After years of dating, raising an adorable corgi and throwing a ballin’ wedding together, you have this relationship thing on lock. But suddenly, she’s hanging out with her CrossFit buds a lot more, and you’re finding yourself putting away leftovers from a meal you thought you’d have together. “Is this the end?” you wonder. Before you jump to conclusions, consider this: You might be in the midst of a relationship growth spurt.
Say what? What’s a relationship growth spurt?
Remember in your tweens how your knees hurt when your bones were growing so fast? Well, this is less of a physical growth spurt and more of an emotional one. Things in your relationship have shifted, and it’s causing discomfort. This doesn’t mean your relationship is over; instead, it means it’s time to recalibrate, check in and make some changes.
Why is this happening?
It’s likely happening because the two of you aren’t growing together. You’re going one way, and your partner’s sitting tight. Or maybe you’ve both taken off in a new direction. But before you freak out, know that it’s completely OK! Change is inevitable—new jobs happen; relocations happen; friendships and family politics happen. It’s not necessarily anyone’s fault that this is occurring. But not addressing it can be harmful to your relationship.
How do you get over a relationship growth spurt?
If the tectonic plates of your relationship have shifted, they might not ever fit back together the way they once did, but you can figure out a new working position. Communication is key. Get back on the same page with each other. Learn about—and listen to—your partner’s needs. It wouldn’t be the worst idea to seek professional help from a therapist who can guide the two of you back to each other. It takes hard work, effort and time, but the two of you might even find yourselves in a healthier, happier place than you were before. As the saying goes: no pain, no gain.