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Are You Growing Apart in your Relationship?

Growing Up, Growing Apart

Most of us enter our first serious, long-term relationship in our 20s, and even if it doesn't lead us to the altar, it usually gets us thinking about marriage. And yet, whether it's personality and values or career and financial stability, our twenties are chock full with uncertainty — it's the time when we discover who we are and what we want from life. Because of these constant changes, often the person we believed was the one doesn't turn out to be.

With a little hindsight, it's easy to point out the ways in which you and your significant other have changed over the course of your relationship. Although it certainly takes a commitment on both sides, I do believe it's possible to grow together rather than apart. Do you agree? What's your advice when it comes to growing apart or together?


Join The Conversation
Jacks21 Jacks21 7 years
Hey I'm having a lot of difficulty atm deciding who I am and what I want in life (brought me to this site!). I am 21 and broke up with my first love a year ago. We were together for just over 4 years including 1 mini break up. The main thing that seemed to get in the way of us was university, going to different uni's meeting new friends, changing etc. However, I suspect we had some troubles lingering before we went. He meant the world to me (and still means a hell of a lot) and I miss him deeply. It's just so sad because we weren't working, but no one really did anything wrong. We were just both too kinda introverted and reserved and it just got to the point where it was really boring! I feel really bad for not knowing what I want and everything, but hey I guess that's life and the only way to know is get out there and meet new people. I am a believer in whatever's meant to be, will be :).
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 9 years
i've been with my bf for almost a year now, and yeah, unfortunately, all those thoughts about the future are starting to creep in, and while i feel like i've grown up a little more this past year (working full-time, school part-time, family deaths . . . ) i feel like he hasn't really matured (still unemployed, sponging off parents . . .). recently i made it clear that while i do love him, he does need to grow up, get a job, etc. etc. he's made a couple of steps in the right direction, but i'm still on the fence about the whole thing. i'm not sure if we're growing apart, i'd like to grow together, but i feel like i'm growing at a faster rate than he is.
allien86 allien86 9 years
I believe that it is possible to grow apart however I also believe its possible to stay together and grow together. My bf and I are in our younger 20's and spend a lot of time talking about what we want for our future. So while I know one (or both) of us could change I feel that with honesty and communication we can make it.
Deidre Deidre 9 years
Totally agree with Meike. A relationship can go either way as you both grow and learn more about yourselves. Relationships are work -- growing up with someone is both parties making the choice to continue working at it. Sometimes the work is too hard any ultimately not worth it, which is when people grow apart. I think this is true of any friendships too, not just romantic relationships.
Meike Meike 9 years
Heh, I feel this question has a common sense answer. Couples who really work at their relationship will grow together and couples who don't give each other the time of day will grow apart.
michelleannette michelleannette 9 years
i think that it can go both ways. i just don't believe in fighting it. being in your 20's there are a lot of things going on. you're in the final stages of becoming you. my first serious relationship ended because we grew was heartbreaking and devastating, but i'm glad we ended it instead of ending up trying extra hard just to keep the relationship going.
Pistil Pistil 9 years
"Sometimes you have to get to know someone really well to realize you're really strangers." Mary Tyler Moore Communication is key in any relationship, commitment, and being able to accept and adapt to change. Simply put, it's not easy.
Marci Marci 9 years
I think growing apart is probably a major cause in the end of many relationships. But I also believe that there are couples who can grow together, and a lot of that is based on having a commonality to begin with, then lots of communication.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
I think that it is possible to grow apart from your partner, if you realise there are distinct differences in what either of you want in the future. At the same time, I also believe, similar to what allourregrets just said above, that some couples do have the ability to fight for what they have and thus, stay together, even if they feel they're growing apart. I think it's more about finding a balance and appreciating each other for what you are more than anything else.
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 9 years
my boyfriend and I met when I was 19. We were together for almost 2 years, then broke up for a year and half, and now have been back together for almost a year. I think its all about how commited you are. Its easy to let yourself "grow apart from someone"....but I think thats just an excuse people use for giving up. If you are truly commited to the person, then the only way to grow is together.
bfly1133 bfly1133 9 years
