Every relationship has its ups and downs, navigating them is one of the keys to making them last. However, sometimes we are faced with a daunting decision, is it more effective and satisfying to grow together, or should we separate and grow individually? We’ve heard the countless stories of people who have gotten together and just couldn’t make things works, but meet at different stages of their lives and end up happily married.
If you’ve seen the movie “he’s just not that into to you”, you’ve heard the theory of the exception or the rule. Although this context is important, I don’t necessarily agree with that theory. I believe that if you’re separating from a person for the opportunity to grow separately then you should be comfortable with the idea that you may never reunite. It’s never a good idea to put someone on the back burner or to think that you’ll eventually wind up to together in the end. These fairy tale endings are enthralling and make us fell warm and fuzzy inside but it’s important for us to incorporate our rational thought with our emotional intelligence. From this we can derive a simple solution, no one wants to be taken for granted or made to feel inadequate. Growing separately could also mean growing apart. You should be prepared for that outcome.
There are some instances where we feel that we cannot walk away from a situation, and these can be excruciating. Remember that when you’re making a decision to grow together, that you’re making that decision for yourself. You should be willing to accept the idea that there will be adversity and that you will come out on the other side stronger. I always reemphasize the point that you don’t have to tolerate mistreatment, but you should always be gracious and forgiving. Growing together is a decision to make a long term investment in one another and should be approached with the same level of analysis. That may sound cold, but think about whether you are actually able to endure losses in order to achieve potentially moderate growth.
No matter what you choose, remember to consider all of the alternatives. You are a worthy person but you also should be open to improvement and realize that your partner is able to improve as well. Together or separately, the word of the day is growth.