Everything was going great. Karen was happy. Really happy. Her relationship with Doug was three months old. They’d enjoyed a thrilling, fun period of getting to know each other, and that’s when the trouble started.
“What’s the problem?” a friend asked her.
“Life,” she said. “We both have big projects coming up at work. His schedule is going to get crazy, and I’ll be super busy. We’re in this routine, and it’s all about to change.”
Her friend nodded.
Karen sighed. “I just like things the way they are.”
That’s the way it goes. We crave success, especially in relationships, but once we’ve found it we discover the unexpected enemy. Change.
It’s inevitable. Your relationships will evolve over time. You can’t stop that from happening. But when you find yourself in a comfortable place, the idea of change becomes very uncomfortable.
The kind of change doesn’t matter. Any change is likely to be perceived as a threat. It could be the amount of time you spend together. Or the pull of outside influences and responsibilities, like your job, family or friends. Or even the adjustment from infatuation to a deeper sense of companionship.
Regardless of the source, change can feel threatening for one simple reason: because it makes it hard to see the future.
When we feel threatened by something, we tend to resist it. Makes sense, right? But with change, that’s a bad idea. Resisting change typically means either burying your head in the sand in an attempt to ignore it or forcefully pushing against it. Neither works.
As the ancient philosopher Heraclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” In other words, change happens. Nothing you can do will make it stop. Ignoring it only means it’ll run over you, taking you by surprise. And fighting it is totally useless.
So what do you do?