The Evolution of Love—The Personal Side
When I was 25, looking out for me meant that my significant other made sure my car was serviced regularly and I did my taxes on time. Now that I am much older, looking out for me means my husband makes sure we stay current on our life insurance policies so we and our children are protected should the unthinkable happen. Sounds funny, but this example shows that what I need to feel cared for has vastly changed from age 25 to the present.
And I feel sure the same can be said for you. What we need and want to feel secure in our romantic relationships evolves over time. The main problem with this, is that I don’t think we are always good at communicating our changing needs and expectations—myself included. At the same time, I think many of us are unaware that our romantic relationships will evolve.
I will get on my soapbox for a moment and blame the media for some of this. We all expect to fall in love and feel butterflies when we meet our significant other. Movies are great at portraying this. What they are not so great at portraying is what love looks between partners when a baby is born and has colic, or how love is expressed if a partner grows ill or even has Alzheimer’s.
I fear we are almost programmed to believe that we will always feel butterflies and go on dates and look our best. And that is not true. Life is hard and certain life stressors are unimaginable. Yet, with the understanding that you can keep loving each other through these times—even if it looks different—you can weather the storms.
Knowing that the way we experience being in relationship with each other and giving and receiving love will evolve over time is so important. In the same way, realizing that we must communicate to those we love what it is we need to feel loved by them in different times of life is essential. We cannot expect things to always be the same. And we certainly cannot expect others to know what we need without voicing it. However, we should expect to keep showing up for each other and figuring it out as we go no matter what. This is one definition of love that should not change.
If you need help in your current relationship, we can help. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable psychotherapist.