned how to communicate. Even before we became a long distance relationship, we learned how to disagree and even fight efficiently and effectively, if you can believe it, and as much as talking about fighting wouldn’t seem like the most positive thing about an early relationship – it was how we learned to communicate better and waste little to no time on dramatic flounces.

We enjoyed each other as people, and made stupidly grand gestures to show it. We also chose to share the utterly mundane to share, like the Costco hot dog dinner. There was, as it turned out, plenty of time to be 90% sensible later. We are sensible now. But those short six months were full of laughter and learning how to care for and about each other. Rather priceless.

And the silliness of the first six months didn’t just end there. We still consciously make “stupid” decisions for each other, to make each other happy or laugh, despite being a boring old married couple. But it’s ok – we’re not wearing blinders when we do it. 😉 We have a budget.

What do you think of the six months theory?  What were your first six months of a solid relationship like?

Did you travel unnaturally long distances to see each other?  Spend hours on the phone? Sit in traffic forever just to see each other?

18 Responses to “The first six months”

  1. eemusings says:

    I think we had about 3 before he headed off to army training.At that stage I was still into drinking, so there were a fair few drunken nights. Gorging on ice cream. Little random gifts. Dips in the pool. Late nights up talking. Days spent in each other’s company that bled into one another (I think our record was 3 in a row), because at the time I was a student on summer break and only working part time, and he wasn’t working. Not a lot of money, but a lot of fun.

  2. Katie C. says:

    Nicely written! The first six months definitely count, but I do think they’re generally considered “the honeymoon period,” when everything is so new and exciting that it’s easy to put on the blinders (kind of like you describe with spending money frivolously).

    David and I luckily never went through a long-distrance period, but I remember talking all day long. We were in constant communication. If we weren’t at work, we were together. If we were at work, we had chat windows open talking to each other all day. I remember the first month we were dating he had flowers sent to me at work – the very first time a boyfriend had done that! – with a note that said “so much for chivalry being dead.” They were Christmas-themed flowers because I had gone on and on about how much I loved the holidays. (We started dating in November.) I actually cried.

    Maybe when people say “the first six months don’t count” they mean that anyone can survive six months of a relationship. Heck, I had plenty of six month relationships. It’s what comes after those first six months that cements your bond, that moment when you decide you want to be with this person every month after those first six. Still, those are some magical months. 🙂

    • Revanche says:

      Hah, true, plenty of relationships that shouldn’t last after those six months 🙂 And I think PiC was the first person who actually gave me nice flowers and not the standard “single red rose” business.

  3. Kara says:

    Oh this whole post just made me smile.
    I’m currently in the 6th month with Z, so I’m probably still feeling the mushiness and don’t know that I have much to say from that perspective. 🙂 He and I haven’t done anything particularly crazy to see each other that I can think of. We have eaten out a LOT (as my too snug jeans keep reminding me) because it’s the easiest time and way to meet – someplace in the middle for dinner or a night out.
    Thinking back to past relationships and there have been ones where I remember staying up half the night to get to chat online with a long distance BF, knowing that I had to get up at 7 to go to work the next morning. Or paying way too much money to fly somewhere just to get a weekend or a few days. Or (back in the dark ages) running up huge long distance phone bills to whisper sweet nothings to each other. Or driving 14 hours cross country because we just had to see each other.
    But still, Z and I are silly and mushy and goofy together when we can be – and I think that’ll last long beyond the six months because that’s who we are. It’s our version of crazy, because at our ages with ex-spouses, kids, jobs, side businesses, etc., we’re not h a position to spend hours on the phone or drive to each other’s houses at 3 a.m. or any of those things that I remember doing when I was younger. 🙂

    • Revanche says:

      Cross country!! Now that’s amazing. Not just money but mega-time and effort. Still, there’s something really sweet about it.

  4. StackingCash says:

    Whoa, I spent quite a bit of money wooing my wife years ago. It started in the chat room, then ICQ, then long distance phone calls, then flying across the country. I even shipped my car to her when she had wrecked hers. Interesting times to say the least. It has been my best “investment” ever 🙂

  5. Morgaine says:

    Really enjoyed this post, made me remember our first 6 months 🙂

    I think we cut that period a bit short since we moved in together around the 5 month mark. I was taking cross Toronto subway trips at 11pm at night and it was getting exhausting. Once I moved in we started talking money and budget and other non-fun stuff!

