Freeze-Framed Relationships


Do you imprison your spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, with how you define them — or can they grow unrestricted?

Good relationships are free to progress without the drag of conceptions and expectations.

If you hold tight to a fixed image of your partner, you are holding them back from who they are becoming. They need to grow, and they can’t if you continually project your expectations that they remain the same. If your relationship is to survive, both of you must develop and change. If one of you claims exclusive development rights, then double standards will tear your relationship apart.

A Love relationship requires change to remain vital. You cannot freeze-frame a relationship — and your partner — into some ideal of the way it should be or the way it was. If you try… it is no longer a love relationship.

A good relationship is like a good movie

A relationship, like a good movie, must engage from the beginning by pairing good characters with a promising storyline. There is no stopping a film’s development: circumstances change; trouble happens; time moves on; the characters grow — and the movie ends with the story fully developed. It touches you. You wake the next morning and the film is still with you; still playing silently within you.

A successful relationship is much like that. As tempting as it is to forever freeze that initial magic, the story must move on. The characters must develop through trials and joys. And your story must reach that point where its message touches your soul.

Choose to be soul mates

A soul mate is not a person you mysteriously happen upon that is one-in-a-million.

A soul mate is the person you experience life with. A soul mate is the person you allow to change and grow despite how that alters your own vision for the future. A soul mate is the person who accompanies you on a journey of mutual development and learning. Soul mates stimulate each other to grow because they love one another — and their love is unselfish.

Soul mates choose change, and in changing, they deepen their relationship to the point where they touch one another’s spirit — and so they become soul mates.

The Chinese have an ancient book called the I Ching. The title loosely translates as Book of Changes. We could just as accurately call it the Book of Life, because life is change.

To be present for whatever your relationship can offer — including soul mate status — you must be willing to move forward with life’s changes by changing and developing in response.

Push your partner’s “Play” button

We all want to hold onto something good when we find it. But any good that you see is always in the moment, and you cannot stop or pause life’s moments as in a movie. Do what you will, but life will move on with or without you.

Your only meaningful choice is to allow your relationship — and your partner — to move forward with life’s changes. Do not hold on to a dead and decaying moment of, “the way we were.”

Take your relationship off hold and push the Play button. Support and celebrate your mutual growth, and see what a beautiful story your relationship can become.

Over to you now…

6 thoughts on “Freeze-Framed Relationships

  1. Monica

    I really enjoyed this article,
    It reminded me of a time years ago when I decided that I no longer believed in the “one and only” soul mate that I had to search high and low for, but that our soul mate is the person whom we choose to love and grow with, warts and all.
    Thank you, I enjoy all of your thoughtful articles.

  2. John R. Post author

    Jarrod: I Liked the way Taukin worded the concept. Thanks for the link.

    Melissa: Yes, you are right, far too many people hold themselves back or are held back because because they fear that speaking up will result in losing the relationship. The reality is: unless we speak up we will lose the relationship. Some people feel that as long as they sleep in the same bed, they still have a relationship. It’s sad to see it happen.

    Bamboo: Thanks. When I was writing this, the analogy of the movie seemed to develop all on its own. No matter how we might like to freeze-frame a relationship, time moves on. The only thing we have to work with is this moment — right now.

    Monica: Sometimes I want to shake people and tell them to work on their stuff together, support one another in growing and in dealing with life. There are deep rewards for doing that. Instead, I see so many people arguing without listening, and then leaving their relationship as a result — and then having to repeat the process all over again from scratch with someone new. The same lessons wait for them it seems.


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