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Life is about growth. In order to grow in life, you must outgrow old things in order to make room for new things. When we’re younger, we might outgrow stuff like shoes or training bras; but as we get older, outgrowing something may mean having to leave a person you love in order to allow yourself to flourish. 

Coming to the realization that you’ve outgrown someone in a relationship can be so difficult to the point where you may want to deny it. Even though it may feel like it, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just means you and that person have evolved and you just don’t quite fit anymore. There’s a saying that goes– “there are people in your life for a reason or for a season.” I like to say there are people in your life for both; a season and a reason. Although that person was in your life for a season, they taught you something you can take with you, which means they came into your life for a reason. 

I feel like people think they have to wait for a problem or an incident to happen in order to have grounds to end a relationship– like cheating, dishonesty, or big life changes. It’s okay to end a relationship if you feel like that person prevents you from growing into the person you strive to be. We all acquire different priorities, which makes us change as people. Sometimes a person in your life is not meant to be a part of your next journey. 

If you are reading this and wonder whether or not you’ve outgrown someone in your life, here are some signs:

 

You may love the person, but you like them less

Of course you love the person, but you just may not enjoy their company as much as you once did. The little things that you would normally overlook start to annoy you more and more. Sometimes it becomes more apparent that the person possesses specific character traits that you wouldn’t vouch for anymore.

Interactions flow less and feel more forced

You may notice you feel like you’re spending time with them only because you feel like you have to. Spending time with them might start to feel awkward or unnatural. You may not feel that you need to cut them completely out of your life, but less is more. This feeling should not be normalized. You should want to spend time with the person you’re in a relationship with. Sharing quality time should not feel like a chore.

You hold onto past positive experiences you’ve had with them to justify you staying with them

The main reason so many people stay in relationships they’re unhappy with is because of “history.” You’re used to this person. You both have created so many memories together, which may feel like a sign that they’re the only person for you. Having history with someone does not mean that you have to be stuck with them.

Your growth isn’t supported; you feel criticized

You can tell when a person you care about has changed. This probably means this person has noticed you’ve changed or vice versa. If they say things like “I miss the old you,” it’s obvious your growth as a new person is not being supported. You shouldn’t feel like your significant other is going to have negative things to say about what you are doing or accomplishing.

If you read this and a particular person came to mind

If you read this and a specific person came to mind, you might want to talk to the person and see if they have been feeling the same way. There are so many instances where two people are together, because that’s all they know. It’s not fair to either one of you if you aren’t being honest with yourself. It is 100% possible to outgrow someone without animosity towards each other. Things change, people change, and feelings change all the time. Don’t let the fear of change stop you from thriving and progressing in life.

Zoë Beavers

Hampton U '23

Hi! I'm Zoë Beavers, a sophomore strategic communications major on the pre-law track at Hampton University from Jefferson City, Missouri. I love writing in my free time and learning new things!
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