Reader Question: “Why do I want to leave my fiance in my Week 2?”
This morning, I received an email from a Hormonology reader who was concerned about her feelings for her fiance. She tells me she’s thinking about breaking up with him–even though she says there are lots of reasons to stay and he’s a good man. While she acknowledges that there are many factors to consider before breaking up, she also wonders if where she is in her menstrual cycle is playing a role in how she feels.
So, she asks, “Which week in my menstrual cycle am I more likely to want to break up with my fiance or that I’m focusing more on his negatives than positives? I’m in my Week 2 right now.”
If you’ve ever felt like you wanted to break up with your partner, certainly there are many factors to consider before you make your decision. But, believe it or not, where you are in your menstrual cycle may be a more important factor to consider than you think. Here’s why:
There are two weeks in your monthly cycle when you might experience a stronger urge to break up with your partner:
One of these weeks is your Week 2 (the week leading up to and including ovulation). This is because high estrogen is actually pushing you to seek out someone new–even if you’re already attached–and the type of person this hormone is pushing you toward is someone who’s physically attractive, strong, fit, over-confident, assertive, competitive and flirtatious. The reason your high estrogen does this is because these kinds of traits typically indicate a mate who’s got a high level of testosterone–and that often means the person is virile with healthy genes, which is what your hormones want you to go after in case you get pregnant at ovulation, which occurs at the end of your Week 2.
As a result of all this hormonal romantic meddling, you may find yourself attracted to someone else. Or you might be temporarily attracted to different types of attributes than those your current mate displays. So, for example, your sweetheart may be kind and considerate, but your hormones are temporarily making you prefer someone assertive and confident. But, the key point here is that this is temporary. Once you reach your Week 3, you’ll likely prefer the kindness and consideration that made you fall for your honey once again.
Here’s another factor to consider: During your Week 2, high estrogen makes you want to flirt like it’s your second job. And, you could feel reined in and constrained if you’re in a committed relationship and not able to flirt, making you want to break it off so you can have this freedom.
The second time in your cycle when you’re prone to cut the cord in your relationship is during your premenstrual Week 4. This is because plunging estrogen can drag down levels of mood-managing brain chemicals–and when this happens, you’re prone to focusing on the negatives and have less patience with all your partner’s little faults or you may find new faults you didn’t notice before. For instance, you may feel like your honey doesn’t show enough appreciation of you or isn’t living up to ideals you’ve set or maybe you just can’t stand the sound your partner makes when he or she chews their food.
Now that you know about these two cycle phases where your feelings for your mate can change, here’s my suggestion to you if you’re considering a break-up: Take your emotional pulse and think carefully about how you feel about your partner during each of the four weeks of your cycle before you make your decision. If you feel your commitment tends to be low for the majority of your cycle, then this is likely what your true feelings are. However, if you feel like your commitment to your sweetie goes up and down with your cycle–especially during either of these two cycle weeks–then it’s likely just your hormones playing tricks with you and you really do love your partner.
[Photo: Will Luo]
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