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Commit or Quit The 'Two Year Rule' and other Rules for Romance Harry Benson

11th May 2020
Digital (delivered electronically)
128 pages:

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"This isn't just a relationship self help guide - although every young man should pick it up and read it […] This book outlines how couples who decide to commit to sticking together are more likely to do so than those who simply slide into an ever more constrained relationship.”

Frank Young, Head of Family Policy, Centre for Social Justice

You're in a relationship. Maybe you’ve been together for a while or you are just starting out. Maybe you’re living together or just thinking about it. It seems great. But you want to be sure.

With the decline of marriage, the relationship game has changed. Yet we’re still not very sure about how to play it. Moving in together early on has become the new social norm, but it’s not risk-free. The nature of cohabitation itself can encourage ambiguity and drift in a promising relationship and make it hard to end an unpromising one.

Accepting that cohabitation is here to stay, Harry Benson offers a roadmap to navigate the ups-and-downs of modern relationships. Drawing on the latest research on relationships and commitment, he introduces the Two-Year Rule and other Rules for Romance that will help couples make the right choices, find the reliable love they seek, and, ultimately, to "commit or quit".

Foreword 9
Acknowledgments 13

Preface Their future: In her head 16
Lauren was eyeing up wedding rings. Lee was eyeing up somebody else.

Introduction All change in the game of love 18
Birth control has changed the game of relationships over the last fifty years. But we are not playing it very well.

Chapter 1 Stuck on you 27
Time and time again I hear stories of women living in what should be a perfectly good relationship but which is going nowhere. Stuck.

Chapter 2 Looking for reliable love 36
All of us want reliable love. We need somebody to whom we can commit and who will commit to us. But what does commitment mean?

Chapter 3 Decide or slide? 50
Some good things in life happen by accident. Most happen because somebody made a plan. Why should relationships be any different?

Chapter 4 Do you love me? 67
An essential ingredient of any successful relationship is the resolution of any lingering anxiety and ambiguity. What we all need is clarity.

Chapter 5 Rules for romance 78
You’d choose a business partner with great care. And so it should be with a life partner. Here are two simple rules that will help you choose well.

Chapter 6 All you need is love? 88
What puts a marriage at risk in the early years is not a lack of love. It’s the way we treat each other badly. Here are four STOP signs to watch out for.

Chapter 7 To marry or not? 101
The odds are stacked in your favour if you marry – and against if you don’t – because marriage has all the ingredients needed to make a relationship work.

Chapter 8 The two-year rule 114
It’s easy for a relationship to drift without a plan or clear intentions. Is there a right time to have that conversation? Yes. It’s the two-year rule.

Chapter 9 Commit or quit! 123
We’ve lost confidence in our ability to give wise advice to younger couples who are drifting. But that’s exactly what they need and want.

Notes 132

All the references and a bit more detail for the studies cited in
this book.


Harry Benson is one of Britain’s leading champions for marriage. As research director for Marriage Foundation, his findings are routinely cited in the media and by politicians and have made front page news on several occasions. Harry has spent the last twenty years researching, writing and teaching about marriage and family. Harry is the author of Commit or Quit, What Mums Want (and Dads Need to Know), Let's Stick Together, and Mentoring Marriages.

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