Why Is First Year Of Relationship The Hardest? | Problems & Solutions

The first year of a relationship is called the honeymoon period. We tend to push our limits to impress the other person as we want them to see us at our best.

The first year of a relationship is the hardest because a completely new experience in the form of a new person becomes an integral part of our life. They take a significant amount of our time and it takes time to adjust to such a change.

The years after that tend to be less bumpy in most cases, unless we are talking about an extended time frame (4 years or more), where the problem of monotony might set in.

Before We Begin

Everything seems just right at the beginning of a relationship and you feel that your partner is perfect.

But, we need to shatter your dream castle since you seem to be forgetting the fact that no one is perfect.

TABLE: What Do Couples Usually Argue About In The First Year Of A Relationship?

ReasonPercentage Of Couples
Other men or women4%
Each other’s habits8%
Different opinions10%
Friends and family29%
Not doing fun activities33%
Not enough intimacy38%
Lack of affection or effort49%
Source: A study conducted by RebootLoveLife.com on 63 couples in the first year of their relationship.
Note: Percentage doesn’t equal to 100 due to overlapping reasons for all couples.

All relationships are imperfect, and we begin to realize it within the first year itself. We know how much we all want our relationships to run smoothly and last forever.

While we cannot promise you the latter, through this article, we can help you run it smoothly with fewer problems.

Problems In The First Year Of A Relationship

1. They Are Not What You Expected

It is challenging to figure someone out in the dating period.

Your partner may appear to be a completely different person when you compare them to what they seemed like before this relationship.

Maybe you’ll try and stop them from behaving in a certain way, a way which you aren’t comfortable with.

Or you might want them to change a few things in them because you expect them to be someone from your imagination.

If for once they do fulfill any of your expectations, you won’t stop there.

You’d want more and more until your partner becomes just like what you expected them to be, i.e., a replica of your expectations.

Don’t expect your partner to be perfect and without faults.

Woman waking up his sleeping boyfriend in a movie theatre

2. A Few Things About Them Annoy You

The starting few weeks or months of your relationship would be glittery and shiny. But as you’ll spend more time with your significant other, the reality will begin to kick in.

You’ll start to see the real them, both the good and the bad sides.

You get to see their lifestyle. You may like everything about it, or there could be a few things that will annoy you to your guts.

There could be a difference in viewpoints over certain things. Maybe your partner does a few things that are normal to them, but you don’t like it at all.

They could be belittling you for your choices, thoughts, etc. and not even notice that this kind of behaviour is hurting you.

3. Intimacy Isn’t As Passionate

In the beginning, you won’t be able to keep your hands off each other. You would want to spend all the time with your partner.

Every time you see each other, you want to look your best. But as time passes, that excitement fades away. You won’t put in enough effort for your partner.

You’ll stop taking care of yourself and slip into your comfort zone, thus making you less attractive to them. Or maybe your partner might stop taking good care of themselves.

Whatever the case might be, for some couples, passion dies down pretty quickly, i.e., within the first year itself, and love making doesn’t feel as good as it did initially.

sex isn't as great

4. You Are Not Comfortable With Their Past

Now that you know more about them, it is possible you may not be comfortable with their choices in the past.

Maybe a particular decision they made which according to you is morally wrong, or how they behaved with an ex or someone else troubles you deeply.

You don’t like how they dealt with some situations in their past, and they are more likely to repeat it because you can feel it to be their inherent nature.

Maybe the way they narrate past instances makes you think whether at all this is a good person to be with?

You may start wondering whether this person might do the same to you, and is it a mistake to be with them?

Thus whenever you are with them, you always find yourself in doubt because of their past actions.

5. They Don’t Expect The Same Things As You From This Relationship

Maybe they want to keep it casual and open while you are more of a serious and exclusive kind of person, or it could be vice versa.

Whatever be the case, it will be uncomfortable for both of you to know that you and your partner are not on the same page.

If you are the one who is more invested in this relationship, then you’ll expect the same amount of affection from them.

Maybe you’ll try to force things on them to get what you want. There will be ugly arguments every time about the things you do, and they don’t.

It could seem like you are giving 100% in this relationship, and your partner is hesitant to give even 10%.

This will lead your relationship right onto the path of separation and both of you’ll feel like quitting every time you realize the sad truth.

