My best friend shot me an idea for an article the other day. The topic was “Sustaining relationships from teen years into adulthood”. It came out of nowhere at like 2:30 AM, and to be honest I was stumped by it at the time. I found it interesting, but wasn’t sure how to answer it in a way that applied to our modern dating spectrum.
Out of nowhere this one text had become the most thought-provoking topic of my writing career. And I loved it. I was tired sure, but excited by the challenge.
Next thing you know I spent 45 minutes overthinking and crumbling up outlines.
I didn’t want to write some BS; this deserved a well-thought-out answer. But I was having such a brain fart at the time I ended up having to put on music. I wanted something smooth and soft that wouldn’t mess with my train of thought, but take me on a journey to my answer.
And there was my holy grail: Marvin Gaye “My love is growing”.
Oh, in my darkest hours
I want to see your face
Then I know, baby
That my love is growing
I don’t even know how I ended up in 1973 but I’m glad I did. The answer had been in front of me this entire time. The key to sustaining any relationship, has always been growth.
An ability to change and adapt individually and as a couple. I’ve brought up growth before but have never gone in depth. First, you have to find someone who is willing to grow with you. This means that your relationship needs its stripes before thinking about a future with them. You can’t expect someone to grow with you if they aren’t at that stage of the relationship.
You’d be surprised how people are in relationships yet refer to those they date as “temporary”. Make sure that they see you as a partner for the long term. Wanting to grow with someone who isn’t at your same level of romantic maturity can lead to heartbreak and hurt feelings.
Second, take the time to learn them. I can’t emphasize this enough. You have to create a level of intimacy with your partner to the point where you both feel almost connected. This will serve as a catalyst for natural growth within your relationship. Argue for better not for worse. Every single fight and argument should be a lesson that works towards the bigger goals in your relationship.
To grow you have to see yourselves as a team. Too often we choose to resent our partners before understanding them during arguments. Then we argue over the same thing again because we aren’t growing from the conflict. If your growth doesn’t feel natural, then there’s an opposition in your relationship that you need to discuss.
To grow with someone it takes a serious level of patience and emotional intelligence. You may not run at the same pace, but what’s important is that you are both racing to the same finish line. Investing the same amount of growth in your relationship that you do in yourself can lead to a prosperous and healthy partnership.