The Evolution of a Relationship



I’m the first to admit I know nothing about relationships. Correction; I know very little. I’ve come to learn more over the past few years, some lessons by choice, others by accident, and still others by sheer luck and circumstance. I’ve grown in the department of relationships, and yet am still very much in my infancy of understanding how they work and function “properly.”

Why in bunny ears? Well, because who’s to say what a proper relationship is, really? I mean, I’d like to think I know. But then I only know the “proper” ones I’ve seen in movies and on TV or read about in books. And are those really proper when they aren’t real? Then of course there are the relationships I see around me, but am I seeing the truth?

For years my ex and I put on a good show in our relationship. No one thought anything was wrong. Shit, we didn’t even think anything was really wrong. I mean, I think we both realized that there was an underlying issue, but a lack of experience and knowledge in how relationships should evolve and grow just left us acting the way we thought we should be acting: as the happy, content, perfect little couple. And we weren’t. We so weren’t.

So, how am I supposed to know how a relationship should evolve? Especially now. It’s not like I can follow the same steps I tried to (and thought I most definitely HAD to) way back then:

  • Start dating
  • Be smitten
  • Have lots of sex all the time
  • Move out together
  • Be smitten again
  • Get married
  • Be smitten again
  • Have child
  • Become a parental and couple unit
  • Continue happy marriage
  • Grow old together

I mean, that seemed like a logical progression when I was in my early 20s. Now it just seems laughable. Like, highly humorous actually. In my nearly mid-30s (good Lord) I see the relationship ladder a little differently:

  • Start dating
  • Be smitten (but cautious)
  • Have lots of sex
  • Continue to have my own life
  • Cautiously spend more time together
  • Never get married (again)
  • Never have more children
  • Understand that lots of sex doesn’t mean a healthy relationship and simply spending time together is sufficient and, no, the relationship isn’t going to end if we don’t do it every night
  • Feel like I have no idea what I’m doing 99% of the time
  • Not think about a future because that would be presumptuous and silly
  • Not get attached because good things aren’t allowed to happen to me
  • Try not to get too emotional
  • Be too emotional
  • Panic
  • Hopefully not mess up
  • Try not to end up alone with 40 cats

It’s really not as appealing. At all. But that’s kind of where I stand right now. In my current life situation, I feel like I have to be so bloody cautious about everything. Not make a mistake. Not fuck up. Not be THAT girl. But then I realize I don’t really know how to do the right thing, either.

And it’s always on my mind. Always. I’m not one to overanalyze, but I do think about a lot of stuff. All. The. Time.

What kind of stuff?

I think I analyze my feelings and emotions more than I used to. Much more than I used to. Mostly because I kept most of my emotions hidden and trapped inside for so long, and now they’re all there just bubbling under the surface, how can I not consider them?

But mostly I think about the progression of a relationship, the evolution if you will. How are things supposed to grow? How are they supposed to change? How are they supposed to evolve? And do they even? If a relationship stays stagnant, but is a good relationship, is that really a bad thing? Does it HAVE to change? Do I have to change? Does he have to change? Do we have to evolve together?

Life will inevitably cause some of those changes. Experiencing things together will elicit an evolution (or devolution, depending on the situation, of course). Travelling together, trauma together, good times, bad times, surprises, planned events, they all add to the story you build together and aide in the progression of the relationship. But how do you know you’re on the right path or even taking steps along that path?

I have absolutely no idea if I’m on the right path. I have no idea if I’m headed in the right direction. But I do know one thing: I’m happy. In this very moment, I’m happy. For all my inner anxieties and random panicked moments, I am happy more often than I am otherwise. And that’s amazing to me.

Is that proof enough that I’m on the right path? That I’ve made the right decisions, said the right things? I’d like to think so, but I can’t be sure.

Will my relationship ladder change/improve as the years progress? God I hope so. I can’t go through that process more than once, I don’t think. In fact, I’d like to never go through it again, actually. Dating is horrendous. And dating in your 30s is a fucking disaster. So, no thank you, I’d rather not have to go through it all again.

But here I am, still stumbling along and maybe that’s enough. Maybe that’s just enough to keep me afloat and keep me happy, and keep him happy, too. I’m fumbling blindly, but at least I’m fumbling and not charging ahead like a steamroller imagining I know precisely what I’m doing.

Because I haven’t a fucking clue, but I’m kinda loving it nonetheless.

~ by drivingmsmiranda on January 8, 2016.

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