PQ 2.4 — If my relationship changes, is that okay?

a sign that syas "CHANGE" that someone has written "For The Better" on
Image by Robert Couse-Baker / CC BY

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

-Winston Churchill

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“I’m worried I’ll never be able to look at them in the same way.”

I hear this often from people who are polycurious but nervous about taking the leap and opening up.

It’s eerily familiar. I’ve had the “I’ll never be able to look at them the same way” feeling.  I’ll be honest. It did change.

But for Skyspook and me, the change was for the BETTER.

After we got out of the woods and got past the rough parts, I began to really see him again. I had new eyes. I stopped taking him for granted and he me. We communicated much better, trusted each other a ton. And our sex life got amazing. If you want a longer version, you can look here, here, and here.

Not that I even KNEW I had been taking him for granted, mind you.

But there’s a concept in psychology called “habituation to a stimulus,” and I really believe the principle translates well to long-term relationships. When a person is around in a relatively unchanging way, they don’t stick out as much to you. New experiences and extra variables really have a way of making you notice each other again in vivid ways. It’s really cool.

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We fear change. It’s a survival mechanism, wired deep in our brains. Change is perceived as threat, something that could obliterate us in an instant, drive us to extinction. And while there can be unpleasant changes, ones that are true threats, the vast majority of changes we experience in our lives are neutral or positive. In fact, I would argue, that the biggest threat to survival (physical, emotional, and otherwise) is to be rigid, inflexible, and unwilling to adapt to circumstances.

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So yes, it’s okay if my relationship changes.  It’s expected. It’s wonderful.

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This post is part of a series in which I answer each of the chapter-end questions in More than Two with an essay. For the entire list of questions & answers, please see this indexed list.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Can you offer advice on *getting* to the place, psychologically, where you accept that change is okay and will be mostly neutral/positive? I’m struggling with this. Thanks!

    1. Hi, Katy. That’s a really important issue. I’m gonna think on it and see if I can’t write something that addresses this.

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