How to stop growing apart and start growing TOGETHER.
They say "we grew apart" or "we became more like mates". A relationship is more than just living together, having quality time, buying a house or planning a baby...
It takes two to tango. To avoid growing apart, it's important to work on growing together.
How do you grow together?
Often two people get together and think that's the ultimatum of their relationships. They stop learning about each other because they know "enough" to decide whether or not the other person is marriage material. Or they are already married, so they choose to step into the comfort zone of "life is sorted now".
Start Relationship Journal.
If you have ever written any type of journal - you know the benefits of doing it. If you haven't done it - try it! Journal will help you discover not only new things about your relationships but also about yourself. By writing things down, you will activate your creativity and deeper answers.
Here’s how to do it:
Get a notebook. I use an academic diary for my private journal, so every page has a date that keeps me accountable for writing in it every day. For the relationship journal, we used designed by me Relationship Journal (email me at Olga@newlifekickstart.com if you would like a hard copy of that). Just a blank notepad will do, too.
Agree on how often you would like to write in it with your partner. You can do it every week (ideally), fortnightly or monthly.
Come up with a set of 5-10 questions you would like to use if you are not using my Relationship Journal (there, you can also add your questions if you wish).
Write those questions on the first page of the journal so you don't have to rewrite them every time you make notes. You can always change questions. In that case, I would suggest rewriting them in full on a blank page and continuing with new answers after that.
Start doing it TODAY. We all know that the more you delay with a new habit - the fewer chances you have to build it.
Here is a little example of what we have learned about ourselves and our relationship on our journey. One of the questions in our journal was: "What was the fear of the week".
My other half once said that it was about opening up emotionally for him. Sharing the thoughts and deepest fears. Because before, in his previous relationships, he was interrupted and felt like he wasn't listened to. He was amazed by how patient listener I was (is it professional, haha) and felt, for the first time in his life, very connected to his other half.
Think, how often do you do it with your partner? Especially when men are raised being tough, strong and unemotional. What a surprise women are complaining about men not sharing their feelings and emotions. Yes, it is not typical for men to do it anyways. Women naturally usually are more sensitive and nurturing. But it doesn't mean men can't share. It doesn't mean men can't open up. And here it's a skill itself for a couple to allow that to happen: women must give men space to open up and time to gather their thoughts together on the asked question. It's not what he does every day. Give your man some time to get his emotions, feeling or memories together. Keep it quiet, and don't jump in with "your examples" and your feelings. If you asked HIM - let HIM answer. Period.
My answer to the fear of the week was: what if we will grow apart, just like I did in my first marriage? When I first married, I was 19. I didn't have any experience. I didn't have any knowledge. I didn't even know myself (can you relate?). I realised that my answer was based on my experience in my past, which surely builds a story: "couples grow apart". For me, that realisation was priceless! I didn't want my past to impact my (our!) future. As a result, I replaced my old story with a new, supportive one: we ARE going to grow together through challenges, through being raw and vulnerable, and through being open and honest 100%.
Imagine what you can learn about yourself whilst growing with Relationship Journal. Imagine the amazing results of knowing each other better, deeper.
Download a free 7-week challenge on Relationship Journal and transform your relationship!
Don't grow apart. Grow together. Stay together. Keep it spicy.