“They’re just two people who realized they wanted different things in life and were headed in different directions.”
by Carson Abrir
It looks like the three-year glitch isn’t just a British thing. Americans Justin Timberlake, 30, and Jessica Biel, 29, found it too much for them too. Jessica Biel was born in Ely, Minnesota and Justin Timberlake is from Shelby Forest, Tennessee. No British connection there.
People reports the couple’s three-year romance “had simply run its course.”
“It really was mutual,” a source close to the couple said. “There really wasn’t a final straw. They’re just two people who realized they wanted different things in life and were headed in different directions.”
Wouldn’t that have been easier to find out three years ago?
While it’s normal for anyone to feel love for a person who is a pleasure in our lives – and by all accounts Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel shared a lot of fun together during the last years of their 20s – spending three years to find out your lover has different goals is a bit much.
Unless they’re both interested in a revolving door of velcro relationships that all eventually run their course, here’s a tip for a conversation Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel should consider for the next person either starts dating. If you’re on a date with Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, or anyone else, feel free to pitch the idea yourself.
Over a meal, drinks or one of those gigantic Starbucks 31 ounce Trentas, casually mention you read about something online from a marriage education program (“relationship skills,” if that’s safer) that you want to try. It’s called a Daily Temperature Reading, or a “DTR.”
If your date is game, explain that it’ll just take 15 minutes or so and will give you a chance to take your relationship to a new level. You can explain it’s sort of like watering the garden of your budding romance. Everyone gets the idea that watering a garden is a good thing.
Make it fun.
Once you’re green-lighted, follow these five steps in order. Order is important.
Start with Appreciations, letting each other know one or more specific things you appreciate about each other. If you can’t come up with something about the person or visa versa, that’s worth noting. Pay attention to what each of you say about how you’re a pleasure in each other’s lives.
Next, take turns talking about New Information, meaning whatever is new in each of your lives. Keep it fairly short. It’s not meant to be everything from birth to the present, just a chance to see what stands out for each of you about what’s going on in your life at the moment.
Next, give each of you a chance to ask about any Puzzles you have, which means putting in words anything you may be wondering about the other person. Instead of waiting to find out from what a source privately whispered to People, get used to asking each other when there’s something you don’t understand or want to make sure you don’t misunderstand. Assumptions are never good for relationships.
With Appreciations, New Information and Puzzles in your rear view mirror, think about if you have any Concerns with Recommendations about anything getting in the way of the relationship being the best it can be – not something general, but specifically. If either of you come up with something, don’t keep it inside, wait for a meeting with a psychiatrist (they’re very busy these days), or a chat with the tabloid reporter, share it with the person directly. Be sure to also include what you want instead in a way that’s impossible to misunderstand. Don’t beat around the bush. It’s helpful to also say how you feel about the concern (remember, feelings are emotions, not thoughts).
End the watering your relationship garden exercise with Wishes, Hopes and Dreams. That means saying out loud what you’re wishing, hoping or dreaming about for today, this year, this lifetime, or anywhere in between. It also means listening carefully to what your date shares about their own.
It shouldn’t take three years to find out if you and someone who may be a pleasure in your life at a particular moment have the building blocks for lasting love.
If you need help remembering the five steps (appreciations; new information; puzzles; concerns with recommendations; wishes, hopes and dreams), you can write it on your hand, download the free PAIRS DTR app from iTunes, or participate in a relationship skills or marriage education class online or in-person. The class will take a few hours, but that’s much less costly than spending three years waiting to find out if you’re in a short-term romance or have really found the love of your life.
PAIRS DTR: Five Steps for Watering Your Relationship