The Evolution of Love—The Practical Side
Teenagers are very different from toddlers or even “tweens.” And I am not just talking about age and size. If I try to snuggle up to my nephew who is 15 the way I would to my best friend’s toddler, I know I will not be well-received. My nephew loves me and I love him, but the way we love each other has evolved over time.
The way you greet or embrace a toddler is much different than you would a teenager. This does not mean that you love one more or less. It simply means that the way you love them has changed. This illustration makes sense when you think about having a child at home for about 18 years and all of the stages they go through which in turn impacts how you meet their needs. But if you really think about it, the same principle can be applied to romantic love as well. What we need in romantic relationships in our teens and twenties is much different than what we need and want at age 40, 50 or 60+.
While I have not been married for yet 20 years, I can certainly say that what I needed and wanted from my partner when I met him is much different than what I want and need from him now. Of course some things remain the same. Most people want to feel heard, seen, understood, cared for, respected and protected throughout life. However, the ways in which these values are expressed undoubtedly changes over the life of a relationship.
I will speak more to evolving romantic relationships in the personal blog on this topic. For now, please take inventory of your life and relationships. Are you feeling lonely or depressed? Could you benefit from couples’/marriage counseling to improve your communication and level of intimacy? Life is filled with twists and turns and often we need the support of experienced clinicians to help us navigate hard seasons so we can learn and emerge stronger from them. If you would like to speak to an Orlando licensed clinician, we offer individual, couples’ and family counseling. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment.