I had a session recently where my client and I were talking about how relationships evolve throughout the years, and my client beautifully summed up the fear that comes every so often for them by asking,
"Does this version of You like this version of Me?"
The vulnerability just at that moment was so tender, and risky.
What if, this client's partner answered no?
What if the answer was that they preferred that 'old version' better?
What if in turn, we don't like the new version of them?
and what if we do?
These goes for all kind of relationships: partners, children, parents, and friends. All of those relationships that mean something and that are there, either because we choose them or because they choose us.
We should have, every so often, curious & intentional
conversations with the important people in our lives.
⇢ How have you changed since we first met?
⇢ What do you still like, or dislike?
⇢ How have your Self evolved and what am I missing to learn about you now?
These are so simple questions, and yet, in this simplicity, we tend to forget to keep checking in with each other.
We tend to assume that we will stay the same, when this is unrealistic.
We tend to remain comfortable in what we know, and sometimes that comfort keeps us unable to grow and appreciate the changes the other person has made.
In relationships, it is absolutely a necessity to remind ourselves that :
a) growth (individual and together) is normal
b) growth happens slowly, and over time, so checking in with each other needs to be an active and intentional part of the relationship
One last thing: it is absolutely ok to feel scared
about these changes.
It is ok to take time to get to know how these changes have made your partner, or your person, different. It is ok to reach to them and tell them that the fear might be present for you, and to ask for reassurance in the relationship.
It's beautiful to see couples in my therapy room say things to each other that sound like:
" Remember how you used to do this? I notice that you don't do that anymore, and I wonder why?"
"I've noticed that you are so much more relaxed when we're together, and it was different in the beginning.
What makes you feel this way now?"
It's all about communication, and intention, observance, and practice.
And as always, it is very worth it.