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Choosing Growth in Relationships

By Gabriella Gutierrez

Change and growth can go hand in hand. Sometimes as humans, we love routine and sticking to it. Routines and what we are comfortable with, can feel safe and nurturing. We value our safety as humans and that makes complete sense. Although, sometimes we have this itching urge to experience something new. It is part of growth in any life or relationship to sometimes crave a little change.

For some, change is unsafe and scary. Before change occurs, overthinking can take over and we can get nervous about all the mistakes we may make or challenges we may face if we make a change in our lives. However, it is essential to learn to embrace change in a relationship and learn the skills to do it in a safe way. When we can be confident that we have the skills and tools to weather change well, we can build confidence in ourselves and our ability to handle newness and growth.

Change is a way to welcome newness and can lead to growth in so many ways. Newness can be exciting, scary, and thrilling. We can discover different parts of ourselves and new joys and passions by trying new things, putting ourselves in uncomfortable moments, and learning to become comfortable in them. Change can also be scary because there is some sort of unknown that we feel we are walking into. The unknown can stress us out because there is often an aspect of control we are giving away.

I was talking with my mom about fear of change being something that really hits hard when you have responsibilities and when you reach a certain point in adulthood. She told me, “You’re young. You have the ability to change whatever, whenever, without a worry.” Although young people still can be stressed out by change, it made me realize that change does happen more often when we are young. As children we were always so open to trying out new hobbies or new personal styles. Why does that openness to change have to be left behind in our youth? If you think of it this way, seeking and embracing change and continually striving for ways to grow can really can keep us young and vibrant through the years.

Embracing the unknown and giving up some control can be very rewarding, as long as you know what resources you have to rise to the challenges that the new change will bring. Growth happens at the edge of your comfort zone, but too much change too fast can lead to feelings of overwhelm or feeling out of control. It is a useful practice to cultivate checking in with yourself and the resources and support you have before beginning any big change in your life or relationship. But, once you have a good idea of what kind of support you might need, or already have, embrace the changes that life presents to you.

When we are open to change, we are not stagnant and we are always growing. We are adapting to new challenges, new experiences, and learning new things about ourselves. Sometimes change does require some sort of growing pain, but there can be beauty in it all, when we are able to look back from a higher peak. You cannot know how far you can go and how much potential your life and relationship have, unless you allow yourself to be challenged to go there. And, of course, if you need support please reach out to one of our counselors or marriage therapists to ensure that you have the tools and skills to make change that feels empowering rather than overwhelming.

This is part three of a four part series on Change in a Relationship by ASRBC interns Kaleigh Simental and Gabriella Gutierrez. Learn more about our team here or book a session with Kaleigh, by visiting

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