If you’ve been following me on social media lately, you know I’ve been spending a lot of time on the beach. As I was observing the ocean waves recently, I realized our relationships are much like the ebb and flow of the tide.
Just as the high tide rushes in with full force, our romantic relationships often start the same—with passion, intimacy, excitement, and energy. Your heart might flutter just thinking about them! But much like the tide calmly receding as time passes, so too does the intensity of your romantic relationship. In fact, you may pull back, or even feel bored or unattracted to your partner every so often.
There, I said it. So, does this mean you should leave your partner the moment you feel anything short of pure bliss?
Of course not. These feelings are completely normal and natural—just like the ocean tide. There may be days of tranquility, followed by the inevitable storm. Arguments and disappointments surge like a tidal wave, but they’re only temporary.
When you feel knocked down, you may be ready to abandon ship, but it’s important to resist that urge. Our relationships can provide so many amazing things—love, laughter, security—but you can’t depend on these positive attributes to become your anchor. This is unsustainable, because no one person can be your rock 100% of the time.
You may feel as though you or your spouse are drifting away, but often, this solitude is an important part of a smooth-sailing relationship. There are times you’ll need to fill your cup with self-love, instead of depending on your S.O. to refill it for you. This is where you can connect to who you are—your values, emotions, and desires—without the influence of another person. This is where you learn to become your own anchor, which allows you to separate your stuff from your partner’s.
Turning our awareness to these cycles of ebb and flow is the key to riding the wave. The more we fight this natural process of ebbing and flowing, the more we cling to our partner, the more we run the risk of drowning or pulling each other down. Instead, the goal should be to intentionally move with the ups and downs of your relationship. Otherwise, you run the risk of being carried away by the current.
Remember: Sometimes you’ll feel lost at sea, and other times nestled safely on the shore. Accept both of these moments as they come. There’s a reason they’re happening, and neither last forever.
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