Almost every interaction you’ll ever have with another human being will change you, even if you don’t really notice it. Exposure to other people, no matter how brief, expands your world view.
So when you choose to spend more time with someone – whether that’s a one of round of drinks or a casual friendship or a potentially lifelong relationship – you’re accepting the difference that they will make in your life and the impact they will have on you personally.
Being in a relationship with someone will inevitably change who you are.
That does not have to be – and rarely is – a bad thing.
Everyone knows a couple who spent so much time together that their mannerisms and behaviour grew almost identical. It’s cute, seeing people become so close. Their interests and in-jokes blend together into a language all their own. They grow, together.
It’s normal for that to happen when you spend so much time with someone.
Often, the people we choose to be with are people who make us feel good about who we are and encourage us to be better people ourselves. They help us become the person we dream of being with their advice and support, standing by us when we struggle to find the motivation alone.
A good partner will change you, for the better. It is inevitable.
But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a choice in the matter. You choose your partner and it’s up to you to choose someone who will change you for the better and to offer them the same support in a partner.
While it makes sense that you would choose to be with someone who will help you become everything you’ve ever wanted to be, emotions often don’t understand this. You find yourself entangled with someone who doesn’t make you feel good at all.
Someone doesn’t have to be abusive for them to not be right for you.
Sometimes, they can be lazy or uninspired or have a conflicting world view to you, they can be a completely different type of person to you and can, inadvertently, start to change you in ways you don’t like.
If you want to spend your free time going to for bike rides while they just want to watch TV all the time, you might find yourself letting you hobby slip so you can spend time with them. You’ll become the kind of person who watches hours upon hours of TV, when you wanted to be the kind of person who saw all the world’s natural beauty from your bicycle seat.
It’s becoming an awful trope to assume that, eventually, in a long term relationship, you’re going to end up overly comfortable, maybe even bored. It’s a cliché to say that, once you’ve settled down, you’ll start ‘letting yourself go’, but maybe it’s truer than it seems. Maybe it doesn’t just mean you gain a bit of weight now that you’re not trying so hard to impress people.
Maybe focussing so much on one relationship can cause you to lose sight of yourself.
A relationship that stops you from seeking out the things you find amazing and stops you from chasing after your dreams is not one that you ever want to be in.
Sometimes, you don’t realise how a relationship is changing you until you’re a long way into it. Then, it’s up to you to decide if it’s even possible for you to be who you want to be in your romantic situation. Maybe you’ll find a way to reconcile the two, you just got a bit off track somewhere.
Maybe you won’t.
But as long as you don’t lose sight of the important things, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
A relationship that traps you in a monotonous routine, regardless of how much you love the person you’re stuck in it with, likely won’t stay happy and magical for very long. A relationship that nurtures your existing passions, that drives you to achieve all the things you’ve ever wanted, that pushes you closer to your dreams than you can get alone, is one of the most precious things human beings can create for each other.
Relationships will change you. Sometimes in completely unexpected ways, for good reasons and for bad.
But it is always in your power to step back the moment you think you’re becoming someone you don’t want to be.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.