    But before that, yeah, lots of expensive restaurants and talking on the phone every night until way too late. But it was fun.

  6. Mary says:

    Our first 6 months was almost 40 years ago and I have to admit, my husband has a better memory than I do or ever had LOL
    I guess from my perspective, the first 6 months of any relationship are about getting to know each other and they are used to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. It becomes more important when you look back at it from a distance with that same person. Hopefully, the memories are good, if they aren’t you probably should not be with that person.
    My memories of our first 6 months are good, combining fun, good friends, longish [45 mins. each way] drives to see each other that led to seeing each other more. These were not the first 6 months of a serious relationship for either of us, but they were the best first 6 months, since we have managed to spin them into going on 40 years!
    The years between then and now have not been all joyous, there have been money problems and lost jobs and fights, over our children and our differences and our similarities and who knows what and anger, but there has been more laughter and love and making up and being proud of our children and each other.
    So yes, I think the first 6 months are important each time, but the most important one is the one you have now! This one is bringing you joy and happiness and support during tough times with family and illness and whatever else comes down the pike . I wish for you to have many years to see those months repeat themselves in different maybe better ways, and it is always fun to reminisce together about your first months together!

  7. I had not heard of the 6 month theory before. Jacob and I never really spent very much money on dates, but we did travel to see each other almost every weekend. about 3.5 hours both ways. I completely agree that the time is worth it and those memories are priceless.

  8. We spent a lot of time instant messaging during our first 6 months, and a lot of time together. We also both walked a lot of miles since we lived on opposite ends of campus! We studied a lot, ate a lot of crappy food (within walking distance of campus), and went to a lot of free movies on campus. We fed the ducks (and the squirrels!), made friends, and…studied. A lot. Haha.

    What has changed? We can text now, and we have a car, so we don’t have to limit our dining choices to whatever is within walking distance 🙂

  9. Clare says:

    This is such a sweet post. My first few months with Drew are the whole reason I trust people again.

  10. Jenny B. says:

    Aww this was a really endearing post to read and I love that you included the good and the bad times in you and PiC’s relationship. That was such a sweet gesture that he would get you flowers every month just because! And I chuckled at the post-9pm calls as I did the same (and if it weren’t for wifi and free video chats, I would still do the same!).

    I’ve always heard the first couple months of a new relationship referred to as “the honeymoon period” but I’ve never heard the one about it not counting. Why wouldn’t it count? You can find out a lot about a person in the first six months! The first six months can make or break a relationship too! If we don’t count the happy times (which is usually all you have in those months), then why should we count the bad? But who’s counting…

    I’m trying to recall our first 6 months but all I can remember is spending lots and lots of time with each other. We don’t live too far away from each other so never had to deal with driving long distances to see each other. Oh. There was definitely a lot of getting to know each other and setting boundaries and what-nots… and lots of trip planning!

  11. Omg, my BF and I were ridiculous in the first six months. He used to work 12 – 14 hour days and would drive to my house at 1am just to see me a for 20 min., and we’d talk or hang out sometimes until 4am and then I’d drive home. Oh the honeymoon phase.

  12. […] is in the air at A Gai Shan Life, where Revanche reminisces about the first six months of a certain relationship, in New Zealand, […]

  13. Love this post! The first 6 months of my current relationship were absolute bliss. We spent an insane amount of time together and did stupid stuff like take the day off work and spend it doing nothing together. When we weren’t together, we were texting and calling one another non-stop. When I think about the amount of money we spent eating out and going on vacations, I’m in cringe.

    Almost 3 years in, things are very different now. Talking all day on the phone? LOL, I wouldn’t know even what to say.

  14. My first six months with my wife was the summer of `1976. What a great time. I then went to graduate law school at NYU and she commuted up to see me on weekends. This was when Saturday Night Live had Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi and they did there “hamourghi, hambourghi” skits. It was a great time in my life but 35 years later it is even better.

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