A relationship is similar to a hero’s story in that it is full of challenges, valour, and good times, as well as some hard times. The journey and the outcome are determined by how we grow through it all. A healthy relationship also aids in our personal development. We apply life lessons to relationships as we learn to navigate life and relationships. In response, therapist Elizabeth Earnshaw wrote, “Being in a strong relationship with another person can provide significant opportunities for personal and relational growth.” Growing together and supporting one another in their growth can foster spiritual intimacy and closeness with another.
Elizabeth further noted down the journey of a relationship in parts which teach us things that we need to grow up with, in life:
Challenges: Relationships and life in general are laden with challenges. While some are personal, some are related to each other in the relationship. When we learn to navigate through them and extract lessons out of them, we learn to grow up.
Resistance: This can vary from people to people. While some resistance comes in the form of challenges, some are hurdles that are swept under the rug, never to be talked about. But when we learn to get over resistance with healthy positive force, it impacts the relationship in a good way.
Help: Asking for help is allowed – both in relationship and life. When we are unable to find a way on our own, we should seek help to bring in meaningful change, beneficial for all of us.
Crossing: Blending into a different version of ourselves, be it individually or together, is a healthy way of bringing in growth, and reflecting on the journey we have had.
Freedom: The ultimate joy of growing up is to know that we are free to live the life we want. Healthy relationship offers the freedom and the openness to seek our own growth, whichever way we want.