If you grew up watching Disney princesses, you probably had this fantasy-type idea of what relationships looked like. As you got older, relationships looked a little more like rom-coms; the girl went from partner to partner trying to find the one, always choosing the one that was obviously wrong for her, or completely isolated herself from love. Then when you actually got into a relationship, you went back to the idea that it was supposed to be this fantastical experience; rainbows and butterflies all the time.
Truth is, relationships are none of those, and all of those. When you first get into a relationship, you’re in love and starstruck with the feeling of something new. And if you get into a relationship at a young age, good luck. You’re discovering this new person and loving every moment. What happens is this feeling eventually fades because 1) we don’t (or choose not to) understand that people change and 2) we stop trying to discover all the new changes.
It’s beautiful, and quite necessary, to change and evolve into the person you want to be and are meant to be. But what happens when the person is your partner? The partner you first fell in love with is now very different from who they were. So we keep trying to hold our partners to this version we have in our heads of who they are; either based on their past or present choices. Why is it that we, in our own minds and bodies, can change and evolve, but fear this change in our significant others?
Whether the changes result in a positive/negative outcome for you, your partner can’t be held to your expectations. Maybe this means that your partner is no longer someone you want to be in a relationship with; that’s okay. Maybe this means that your partner is having a hard time evolving and growing, and needs your help navigating; that’s okay.
There’s so much love to be found and built-in discovery. But in order to discover, there must be a change. This could be as simple as a change of thought, change of routine, change of scenery, or as deep as a change of mindset, change of life’s course, etc. Think of the last time you asked your partner what skill they would like to develop, then asked why. You might learn something new. But we get so comfortable in being where we are, for fear that anything new might not have the outcome we want for ourselves.
Whatever the case, we should be accepting of change and be ready to discover what those changes mean.