Sometimes I see the same movie twice with a large gap of time between viewings, and I understand the characters, thoughts, emotions, and actions very differently each time.
A few days ago, I came to the realization that I’ve been a different person in every relationship through my eight year dating period. Not all of me has changed, but there are a few aspects which I believe would be important in such a bond.
I’ve gained more maturity and more confidence. I’ve gained a fair amount of intelligence (though I still feel like I have infinitely more to learn). I’ve changed career goals, relationship goals, and happiness goals. I’m more outgoing, more tolerant, more secure, less pretentious (I hope), less arrogant, and less ignorant. I’ve changed my opinions on children, abortion, and religion. I’ve even changed my actions based on these shifting beliefs.
Although I view most of these changes as being good things, they may put strain on a relationship nonetheless. After all, change is change, and unless a relationship is strong and flexible enough, it cannot endure such stress. It’s a little scary to think that I may be bringing extra strain into a relationship, simply by being myself.
At one point in my inexperienced youth, after having changed a fair deal already, I believed that I wouldn’t change any more. Now I realize how stupidly oblivious a comment that was, and am of the belief that I’ll never stop changing.
The most important thing to keep in mind through all of this is whether the change is for the better, and as Tom has helped me realize, relationships (friendships or otherwise) should form around this idea.
Whether or not a relationship will work out in the end is not based on one person, but the foundation and dynamic of two people.