It's not what you're expecting, promise.
Spoiler alert: this fantasy has nothing to do with sex and bedroom acrobatics. Also, it is not at all romantic.
For the most recent issue of Women’s Health US the team commissioned a survey of over 1400 men and women that aimed to establish which were the most common problems couples argued about.
One of the most intriguing findings was this:
53% of women fantasise about splitting up with their significant other. And 44% of men never think about it at all.
The statistic about women is rather a depressing one (the one about men is encouraging, but that’s another story for another article).
The fact that the majority of women are entertaining fantasies about calling it quits suggests lots of relationships are threaded through with unhappiness, or at least, that something about these romantic partnerships leaves many women dissatisfied.
So why are so many women fantasising about breaking-up with their partners? Maybe it’s just a healthy, cathartic way of wrestling with our relationship issues. Perhaps by imagining alternative scenarios it gives us a more pragmatic perspective on our situation.
One thing is for sure – our culture is pretty fixated on the ‘what if’ mentality, something that could be responsible for kick-starting these thought patterns.
In our personal lives and careers we’re actively encouraged to explore lots of different options. ‘You’ll never know until you try’ is a motto we’ve all delivered and received…
Nowadays, we don’t necessarily have to pick one career path and stick to it – that’s what the old-guard did. We will probably be working in to our 70s so more progressive thinking dictates that we can have several professions along the way or do many things at once (be a writer/potter/activist/baker), if we want to. Options. Always Open.
Likewise, online dating has increased our dating possibilities. We have more opportunities and fewer obstacles. The pool of potential dates has expanded dramatcally since everyone signed up to Tinder (etc).
The internet has also affected our boredom thresholds and made us obsessed with the newest, latest, bestest most updated everything.
So perhaps it’s fair to speculate that if, for whatever reason, we feel restless in our relationships, fantasising about leaving isn’t necessarily a prospect that smacks us with fear – leaving could be a positive opportunity, one that’s potentially exciting to consider.
So maybe the stat isn’t so depressing after all. It’s not necessarily a damming reflection on our current relationship, maybe we’ve just been quietly conditioned to take pleasure in chasing the new, exploring our options and wondering, ‘what if?’.