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When to Move On: Relationship Advice for Your 20s, 30s, and 40s

Angry_Couple_400Here are some guidelines for how long to stay in a relationship without seeing real signs of a serious commitment. From I Suck at Relationships So You Don’t Have To.

Maybe you are committed… but not really committed. Maybe you want marriage. In general, I think this depends a lot on how old you are and what stage of your life you are both in. How long should you wait out a period of no growth in a relationship? In general, I believe in the 3-2-1 Rules.

The 3-2-1 Rules are good guidelines for how long to stay in a relationship without seeing real signs of a serious commitment (marriage or whatever you need). Unless you don’t care about a commitment and you are happy with your relationship exactly the way it is, the maximum time you should stay in a relationship without this movement is:

• In your twenties: no longer than three years
• In your thirties: no longer than two years
• In your forties: no longer than one year

Of course, all rules have exceptions, and if two people are very different ages, you may need to find a way to meet in the middle. A guy in his thirties with a girl in her forties may not be ready for a commitment as soon as she is. A guy in his fifties might want to settle down more quickly than a girl in her forties just getting over a divorce. Otherwise, consider the 3-2-1 Rules loose guidelines for bringing up the conversation about needing more than you are getting. Your relationship should be what it is, but when you feel really lost, the above timeline can help give your chaotic thinking some structure.

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