In my short life I’ve had many lessons from relationships. One thing I have taken from them is that as hard as these lessons may be at the time, they mean growth and they mean change.
Of course, at the time I did not feel like this at all (or even see this a year later), but these lessons do change you – whether you want it to or not. Sometimes they are for the better, as it can give you more patience and understanding and sometimes it can make you a little more wary or cautious. Whatever your lesson is, it’s impossible to remain the same person you once were.
Often I hear people that are in long term relationships say things like “my husband has changed, he’s not the same person he was when we first got together…”, which may be right and totally valid – but when we think a little bit more deeply about it, we can ask simple questions to ourselves like: Is our situation the same as when we got together? Do we have a family now? Have I changed? Do I see him in any other light than I did right at the start? What journeys have we taken together?
All your moments together – good or bad – have defined you and your partner, and formed you into who you are and built the kind of relationship you have today. So yes, he or she has probably changed but you have too. It’s not always a bad thing, it’s just different.
And, if you take that as something factual it can become quite clear.
Your needs may have changed, you may need more from your partner in some ways and less in others, your partner may feel the same too and the only way we can do this is to keep a calm and open channel for communication.
Keeping our mind open to our partner’s desires and dreams and understanding that they most likely not like yours is key, and you’ll realise that they are no less important than your own – they are just different.
Relationships do change, they are suppose to. They will challenge you, they will push you, they can even make you feel an explosion of emotions and they will make you grow.
In my opinion this is great! If we didn’t have this how would we know our full potential? If we have never been through a “rough patch” in a relationship we may of never grown into the beautiful people we are today. You may have never known a different side to your relationship and with that you may see different sides of the person you love. Strength, persistence or even weakness – all of these things can give you more insight and understanding of the one you love, but also and understanding of yourself.
Perception is everything.
Of course there is a lot of layers to people and relationships, but one thing I fully believe in and can make a huge difference in a relationship is how we communicate with that person. Sometimes it’s how we say things and not what we say that can be the most damaging. Sometimes we can not say anything at all because it’s too painful or we just don’t know how.
Keeping your communication open can be as simple as a mid day text to see how they are, or a smile for nothing, a thank you for the little things they do that you may have never notice before. Why? Because no matter how old or who you are we all have one thing in common… We all liked to feel appreciated.
We are constantly changing and growing. If we can change our perception, to have more understanding for the growth of others it can make a world of difference to how you can feel towards your partner. We are all individuals at the end of the day and we are all at different stages in our life. Some may need more support at this time.
Simple ways to stay connected and support each other
- Set a time away each week just to hang out. I love the term “date night”, but really it could just be a chat while lying on the couch together.
- Touch – Actions speak louder than words and are easier to communicate for some people. Men and women communicate differently, so try to understand that this could be hard for your partner to share their true feelings. A gentle touch can sometimes express more emotion than words for some. This could be as simple as resting your hand of their lap or sitting closer together. Non-direct communication like this can put your partner at ease and they can feel your love without you having to say a thing.
- Ask them how their day was – sometimes we need to get things off our chest without even realizing it. Better out than holding small things in everyday. They eventually turn into the big things!
- Say “thank you” – so many of us take the small things for granted, especially when our partner does them for us day in day out. Why not take 5 seconds out of your day to thank them for it?