You have been with your significant other all through college and now you two have graduated and settled into the careers you have been waiting way too many years for. The once happy, carefree, and effortless relationship that you had now feels exhausting and passionless – why? And how do you fix it?
To be honest, sometimes it can’t be fixed, or it can but shouldn’t be. And sometimes you just need to push past the rut known as “growing up” and become new people together rather than branching apart.
First, remember why you fell in love with this person to begin with. Maybe you enjoyed listening to them ramble for hours about something they are passionate about, or you both like Weird Al (for some unknown reason). Think about these things and ask yourself whether this person still has those qualities and is just buried in “life” so those qualities are hiding, or whether they may have moved away from these things. Also, are you even still attracted to those qualities?
If you are still 100% without a doubt in love with this person, work on a plan together to put more focus on your relationship when you have free time, albeit limited. Set aside a date night, cook dinner together, play video games together, go on walks – anything to remind you how strong your connection is and to forget the stress of everyday life.
If you are not 100% without a doubt in love with this person, that’s okay! It happens, honestly. Can you imagine marrying this person, starting a family, traveling together, growing old together, and waking up to them every morning for the rest of your life? If your answer is “no”, then you need to have a talk and figure out what both of you want out of life.
Maybe you both want different things than you originally set out for, and maybe in talking about it you will find that you both want new things but they are the same new things. And maybe they are not.
This is “relationship drift” and sometimes you can drift back together – sometimes you can’t. Either way, everyone changes a lot in their 20s, it is a weird time. You are becoming an adult, finishing school, finding your passions, developing careers, meeting new people with similar interests, and just experiencing life; it is natural for some relationships to fade away and others to intensify.
It is unfair for both parties involved to be in a relationship that does not enrich your soul and make you truly happy to the core. If you are hanging on to “content” and “comfortable”, it may be time to move on.