Of course it's possible! It happens all the time. :) I truly believe that if you are meant to be together, you will make it through all the rough times. You will bend, shift, change, and learn together. And things are different for every person. I knew at 19 what I wanted out of life and relationships. Things have shifted a bit, but overall my ideals have stayed the same. However, there are people out there who won't know what they want until much later in life. And that's okay. It just means that they probably won't have a growing relationship until then.
emalove emalove 9 years
Of course it's possible to grow together as a couple, even if you've been together since your early best friend met her husband in college and they got married at 25. My sister and her husband (she's now 28) have been together since she was 17!!! So it IS possible. But I honestly don't think it happens too often. I can think of a few exceptions, such as these ones, but there are not many. I had two long-term relationships in my 20s, both before I met my husband at age 28. One of them was a 6-year relationship and it didn't lead to marriage. Unfortunately, as we grew, we changed, and found that we just weren't as compatible as we once were. If it's meant to be, it will work's normal to have some ups and downs, but relationships should NOT be a huge amount of work and cause a lot of stress. I wish I had realized this earlier in my 20s!! It's better to accept the fact that you and your partner may be growing in different directions than to try to force it to be something that it just isn't.
Novaraen Novaraen 9 years
My husband and I are the best of friends. We really listen to each other and love to be together...yet we love to separate and spend evenings on opposite sides of the house doing different things. We give each other space and its great! I've come to realize that you have to be able to give and take...and always be able to apologize. Dont be too proud. When things go wrong...put yourself in his/her shoes and try to think about how they are feeling. You cant be selfish...being with someone means that your are two...not one.
missbanana missbanana 9 years
actually, i feel that im growing apart from my bf.. im not sure what i want.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Let the relationship take its natural course. What will be, will be. Incidently, I think this applies to friendships, too.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I think early twenties many people grow apart, between college and so forth it's a tough time in people's lives to really get serious and stay that way, while growing together. It's then people are really finding themselves. As far as myself, now 25, I think unless something or someone comes between you I think for me at least I have been growing with my boyfriend. Even with strained times I think working together to see them through is a great thing versus walking away. I think if you truly love someone it's hard to really grow apart, if it does happen it's most likely not meant to be.
graylen graylen 9 years
My ex and I dated for 4 years (from senior year of high school to junior year of college) and it took me studying abroad for 6 weeks to finally see that we were growing differently... we wanted different things in the future. It was such a painful breakup because no one did anything wrong.
sugarsister sugarsister 9 years
i think you're still too young in your twenties and perhaps even your thirties to know who you are and what you need in a partner. i've found that you have better chances of growing together coming from similar ages, backgrounds and interests. coming from the same place, so to speak, gives a shared reference point that lends comfort and understanding to change. my relationships that have failed were the ones where i was looking for something very different from myself. they were fun, exciting and enlightening but eventually had little foundation to hold us together. now i look for someone with similar goals and interests and if we shared similar experiences in the past
i-am-elle i-am-elle 9 years
I believe I'm still growing as a person & learning about myself. I just landed my first real job & I have so much left to experience in life! I'm wary of saying that I'm with "The One" because I've been there, done that -- and it didn't work out. In order for me to enjoy the moment as well as protect my heart, I'm happy with simply saying "I'm in love" & leave it at that. Sure, I've thought about marriage & a future with my current boyfriend, but it's definitely not something I'm ready for at the moment. With that said, I do believe it's possible for people to grow together as a couple -- although it's more likely that people grow apart at our age. Our 20s are such a volatile time in our lives. Oh well, maybe I'm just cynical. :-P That's my two cents.
imLissy imLissy 9 years
I've been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years. I know I've changed a lot in these past two years, but so far so good. I hope we can continue to grow together. He's my best friend, I don't like the thought of losing him at all.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I think after college I was still so unsure of what I wanted to do, and how I wanted to live my life, that I couldn't have possibly picked a mate very well at the time. It's not that I'm done growing, but I definitely feel like I know myself way better than I used to, and know the type of life I want. Obviously that may still change, but waiting until I had a better idea allowed me to choose someone who has similar ideas and goals.
erratic-assassin erratic-assassin 9 years
I would like to believe that one would grow closer as time goes by... I dont know, I guess time will tell!
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