Ebb and Flow in Relationship

Feb 10, 2021

Over the last year, we have seen a lot of things change in our lives. It has created many changes in our homes, our workplaces, our schools, and our communities. Those adjustments have led to some changes in our relationships as well. Maybe some added stress. Maybe a need for extra effort. Maybe drifting apart under the chaos. Or all of the above. 




Relationships ebb and flow all the time. The people in your life came into your timeline when you were a very specific version of you, and they were a very specific version of them. You will not always grow at the same pace. You will not always WANT to grow at the same pace or in the same ways. Just because you are in a relationship with someone, does not mean you are less of an individual. You may experience the same events: birth of a child, loss of a parent, buying a home, changes in household income, a world-wide pandemic… but you will experience them in a way that is as unique to you as your fingerprint. 


To have healthy and successful relationships, it’s important to always greet those differences with grace. With understanding. With love and space to grow. We are good at doing this for our children, as their milestones are a bit more obvious. We give them space to grow out of their terrible twos. We give our young athletes space to learn how to gracefully handle wins and losses. We give our teenagers some grace as they learn to manage hormones and patiently wait for the day they come back to us and say, “thank you” for all the things they never realized you did. It’s a little harder to do this with our partners or friends. But even in those relationships, we see the tides of change. The ocean is always there, but sometimes the tide is up, and sometimes it is down. Surviving and then thriving is just a matter of recognizing the pattern. 


Once you are able to recognize the ebb and flow of your relationship, you’ll be able to foster it. Instead of questioning your decisions in the ebb, you’ll know to hold on until you flow again. You may even be a little more patient with your partner and yourself as you go through this stage. When you’re through the hardship and things begin to flow again, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to connect to one another. How much closer you have become. And how much less forgiveness is necessary. 


This idea of a relationship that ebbs and flows remains true no matter what type of relationship this is. Your relationship with your partner, your parents, your children, your friends. Those waves are completely normal. Ride them out and know that each time you struggle, you’re both growing into a new, even better version of yourselves. Allow yourself to stay committed to the ones you love, as long as they are doing the same, and offer some grace as you ebb and flow on this wild ride called life. 


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