I seem to be getting a lot of questions about how to recognise or what it means to “outgrow” someone, so I thought I’d repost an old blog I did to help give some guidance:
No I’m not talking in terms of physical size or height as love comes in all shapes and sizes, so relax ladies you may continue with that biscuit. I’m talking about outgrowing in terms of personal, mental and emotional growth. I’m sure we’ve all had those boyfriends or friends where we look back and think to ourselves “what the hell was I thinking ?!” yet once upon a time you use to love their company and perhaps even put them on that gilded pedal stool.
Relationships are a journey not a destination and as we change and grow as a person due to inward struggles or outward experiences , sometimes instead of unifying people, that change can bring division or even separation . It’s said that every 5 years you notice a dramatic change in who you are compared to what you use to be like …well 5 years ago. I know for me during my teens and 20’s I went through some massive changes in trying to discover and establish who I was and what I wanted and needed. Knowing all I know today I realise that I would never choose certain people to be in my life that I had invited in the past, because I right now I have outgrown them ( in a non- arrogant way )!
Well what the heck do I mean by outgrowing someone?! I guess it needs to be broken down into some points:
Are you more in love with Potential?
Do you often find yourself hanging out for the change and the ‘potential’ of what your partner or relationship could be? I know that from my own past experiences I would put up with the bad stuff in hope that the good that I knew it could be would eventually come. Just because you are able to recognise the potential of someone or something does not mean they will step into it. Your relationship dynamics will vary, but if you are either constantly living in the past or hanging out for the future maybe you need to reassess whether the present situation or person is able to make you happy and for fill you in a healthy way. It’s great to have goals and to look forward to something especially when you are going through a rough patch, but if there is no progress in the fundamentals and all you can ever focus on is what it can be, then it’s time to stop, collaborate and listen (in the words of MC Hammer) to your friends and family and heart as they are usually your best truth beacon.
Not going to lie girls, this is pretty important, you need to be able to like and do ‘stuff’ together! Chemistry is important, but long after the weight rolls in and the wrinkles and grey hairs start to resurface you would hope that the feelings are still their due to the fact that you get along, have things in common and work well together. As we grow and change throughout life, our wants and needs can sometimes alter so much that the compatibility checklist can totally change. For example, you might have always needed a man who knew struggle because you yourself had struggled, but now that you have overcome that struggle, you now need to date an overcomer . Or anything from once being an omnivore to now being a fruitarian, and in that case you need to date a tree! (Jokes!)
Set yourself up for a successful relationship that lasts by identifying what you need and then choosing to date a man that can give you that.
It’s true, even for men! They can and do change just as much as you can and will, it just might not happen in your timing. A successful relationship is two people that understand that growth and change both individually and together is inevitable, but they embrace and work with that change. Change is not a bad thing, but how you or your partner react to that change will determine the affect of it. Growth does not have to mean isolation or conflict and being able to honestly chat to your partner about how you feel is usually a good start.
What happens now?
Out growing someone doesn’t mean you are above them or better than them, it just means that you are at different stages of life. Well I’ve never been one to throw in the towel early, in fact I believe very strongly in commitment and working through the different seasons. However I do believe that a relationship should be edifying and supportive and that both partners need to make a conscious effort equally to try and work through the change or growth.
Can you outgrow someone? I guess I would say yes, but that doesn’t mean your growth can’t inspire them as well to become more and eventually meet you at the same level.