Reader Question: “Why do I want to leave my fiance in my Week 2?”

/Reader Question: “Why do I want to leave my fiance in my Week 2?”

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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By | 2018-09-09T13:05:33+00:00 July 25th, 2016|hormonology tip, relationships, Week 2, Week 4|5 Comments

About the Author:

Gabrielle Lichterman is the founder of Hormonology, author of 28 Days: What Your Cycle Reveals about Your Love Life, Moods and Potential and creator of the popular Hormone Horoscope apps and Female Forecaster app. She teaches how hormones impact a woman's moods, health and behavior in talks and workshops.

5 Comments

  1. Anonymous October 31, 2018 at 4:35 am

    Hi Gabrielle,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Based on the way I was feeling, I didn’t think it was fair to continue things without saying anything. By the time I’d come round to the beginning of my week three I was really starting to feel that it just wasn’t right and so I ended things a few days later. He took it really well at the time and I left feeling that it was the right thing to do and sad but positive – even through the majority of my week four when I knew I would feel particularly rubbish about things. However, he messaged, wanting to talk, as he realised it had actually hit him pretty hard and wanted to understand more and see if my feelings really were set. This came towards the end of my week four and it quite upset me – it’s horrible to know that someone was hurting because of me, even if there’s nothing that can be done about it.

    We met a couple of days ago, on day two of my week one and, since then, the doubts about my decision have started to creep in. I realised when I saw him that my conviction that it wasn’t right wasn’t nearly as strong as it had been but I told him that I was following my gut on this one and that my doubts were about the strength of my feelings for him, not anything he’d done. As a result, I don’t feel it’s something I can go back on at this stage.

    As you suggest, I am going to see how I feel about things over the coming weeks – I realise that it may be that the strength of his feelings for me are what’s making me have doubts about my decision rather than just my own feelings. Also, like you said, I had all of the most positive phase of my menstrual cycle with these feelings not being quite right… And I made my final decision in my week three, so I feel I did the best I could at the time to take my hormones into account.

    Obviously I’ve been thinking about this a lot but I’m going to try to leave my over analytical brain out if it from now and just let myself feel whatever I feel then act upon something if need be.

    Thanks again for your message – it’s definitely helpful 🙂

  2. Gabrielle Lichterman October 21, 2018 at 9:59 am

    I understand all of what you’re saying–and you bring up a lot of good points about how you feel about this person, coupled with how your hormones are impacting your romantic desires and moods. From what you’ve written, it seems that now that the fiery feelings that stir up positive emotions and attraction at the start of any relationship are cooling (which is normal after dating someone a few months) and the “best face” we put on during this courting phase is slipping away, allowing you to see this person in a more realistic light, you are seeing this is not someone with whom you want to have a long-term relationship. And, if you’re having these thoughts in your Week 2 — when high estrogen is pushing you to see him in the best possible light by revving mood and optimism — even if he isn’t your classic “Week 2 guy” (the short-term relationship type who’s overly confident, flirtatious, ambitious, cocky, etc.), it seems like your doubts are genuine. If you don’t want to lead him on and continue the relationship if you feel it will just end, you can always take a break. Then, if you genuinely miss him–in all phases of your cycle–rekindle the romance. If you don’t miss him, then you can move on. Is that something that you could find helpful?

  3. B October 10, 2018 at 3:59 am

    Morning all!

    I’ve typically been very bad at assessing my feelings towards partners and, as a result, have found myself in relationships which, a few years down the line, seem like an obvious mismatch – which it then feels like my ‘intuition’ knew all along because I had doubts about the strength of my feelings throughout but became very attached and committed anyway (and could only end things when there was enough really obvious stuff not right in the relationships). I think my hormone cycle, and not having understood it at the time, was a massive factor in clouding my judgement as my feelings were constantly going up and down.

    I’ve recently started dating someone – just a couple of months – and the first few dates were amazing, convincing me that I’d met someone who I really wanted to be with. Plus, on paper, he just ticks so many boxes. However, this bubble seems to have been burst recently (literally in the past week) and I’ve been left feeling confused and disappointed – it was all ‘yes yes yes’ and now it’s ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t think so…’. I suppose this is just reality setting in – I was infatuated with the person I thought I was dating and now I’m getting to know the real person and perhaps they’re just not as good a match as I thought. He is still a good match on paper, though, it’s just that my feelings and attraction towards him have considerably cooled.

    I feel like someone who was much more sure of themselves in relationships (whereas I typically have not been!) would know that this is an indication that they’re just not that into it – if I’d been feeling like this on date two or three I don’t think I’d have pursued anything further. Knowing, though, how much hormones affect me (I’m very very sensitive to them and am trying to get a diagnosis for severe PMS), I’m trying to see if these feelings are hormone-related or if it really is just the fact that now I know him a bit better, I’m realising he’s just not for me.

    The doubts started setting in a few days into my week one and now I’m half way through my week two and I’m really feeling it’s not right – but I appreciate that he’s not the type of guy that I would be naturally attracted to in my week two as he’s quite nerdy and very sweet and kind (the kind of things I would much rather have in a long term relationship!). I suppose I should just wait to see how I feel in my week three… the other thing, though, is that if I have to end it, which I would still feel quite upset about even though it’s just been a short period of time, I’d quite like to be supported by the buoyancy of my week two hormones (right now, I feel I would deal with the whole situation fine!), rather than be heading into the soul-sucking depression that I know my week four can be.

    I always turn to Hormonology as one of my guides to help me understand the way I might be feeling about certain things so that I know I can make the best decision possible. Really, I know that there’s probably no reason to not wait a full cycle with the doubts I’m feeling but I want to be as fair to him as possible (not ‘leading him on’ as it were) and don’t want to find myself in a similar situation as with my past relationships – i.e. ending up in something long term because of becoming attached owing mainly to the amount and type of time I’m spending with someone and out of my desire to be in a committed relationship.

    That was quite a rambly message but, if nothing else, writing it down will have helped me a bit!

  4. Gabrielle Lichterman August 1, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    You’re not the only one, Joy. I have gotten a surprising number of responses about this post. Clearly a lot of women have this same impulse in their cycle!

  5. Joy July 27, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    This is exactly why I love the “notes” feature of the app. Because I’ve noticed that I consistently want to push pause on my relationship at the same point of my cycle every month. Doesn’t make the impulse any less strong but it does make me realize that it’s just hormones….

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