There is a reason the first few years of any relationship is called the “honeymoon phase”.
Its that time when everything is new and exciting. You are getting to know each other, exploring each other’s minds and bodies, you are working out how you fit together if at all, developing your love language and the communication patterns that work for you.
At the beginning, things are full of passion – the sex, the fights, the fun. Its explosive and spontaneous and new.
But as the years go on, your relationship WILL change. It has to. And if it doesn’t, well, the question I’d be asking is if there has been any relationship growth either.
Relationships are meant to have their ups and their downs so we can grow and evolve as one, and not just as two individual people. Couple growth is very different from individual growth and I’m a big believer that ‘self-love’ just doesn’t cut it when it comes to making a partnership work.
I do agree that each and every person should always be working on themselves, ensuring they are evolving as human beings. Self-awareness and the ability to look past the superficial to truly love yourself – this is important. Moving past traumas and wounds, healing emotionally and sometimes physically – this is important. Realising what you are aligned with and what makes you happy – this is important. Living your authentic life – this is important too!
But, and this is a big but…
For all of those people out there who are already in a loving, long term relationship, but still battling away on their own trying to find this ‘self love’ thing before they rediscover their ground within their partnership, I’m sorry to say you probably never will. If you can’t grow together and still continue your own game of life, then it might be time to stop wasting time.
It sounds harsh I know, but when you commit to a relationship with another, that relationship needs to become as important as the relationship you have with yourself. This is why I mentioned the honeymoon period. In the beginning your get to test the waters and decide whether you’ve chosen someone who you can grow with. Because too often we expect the honeymoon phase to last forever and then cant cope when it doesn’t. We haven’t started the evolution and growth phase in our relationship and instead we start to sink.
You’ve heard of the 7 year itch right? It’s a real thing! Its testing you, testing the growth, testing the relationship and only the strong will survive. It doesn’t stop there either. You will constantly be tested and pushed to your limits because that’s life people. Once again, if you haven’t learnt how to grow as a partnership, you wont survive.
Iv’e spent a lot of time growing as a person throughout my 12.5 years with Pablo. I was 18 when we got together, I had previous traumas that I brought into the relationship, I grew through different modes of study, jobs, heart breaks and family breakups, death, friendships beginning and ending, children, travel, self-awareness, fitness, illness, healing – fuck I grew through crazy amounts of things. I'm 31 now and feel like it’s the first time I really know myself. The growing wont stop there though, I'll keep growing as a woman and human too.
But, this growing was all done, and will keep being done, side by side with Pablo who had his own growing to do too. And together, the biggest growing we did was as a couple. Because not only did we navigate our relationship, but also weathered the storms of each other’s growth and healing too! Relationships call for selflessness.
If you can’t hold space for yourself AND your partner AND your relationship – then whats the point of being with another in the first place?
It’s a shame, but I hear way too often that one person in a relationship is unsure of their future because their partner isn’t as self-aware as they are. They aren’t on the same level of “spiritual consciousness”. Hell, if this was good enough reason to give up on them, Pablo would have left me a loooooong time ago. So I’m sorry but the spiritual fucking high horse card just doesn’t play well with me.
We can’t judge the stage of growth our partner is at. We must just be there to support them on their journey, continue our own, and come together in love and honesty to work on the growth of the relationship as a separate entity too.
I will be doing a follow up on this piece soon and delving a little deeper into what happens on the journey of the long-term relationship. Hopefully this, and the next article, will help a few of you realise that growth isn’t a one-person thing when you’ve committed to be in a relationship too. The growth of you, them and the couple are all equally as important and equally as necessary.
If anyone has any questions, shoot me a message! Always happy to help shine light on situations and thought processes with you.