Couples Don’t Simply Grow Apart, They fail to Grow Together
Posted October 11, 2022 by Guest Poster -
Buddha once said, “When you like a flower, you pick it. But when you love a flower, you water it.”
I cannot think of a better analogy for a relationship.
To see our relationships grow and blossom, we must give the relationship what it needs most…communication.
Communication is the basis for all healthy relationships and the road by which we grow together as a couple.
Couples don’t simply grow apart.
They fail to grow together!
I cannot tell you how many times I have had a client come to me and say, “He is not the same person I fell in love with.” or “She is not the same as when we first started dating/got married.”
I always reply with the same answer…GOOD!
Who wants a person who has not grown in his/her life?
Who wants someone who has not evolved over time?
I am not sure anyone wants that … I know I certainly don’t.
What most people are REALLY trying to say is, “My partner has stopped doing some of the things I most enjoyed about them in the beginning.”
The truth is, YOU have probably stopped doing some of the things they most enjoyed about you initially.
I am sure that you probably don’t text them as often throughout the day just to see how they are doing, you probably don’t put as much effort into your appearance as you did in the beginning, and you probably stopped being as affectionate as you were in the beginning.
And the list goes on…
The thing is, we all grow.
This is an inescapable reality of life.
We grow through knowledge and experiences.
We are not the same person we were last week, let alone 1, 5, or 10 years ago…THANKFULLY!
People grow and evolve and tend to forget that little fact when it comes to growth in a relationship.
So, when I hear someone tell me that their partner is not the same person they met and fell in love with, I know that these two people have failed to grow together while they have been growing individually.
They stopped getting to know one another on a basic level – likes, dislikes, passions, and desires.
Think back to when you were first dating and growing your relationship.
What was going on that made everything exciting?
How did you know you wanted to go on a second, third, or fourth date?
What happened when you moved in together?
In all that chaos and excitement at the beginning of your relationship, one common event was taking place that has slowly fizzled away with time…you were learning about one another!
YOU WERE COMMUNICATING.
You were constantly sharing AND listening.
People tend to stop communicating and stop asking questions and “getting to know one another” as they get comfortable in their relationships.
They suddenly think that since they have been with this person for “X” amount of time, they know everything about them!
- How they take their coffee in the morning
- What TV show is their favorite
- What they are passionate about
- Their goals
Couples can fail to realize that as people grow and change, so do their likes, dislikes, passions, and desires.
The things that excited your partner five years ago may not excite them now, and vice versa.
People are often under the assumption that once the relationship begins, the work stops.
I always tell my clients that “People don’t simply grow apart. They fail to grow together.”
I love this mindset because it gets people into a GROWTH MINDEST rather than a fixed mindset, which is super important to the health of a relationship.
Having a fixed mindset in a relationship is when you think everything is set in stone and there is no room for growth or change.
This type of thinking will only lead to stagnation and, eventually, the end of the relationship!
Having a GROWTH MINDSET means that you believe you CAN and SHOULD always grow and improve as a couple.
This type of thinking is essential for a healthy, long-lasting relationship.
Relationships take work, but they’re 100% worth it when you’re with the right person.
So what is the solution if you feel you’ve grown away from your partner?
- Get to know your partner all over again.
- Find out what new things they are into.
- What are their thoughts on current events?
- How has their job changed since you have been together?
- What new music or podcasts are they listening to?
- Who has been a recent inspiration of theirs?
- What are their thoughts on new fashion or social media trends?
- What are they passionate about?
- What are some things they dislike?
If you take the time to do this, you will be amazed at how much you don’t know about the person you are with.
And, chances are, they feel the same way about you!
Now is the time for you to get back to the basics…begin dating each other again.
Whether that means having a date night dinner or simply going for a walk together.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy!
The idea is that you are reconnecting and grounding each other in your relationship.
You need to be experiencing new things together and giving yourself time to nurture the relationship daily.
When you do this, you begin to learn about each other and grow together as a couple while you are each growing individually.
Show your relationship love by watering it … watch it grow and blossom!
Looking for more support? The Honest Weekend© is a great tool for exploring growth as a couple.
Dr. Ryan Rasner is a highly sought-after relationship development expert who uses a goal driven and research based approach to coaching. His goal-driven methodology is based on the latest findings in relationship development science, and has helped clients from all walks of life achieve success in their relationships. Dr. Ryan has spent over a decade researching the science of human behavior, and his work has been published in some of the most respected publications in the field, including Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology & Romantic Relationships; Handbook of Communication Science and Biology; Imagination, Cognition, and Personality; Psychology Today; and many others.
What sets Dr. Ryan apart is his ability to help people build unshakable relationships. He has a rare gift for understanding what makes people tick and helping them unlock their potential. With a passion for helping others reach their potential, Dr. Ryan uses his skills as an expert coach and consultant to help people create the relationships they’ve always wanted—and deserve.
Photo Credit: Erin Potter Photography