The phenomenon of “outgrowing” a partner is a laughable myth.
Laughable, at least, in the sense that claiming you’ve outgrown a person or a relationship suggests that you’ve involuntarily become bigger than the relationship. A partner is not a pair of pants, and you can’t outgrow them like a bean-sprout of a teenager who grew four inches over the summer.
As full-grown adults – we clean out our closets for many reasons. Because we left an old job, chose a new job, had a baby, or are bored and looking to spice up our life. We clean out our closets by choice, and rarely out of true necessity.
To say we "outgrow" a partner seems to imply something that just "happens" to us. I don't believe that relationship changes are quite so passive.
What I see in the women that I work with as a sexual empowerment coach is that a woman’s claim of "outgrowing" a partner is usually an excuse to wobble in indecision about a relationship while blaming something external for choices she has made over time to become a different person. She expects her partner to respond to her and grow with her in a specific way, and when that doesn’t happen she sees the relationship as doomed.
The fact is, the person she is NOW no longer desires to invest in a connection with the other person/partner. Yes, it is that plain and simple. It IS a choice.
The same choice is available to men – though I don’t hear this same complaint from them as often. What I hear from men is that they feel they have grown and changed… but it’s still not enough.
The culmination of a woman’s choices and current desires aren’t a product of accidental growth, but of gradual, intentional change that brings a woman to claim she has "outgrown" her partner. This often leaves her partner feeling like he just cannot tip the scales in his favor, no matter how hard he tries.
What I HEAR from women about why they outgrow their partners (and my sassy translations):
SHE SAYS: He just doesn't want to move forward.
TRANSLATION: He's so ridiculously content in his life that I don't know what to do with his lack of dissatisfaction.
SHE SAYS: I am just at such a higher vibration than he is, it's like we live in different dimensions.
TRANSLATION: His spirituality looks nothing like mine and he won't read the books I tell him to read. WHY won’t he read my BOOKS?!
SHE SAYS: He doesn't pursue me sexually anymore and I feel like I have to initiate it if I want any sex in our relationship.
TRANSLATION: He is living in fear that every little thing he does will be wrong and criticized by my vehement wrath.
SHE SAYS: I wish he would just throw me down on the bed and have his way with me.
TRANSLATION: I haven’t chosen to trust him and surrender my obsessive controlling tendencies long enough to allow him to play his masculine polarity while I sink into my feminine allure… and this is paralyzing both of us intimately.
SHE SAYS: He loves me, he’s a great dad, but the chemistry just isn’t there anymore… and I need more in my life.
TRANSLATION: I’ve emasculated him with my relentless self-righteousness and consequently killed any semblance of romance or playfulness in our relationship. He never feels like he’s enough for me, and he’s right.
The TRUTH underlying all of these boils down to three main points:
#1: Every day YOU (either partner in the relationship) must wake up and CHOOSE whether you are ALL IN or if you are OUT of this relationship. It’s not a one-time “we got married!” kind of a gig, don’t buy into that lie. Marriage doesn’t fix everything, leaving won’t fix everything, and even if you did find the “man of your dreams”… it simply won’t last UNLESS you decide in favor of that relationship every day.
#2: Your partner is their own person, on their own journey, making their own choices. What the other person eats, reads, and believes spiritually are not a personal affront to you and does not determine how deeply they can love you. Your partner gets to define that and LIVE it. Men aren’t looking for a dictator or a mother, they are looking for a lover. Women aren’t looking for an all-powerful protector or a father, they are looking for the same – a lover who GETS them.
#3: As the saying goes – it takes two to tango. Taking radical responsibility for what you have co-created in your relationship is essential. Look within yourself to see what desires, unmet needs, and self-sabotage patterns have you’ve gotten you here. Within your own psyche – or inner world – is your own feminine anima and masculine animus. What is playing out in your relationship is calling you to more fully own something inside of yourself so you can create a new relationship reality outside of yourself.
When we realize that we do not just magically outgrow a relationship in our life, but that every development in how we connect with our partner is a conscious an intentional change shaped by our own choices and desires… we become truly empowered.
From this space resentment, bitterness, and resistance fall away. We can have compassion and understanding for our partners and begin to explore what is possible in our relationship.
The possibilities might lead us into deeper connection and devotion, or they may open the door to a new beginning on our own elsewhere. Either way, examining our options and staying OR leaving the relationship will feel a thousand times better when we are our own victimhood, blame, and anger.
Instead, we get to shift into connecting from a place of grounded love and intention for ourselves and our partner – building a foundation for life and intimacy to support both partners being deeply devoted to something bigger than the relationship they’re in.