Esther Perel's Blog - When Transitioning Between Stages of a Relationship, Practice Adaptability - Deepstash

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A Relationship Is Like a Perennial Plant

A Relationship Is Like a Perennial Plant

Both become more resilient as they learn how to balance the contradictions required for growth. 

Under the soil, the plant needs stable roots. Above, it needs to bend in the wind. It needs sunshine and rain, attention and space. It changes with the seasons. When it outgrows its pot, it needs to move.

However, moving a plant should be done carefully. We must prioritise what will help it survive while adapting to its new circumstances. 

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Becoming More Adaptive

We must ask what we’re contributing to the existing dynamic, then ask each other the following fundamental questions to become more adaptable.

  • Does this arrangement still work?
  • What will help us to thrive during this transition?
  • What do we want to take with us from our previous relationship stage?
  • What do we want to leave behind?
  • What conversations do we need to have?
  • How do we redistribute our resources to meet this moment?
  • What do we do if we find it difficult to adapt?
  • How do we remind each other that we’re in it together?

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We’re Changing Faster Than Ever Before

We’re Changing Faster Than Ever Before

For most of human history, there was little ambiguity about transitioning from one relationship stage to another. Religious and societal rituals made puberty, courting, marriage, pregnancy and death predictable.

These days, we are making up the rules in real-time. Modern love means our relationships are constantly developing and leave us expecting more from our romantic relationships.

To meet these romantic aspirations, we find that we must confront change constantly. We need to learn how to be open with our partners about what we think and feel and how to manage the differences.

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