As an observer of relationships, I must admit that I am tickled from time to time when something changes in the relationship and the people in the ship either ignore the elephant in the room or pretend like nothing is happening.
Scenario one—The Gradual CHANGE
One day she wakes up and realizes that she’s lost herself in her relationship and has begun her journey of taking back her life. Here lies the problem, men are not that complicated.
While there are some men that may have wanted you to change, the truth is that in most cases we as women voluntarily become all that he needs us to be and lose ourselves in the process.
So ladies, while you are out re-discovering yourself, be firm but gentle with the guy who is going through the changes with you. Be mindful that while you’ve changed over time so did your partner.
Effective communication is key to building the foundation of any relationship. If your foundation is solid to begin with, you can weather a change over time like a champ.
Honestly WE are constantly evolving, changing and growing. Hopefully your love is strong enough to grow with each other through the change.
Scenario two—The Abrupt CHANGE
What you did to get your guy or girl is what is needed to keep them.
There is nothing worse than doing something to get someone to fall for you and then stop doing the very thing that made them crazy over you. This is a quick way to form a crack in your foundation and allow a shift to come into play.
You can NOT quit your job without consulting with your partner first.
You can NOT purchase BIG ticket items without both parties’ approval
Abrupt change is a quick one- way street to conflict.
These are selfish acts where one party only sees their side of the story not the WE factor of the relationship.
The word “I” is used quite a bit here, but when “I” wins the case of “CHANGE” the “WE” is often the loser of the relationship.
Scenario three—The Subtle CHANGE: Subtle change often causes the worst damage because it’s gradual over time.
In this scenario, one or both parties have become disinterested in their partner and begin to tolerate the relationship. There is no romance or intimacy and if it does exist, it is more out of functionality than anything else.
With the subtle change, intimacy if it exists at all, is out of a need-to-have basis.
Subtle change is often the most difficult to restore because the person is no longer in the relationship mentally. This type of change can easily turn into infidelity if it is not addressed immediately.
CHANGE is inevitable. It’s going to happen with or without your permission! So my suggestion is to BE PRESENT in the direction of where your SHIP is sailing. By being present, I mean that you will have those conversations about expectations.
If those expectations shift or change you are comfortable enough with each other to discuss and work on a compromise.
Do couples outgrow each other? Absolutely!
However, love built on a good foundation is not afraid to redecorate, to add an additional wing, paint vibrant colors, open the windows with love, and get dirty to clean up what is messed up.
Because the foundation is secure, lovers will fess up when they mess up, and can renew, rebuild and remind us all of what good love is.
No matter the change.
Photo: Stuart Miles