When you love someone, you give them room to grow. You do not hold them back out of fear of losing them. You do not keep them tethered to the same town when they want to move. You do not convince them to give up on dreams they have their heart set on following. You do not place your own goals ahead of theirs because you are a team and you care about them as much as you care about yourself.
When you love someone, you make sacrifices for them. If you need to change cities so they can pursue their dream career, then you sit down with them and talk through your options. You do not say no without even considering your answer. You do not resist change out of habit. You do not insist on staying in the same place, physically and emotionally, for your entire lives.
When you love someone, you do not take opportunities away from them. You do not laugh when they tell you about what they aspire to achieve. You do not talk them out of trying something new. You do not let them call themselves a failure and quit before even trying.
When you love someone, you put your faith in them. You believe they are capable of great things. You remind them to take a chance on themselves because they are bound to be surprised by the results.
When you love someone, you are their number one fan. You are their cheerleader. You are their biggest supporter. You help them see themselves in a more positive light. You help them see themselves the way you see them.
When you love someone, you encourage their growth, even if you are worried they are going to wake up one day and decide they are too good for you. You help them become the best possible version of themselves, even if you are struggling to do the same thing for yourself. You assist them on their journey of self-love and self-fulfillment because you care. Because they matter to you. Because your support is what they deserve.
When you love someone, you cannot fault them for changing because of course they are going to change. You should not be pissed at them for becoming a slightly different version of themselves over the years. They are meant to develop. They are meant to flourish. They are not meant to remain stubbornly in place. They are not meant to linger without learning.
Even though change is scary, even though you might have trouble embracing it, the key to a long-lasting relationship is growing alongside each other. You both have to put effort into becoming your best possible selves. You both have to put energy into creating better lives for yourselves.
You both have to try because the moment you give up, the moment you stop trying to better yourselves and your futures, is the moment when the relationship becomes endangered.
You cannot stop your person from changing — but you can grow alongside them. You can grow together.