There are several popular quotes about change. The Serenity Prayer states: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Benjamin Franklin said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” These are all amazing quotes about the necessity and power of change, but perhaps my favorite quote regarding change came from Walt Disney: “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”
Relationships are what most of us crave. There are a few people who are completely content to be alone all the time, but that is certainly not the norm. We need others; we need to be loved, appreciated, and understood. The saying “Birds of a feather flock together” is true. We want to be around people who fully understand us, who can validate us. A difficulty with relationships, like with most things in life, is that they can change. This is often uncomfortable for the change-resistant because we grow accustom to relationships as they stand and then, just when we think nothing will ever change, something changes: someone moves… someone goes through a life change that causes them to view the world differently… someone becomes depressed and pushes away. There are many ways relationships change.
During the pre-engagement portion of a couple’s relationship, we sometimes think that we don’t want our relationship to change… that we will always be as deliriously happy as we are at this moment… that our feelings for each other will never change… that we will always want to spend every waking hour together. It can be a fun fantasy to believe, and it is important to have that “season in time” to remember for years to come; however, the truth is, all relationships change. Fortunately, changes can be for the better.
It is said that a woman marries thinking she can change her husband – and that a man marries thinking his wife will never change. Ironically, both parties are wrong. 🙂 Both men and women will change as they grow and go through life, but it will not always be to their partner’s liking. There will be times when you feel like you don’t know the person you married. You will want to shout, “Who are you?!?!” Take comfort: this is a natural part of marriage. Relationships change, but if you are prepared for these changes, you can move with the changes instead of allowing change to choke the life out of your relationship.
Two essential ingredients in any relationship are understanding and respect. This is never more true than in a romantic relationship leading towards marriage. When you deeply appreciate the person, far beyond simple attraction and butterflies, you can weather changes easier. When you see the potential of success for your boyfriend or girlfriend, and you are rooting for them to live up to their potential, the change-resistant will be less devastated when they begin to grow and the relationship changes. If you are their teammate, and you are 100% committed to helping them see their goals and visions through to completion, you will not worry nearly as much as your relationship takes unexpected turns. People are always changing; therefore, relationships are always changing.