Ever wondered what it feels like to stop growing? To stop making strides – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually? To reach a point of stagnation? Morihei Ueshiba, a Japanese teacher of martial arts, has said somewhat strongly: “Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead.”
However satisfying a relationship may seem, if both partners do not grow in a relationship, it can very soon feel like a cage where they feel both bored and suffocated. Partners have to grow both individually (personal growth) and as a couple (growing together in a relationship) for their feelings and the relationship to continue to flourish.
We give you tips on how you can grow in a relationship along with suggestions from Ririi Trivedi, a certified past life regression therapist and clinical hypnotherapist. Before that, let us explore how love itself continues to grow in a relationship.
How Love Grows In Relationships
You may ask how does love grow in a relationship? Love grows in a relationship much like a plant grows. A plant requires attention and care, warmth, space to grow and has to be protected from threats. A relationship also needs attention and care, warmth and space to grow and has to be protected from threats like coldness, trust issues, insecurity, instability and neglect.
American author Richard Wright has put it in a nutshell: “Love grows from stable relationships, shared experience, loyalty, devotion, trust.” If you are asking the question – how to make love grow in a relationship, find more answers below:
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1. Communicate effectively
The importance of open and effective communication cannot be overestimated. For the health of any relationship, working to consistently improve communication is the number one requirement. Communication enables you to make an authentic connection with your partner. Without this connection, how does love grow in a relationship?
2. Make it a point to connect
However busy your day is, give yourself five to ten minutes of couple time to just share your day’s experiences and bond. And, during that time listen empathetically to your partner. It is vital to connect regularly at an emotional and intellectual level.
3. Get physical
While sex has an important role to play in growing love, so do other physical demonstrations of love. Hugging and cuddling release the hormone oxytocin that triggers feelings of love. If you are wondering how to make love grow in a relationship, prioritizing physical intimacy and leveraging the power of touch can be good starting points.
4. Be steadfast and committed
Being committed to your partner and the relationship automatically brings forth trust and love. This will also make a relationship grow stronger.
5. Express love freely and often
Show your appreciation for your partner and tell them all the reasons why you value and love them and do this often. There is no better catalyst to make your love grow.
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6. Collect memories
Looking at old photographs and discussing pleasant occurrences in the past strengthens relationships and helps love grow. Make it point to take these occasional trips down memory lane to remind yourself of what brought you together and also take stock of how far you’ve come.
7. Apologize when you are wrong
Never let pride stop you from apologizing. When you feel you have hurt your partner with your words or deeds, don’t hesitate to apologize.
9 Expert Tips To Grow In A Relationship Every Day
When partners in a relationship strive for growth rather than just gratification, they evolve into better people and the relationship becomes more fulfilling. Not just watching but enabling your partner to grow can be a very satisfying journey. Whether you are growing individually or together in a relationship, it can make a relationship grow stronger.
Bob Proctor, a Canadian philosopher and author, has clarified the difference between change and growth. He says, “Change is inevitable but personal growth is a choice.” Building on that thought, we bring nine ways you can grow in a relationship:
1. Work on yourself
Ririi says, “The foremost requirement to grow in a relationship is to develop self-awareness about what one is bringing into the relationship. Each of us has unresolved emotional baggage from the past which makes us think and behave in certain ways. If we become aware of these patterns and work – either with the help of our partner or a therapist – to change these for the better, then we can grow in a relationship. It is vital to know and understand oneself first before trying to understand our partner.”
2. Give each other freedom
Your partner should feel free to pursue his or her individual interests and friendships. If not, there will be a sense of feeling suffocated in the relationship. Growing in a relationship is all about each partner retaining a degree of independence along with the interdependence that comes with a romantic relationship. It is important to find happiness in the relationship and outside it too.
Ririi explains, “Give your partner space to grow in a relationship and claim that space too. Establish firm personal boundaries so that you get the space you need. Without it, individual growth will get stifled. You need to make it clear what you will and what you won’t allow in the relationship.”
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3. Try something new
Get out of your comfort zones and experiment with a new hobby together. This is an easy way of growing in a relationship. You could also take up hobbies your partner is keen on – you may just end up enjoying them and also find another platform for sharing with your partner. Traveling together, learning a musical instrument or taking an art class – these are ways you can revitalize your relationship.
You may have asked yourself now and then when you feel tired and jaded: Can physical attraction grow in a relationship? Well, here is the answer. As you explore new interests together, you may feel drawn to your partner in different ways, including feeling a renewed sexual attraction for one another. That’s the key to rekindling the spark in a long-term relationship.
4. Accept each other
Mutual acceptance means you feel comfortable with each other. There is no need to put up facades or defenses. A supportive partner will encourage your good qualities – whether it is a quirky sense of humor or musical talent. Also, don’t expect your partner to fulfill your every need. Along with accepting each other comes enjoying the differences. This is the secret to growing together in a relationship.
“It is natural to be different from your partner – in qualities, backgrounds, interests and opinions. Understand your partner who may have had a different kind of upbringing from yours. Learn to live with someone who is not like you. In fact, it may get boring if you were too similar,” says Ririi. She adds that if you get into a relationship with the agenda to change your partner, it can get toxic.
5. Be each other’s best friend
More than physical attraction or common interests, it is friendship that is the most important factor in a happy relationship. If you are best friends. you will naturally want the best for your partner. You will feel happy when they are happy and rejoice at their achievements. This will encourage them to grow in a relationship and reciprocate your feelings.
6. Learn from your partner
Picking up good traits and habits that your partner has is a great way for you to grow personally. It could be adopting a healthier lifestyle, being more financially prudent or learning how to rein in your temper. In fact, if your partner does not like you throwing tantrums you are likely to curb the tendency, which would be a big step in personal growth.
7. Balance each other’s needs
Giving up too much and making sacrifices that leave you unhappy will stop you from growing together in a relationship. In a long-term relationship, you have to tend to your own needs as well as that of your partner. Nurture yourself and indulge in self-care activities. When either partner tries too hard to please the other, the relationship could crash.
Practicing self-love is imperative for building a nurturing relationship that allows both partners space to grow. “There is no need to rescue the other person. Or keep making sacrifices. When you put another person’s need above your own it comes at a cost. And the cost is a build-up of anger, resentment, helplessness and frustration,” explains Ririi.
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8. Make each other feel secure
To grow as a person, one must feel secure in significant relationships. From this security and support from a partner comes inner strength to achieve success and evolve as a person. Growing together in a relationship requires that you have the security that you will be together despite differences and problems.
In fact, if you want to grow a relationship with your girlfriend or boyfriend, getting her attention by making her jealous is not the way. Making her feel loved and secure is the secret. Rely on your partner.
When you are charting out a new course of personal growth – for instance, quitting your job and setting up your own venture – you should rely on the financial, practical and emotional support your partner can provide. You are not in this alone. Acknowledging that fact can encourage you to make decisions that will help you grow.
9. Set common goals
Ririi says, “It is very important to establish common goals. It could be saving up for a house or car or it could be planning to have a child. Whenever you have a common goal, you need to work as a team to attain that goal. This brings a couple closer.” In other words, problem-solving together to achieve common goals will help a couple’s bond and they begin growing together in a relationship.
“I want us to grow together,” Naomi told her partner Hubert. “While we pursue our careers and individual interests, I don’t want us to drift apart. I want to talk about how we can grow and yet remain close.” Needless to say, the couple discussed the matter and came up with their own ways of bonding better while each blossomed and evolved.
This highlights how when you grow in a relationship, you must ensure that you do not grow apart from your partner. It is essential to keep the connection going if you want to stay together and strengthen the relationship.