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What? A blog post on a Sunday? That’s strange!

Truth be told, I was horrified at the thought that my last post was published just a few hours shy of… gulp… two weeks ago. By posting now I’m avoiding hitting that terrible milestone that no bonafide writer should ever have to face!

Usain_BoltLast night I laid down in bed, exhausted after a long day of work. Do you ever notice when you’re most exhausted — physically, mentally and even emotionally — is the precise time your mind decides to run faster than Usain Bolt at the Olympics?

<< This guy. What a joker!

That’s exactly how I found myself last night. Exhausted to no end, yet frantically running through a list of to-dos and almost-dones and nearly-theres and oh-crap-I-forgot-to-do-that-one! So, I decided to shut my mind up by watching a quick episode of New Girl on my phone. And, of course, it spoke to me. Jess and her crazy roommates always do!

In this particular episode, Nick decides to reconnect with his college crush — a redheaded beauty he never had the guts to profess his love for face-to-face in his younger years. They reconnect, have sex instantly (apparently the norm these days), and are suddenly “together” with lightning fast speed and close to no caution.

After the sexcapade, Nick realizes something — this girl is not who he remembered. She’s a little crazy (instantly referring to him and her as a couple), she’s a sloppy, violent kisser (biting and all), and she’s pretty much a complete nightmare. It gets Nick and his roommates thinking about how people change.

Simultaneous to Nick’s string of poor choices, Jess and her best friend CeCe get into a fight. Upon making up from said fight, as BFFs tend to do rather quickly, Jess thinks upon Nick’s shenanigans with the redhead, and asks CeCe:

“If we met now, do you think we’d still be friends?”

Whoa.

That statement really got me thinking, which is exactly what I was trying to avoid by watching the lighthearted comedy in the first place.

When you get into a friendship or relationship, you’re connecting with someone else, and they are connecting with you. The truth is, however, you’re connecting with the current version of them, and they’re connecting with the current version of you. I get that this sounds like rambling, so stick with me if you can.

Let’s make up a completely fictional yet equally plausible scenario and roll with it.

rowing crewRuth v.2013 (that’s me as I am today) meets Tim v.2013 (that’s a guy named Tim as he is today, which happens to be funny, sweet, caring and obsessed with being on a local crew team. And, yes, he’s got the shoulders to prove it. Back off, ladies.)

Ruth v.2013 and Tim v.2013 fall in love. They get married. They have three adorable children. Life is good!

But by the time their third kid hits kindergarten, Ruth hits v.2024 of herself. Tim is also 11 years older, though he has aged a bit more gracefully — an annoying and unfair bone I’m prepared to pick with God on the other side. Bottom line: Things change. People change. Circumstances affect us. We’re different.

Is Ruth v.2024 attracted to Tim v.2024? Does she love him?

Does the older version of Tim love Ruth anymore? Does he like who she has become?

In New Girl speak: If Ruth and Tim were to meet in the year 2024, would they still feel a connection and fall madly, deeply, passionately in love?

Wow. This is getting deep. If we’re being honest, we all change. It’s part of being human. At least I hope it is. No one wants to stay the same forever. But do essential parts of our personality and character change as well? Because I’m not as comfortable with that part.

If Tim decides to take up a new hobby (that works out his shoulders equally hard), I’m fine with that. If he starts suddenly hating sushi even though it was his favorite food in college, who cares? If he gains 20 pounds — hey, more to love. Those things don’t matter in the great scheme of things.

But if Tim is hilarious when we’re dating, but then completely loses his sense of humor later in our relationship, that’s a problem.

If Tim is a Christian when we marry, and then decides to denounce God 11 years later, that’s a problem.

If Tim is sweet and loving at the start, but later hates me and treats me badly, that’s a big problem.

This string of ifs goes both ways, too.

What I guess I’m scared of is what I see happening too often these days — couples divorcing because of “irreconcilable differences.” Those differences weren’t there when they met, but they developed over time. Over a couple decades, over a few years, sometimes over just a few months. Something changes that is so hard to overcome that separating is the only option.

This makes me so sad.

Frankly, it scares me.

More than worrying about whether or not Tim will change in the future, I’m worried if I’ll change so much that my husband won’t love me anymore.

Does anyone else have these fears? Are they rational? I’d like to think that if you love someone, you change with them and things all work out. You throw in the obligatory “it’s not easy but it’s worth it” statement, and move on with life and love. But I’m seeing in the relationships around me that it’s not that easy to explain away.

So what was CeCe’s response to Jess’s question?

Jess asked, “If we met now, do you think we’d still be friends?”

CeCe simply shrugged and said, “We’re friends now.”

Seems simple enough. I guess they’re an example in friendship of what I’m hoping for in a romantic relationship — someone that will navigate the changing tides of life with me, no matter what may come.

~Ruth