6. They Explicitly Try To Dominate You

Every relationship has one partner who is more dominant than the other. This trait shows itself in the very first year. Nothing wrong with that, but it should be an inherent trait.

It shouldn’t be done deliberately in a controlling way to the extent that it bothers you.

Do you feel that you don’t have freedom of choice? Does your partner always have their way? You don’t have any say in things?

Your partner doesn’t include you in decision making? Whether it is about your relationship or essential things in their life and yours? Then definitely they are trying to control you.

Chances are that they have a very controlling nature. Don’t confuse care with domination because care is so pure, and domination is outright unhealthy for a relationship.

they explicitly try to dominate you

7. Your Partner Has Some Kind Of Addiction Or Is A Bad Person

First of all, we won’t advise you to get into a relationship with people who are drug addicts, gamblers or alcoholics. There are high chances that they won’t value you at all.

At some point in time, they might start abusing you or hit you under some influence.

When we are so much involved with someone, we tend to overlook all the red flags present in front of us.

People who are serial cheaters or flirt with someone else whenever they can, will do it. Even when they are in a relationship with you, they just won’t stop.

Why? Because, eh, old habits die hard!

It is difficult to figure these things out while in the dating period. You only start getting an idea after entering in a relationship with them.

8. You Feel They Are Slowing You Down Or Using You

Maybe they are not as passionate about you about their career, have financial debts, or horrible spending habits. Is it possible that they see you as the solution?

They suck benefits from you like a parasite knowingly or unknowingly, or maybe they behave as a needy person.

In the name of care or out of pity for your lover, you go out of your way to help them.

Be it emotional, mental, or financial help, you put their needs ahead of yours, not caring about your future. Think about it.

What will happen if, by chance, you are not with that person after some time?

You’ll regret putting all your resources, time, and energy in one place and getting nothing out of it.

9. They Have Actually Started Behaving Differently

In the beginning, both of you will try hard to give each other the best experience by doing grand gestures.

Or maybe they can be small things that mean a lot, but with time the amount of effort decreases. People sometimes do attractive things unknowingly and then revert to their usual selves.

Your partner did sweet little things for you. Or maybe it was what they said things, made you laugh, etc., all of which you miss now.

Maybe it was just a façade to impress you because everyone shows their best side at first. Or maybe they just no longer behave the same way due to whatever the reason is.

It is frustrating to see someone change in a way that doesn’t make you feel as good.

they have actually changed as a person

10. They Want To End The Relationship Because Of The Above Reasons

Possibly, the issues you might have with your partner (in the nine problems stated above), your partner has the same issues with you.

Or are you too naïve to believe that you are perfect for your partner? They may not be willing to put in as much effort to save this relationship.

The fact that you are reading this article shows effort on your end. If the situation arises, you might have to end things to avoid future conflicts.

On the other hand, your partner can also decide to end things with you.

But don’t be disheartened because this brings us to the next section of this article, i.e., the possible solutions to the above problems.

Solutions To Problems In First Year Of Relationship

1. Don’t Force Your Expectations On Them

Remember, it is you who expected them to behave in a certain way. Do not try to impose your expectations on them.

They might not be comfortable acting the way you want them to, as it might be against their nature.

Trying to change a person according to your likes is one of the worst things that can be done to somebody.

What’s the use of being with a person whom you can’t accept for what they are? If you try to change them, they’ll become someone else, and won’t feel like themselves.

Eventually, they will drift away. We break our own hearts by expecting too much from our partners. Don’t expect but rather accept them for who they are. If you can’t, then move on.

2. Talk Things Out

This follows the above point and should be exercised with caution. If their lifestyle is harmful to them or they belittle you in any way, then talking is a must.

Not talking will make things worse, and it could lead your relationship to a dead end. Don’t leave room for misunderstandings and hatred.

Instead, express your feelings clearly to them. Let them know precisely when and how they annoyed you or made you feel bad.

By doing so, you’ll get to see the truth, or maybe the possibility of you misreading your partner.

Also, everybody is allowed to have different points of view unless they are outright wrong. And there is no harm in correcting yourself if and when you realize it.

talk things out

3. Reignite The Passion In Your Relationship

Try to find out the reasons and see if anything is bothering your partner. Why are they not as interested in making love?

If it’s the workload that exhausts either one or both of you, then try to find a way out. And if it’s monotony, then efforts from both ends are required to ignite the fire.

