A friend recently announced her engagement.  She is very happy.  And I am happy for her.  It’s an exciting time. When a newly engaged couple begins to navigate the world as a pair and not as individuals.  It’s such a thrill to say “we” and “us” instead of “I”.  That thought naturally let to several moments of pensiveness pondering the complex negotiation of rendering ones self in a new light.

I’ve often been chided about losing myself in a new relationship.  This often happens to young women who are in a serious, long term relationship for the first time.  It’s difficult to both nurture the bond with your new partner and still retain a sense of individuality.  It’s a delicate balance of partnership and freedom.  Too often I think we forget that retaining our individual goals can enhance a relationship.

Lately I’ve been re-invigorated in pursuing some long-term goals.  The nice part is that it was my partner who provided the impetus for the re-invigoration. The richness and depth individual goals and pursuits brings to a healthy relationship brings it to the next level. Creating a place where you and your partner can thrive and grow and most importantly share with each other.

Not every experience should be experienced together. There is a different kind of enjoyment that happens when you watch your partner share something they experienced that they are passionate about. Your active support in listening and caring about their experience while not essential, is that next level kind of participation that is key in a truly thriving long term relationship or marriage.

I’m so excited to witness this young couple as they begin that journey.  Their lives will never the be the same.  And that’s the blessing.

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