A quick Google search will open the gateway to thousands of resources on how to make intimate relations mindblowing.

Talk to your partner about your feelings and see if they are receptive to the thought. Try out new things and keep the relationship fresh and alive.

4. To Decide Or Not Decide Your Future Based On Their Past?

This one is best left to your judgment regarding whether to call it quits or not.

If they have done something terrible in the past, are they likely to repeat it, or are they a changed person? If not, are you willing to compromise or cannot tolerate it?

Remember that every saint has a past, and every devil has a future.

From our experience, the habits of a person may change, but their true nature remains the same. But then again, this is our point of view.

You might be with a person who has genuinely changed.

However, if you realize that the person you are with is immoral, then there is no point in waiting for a miracle. Just leave them be.

5. Be Clear About What You Want

It won’t be wrong to say that in every relationship, the people involved are usually not on the same page. At least, initially. Is this something that you can adjust with or cannot compromise?

If exclusivity and a serious, committed relationship is your thing, then no use being in a relationship with a person who doesn’t want the same.

It will only lead to frustration. It is totally up to you to wait for them to come around, or call it quits today.

Let them know exactly what do you want from this relationship. Stop wasting each other’s time.

be clear about what you want

6. Take A Firm Stand

One partner is inherently dominant, and the other submits to it most of the time.

Occasionally, the submissive partner behaves dominantly, and the dominant one takes the backseat. It is perfectly natural in a relationship and should feel natural too.

One should not try to become supreme because, in the end, both are equal in this relationship.

If you always find your partner trying to assert dominance forcefully, trying to have their way with blatant disregard for your opinion and choices, then it is high time to take a firm stand and tell them to stop.

7. Change The Bad Habits If You Can Or Leave

If it is something that is harmful to them or both of you, like alcohol, drug, and gambling addiction, then the right partner will always try to help the addict out of their situation.

Do it, but not at the cost of losing yourself in the process. If they aren’t willing to change, leave them.

A person who cannot think about their life will never be able to think about yours. Also, under no circumstances stay with a person who abuses you, hits you.

This is a no brainer. You make someone a part of your life to feel good and happy. Instead, if you are beaten and abused, then why are you still with them?

8. Politely Let Them Know What Is Bothering You

It is always within your rights to let your partner know that their habits, words, actions, or lifestyle are slowing you down.

If they are unknowingly behaving like a parasite or show needy behavior like the need to be always around you, talk to you, then correct them.

Let them know that you also have a life of your own and need time for yourself. In case they are knowingly doing it, then reconsider this relationship.

Does this person love you, or are they just using you for monetary benefits, physical relations, etc.?

You may help them in the name of love once, twice, but then ask yourself how long you can carry this burden?

politely let them know what is bothering you

9. Understand The Reason Behind It And Discuss It

This is bound to happen within the first year of the relationship itself. Things start to settle, and we get comfortable with our partners.

However, don’t feel that they don’t love you anymore, or they are not interested in you. If you no longer see an attractive trait in them, simply letting them know will do wonders.

By understanding what attracts you to them (maybe they gave time to a specific hobby, always made you laugh, etc.) a concerned partner will try and keep it up to keep the spark alive.

For whatever reason they have stopped, just let them know to start doing those things again.

10. Try To Correct Yourself Wherever Possible Or End It

Reverse the situation and see your partner trying to find an answer to this question. Do any of the points mentioned above apply to you?

If yes, correct yourself wherever you can and try to save your relationship. It would always be wise to face the problems and accept your flaws.

We should always strive for correcting ourselves and becoming better than yesterday.

If you feel that too much is expected from you and you don’t want to change at all, then it is better to end it right here and right now.

Indeed, you don’t want a partner at the cost of losing your inner self.


Every relationship, whether a simple one or even a marriage seems all hunky-dory in the beginning until the real problems surface.

A large number of relationships do not last beyond the first three months. Not everybody is lucky enough to stay forever with the one person they fall for.

The beauty of every perfect relationship lies in the fact that it is imperfect in some way, with constant efforts being made by both the partners to make it perfect.

Now it is your turn to describe the experiences regarding the first year in your relationships. Did you cruise through or was it tough? Tell us!

Shashank Verma

A trained theatre actor and a STEM graduate who brings perspectives and methods from these worlds into dating and relationships. Also a big time Krav Maga enthusiast and practitioner.

Recent Posts