Change can be scary. It can cause stress and worry and sleepless nights. For the majority of people in the world, change is something to be feared.
But change can be a good thing. It can help us learn and grow and understand ourselves, others and the world better. In particular, change is good in a relationship.
When we enter a new relationship, something shifts inside of us. So, we do things differently.
Maybe we tone down our language or wear our hair a certain way. We might wear fragrances or find ourselves interested in something new. We share secrets we've kept from our friends, open ourselves up to new possibilities.
There are other changes, too. Our priorities shift, and maybe we don't always keep our plans with friends -- and that's OK. A new relationship can be a little consuming in all the good ways.
But my favorite change in relationships is so vastly overlooked that I didn't even notice it was a huge plus until recently.
Over the last two months, I've had a lot of conversations with single friends looking to find someone. Sure, some of them had different desires for having someone special, but what it boiled down to was this: They all wanted someone they could binge watch TV or sports with -- a nap buddy.
It struck me as odd. I've been with my boyfriend for a significant amount of time, and I used to get flustered that we wouldn't do anything for three weekends in a row. I wondered why we didn't go out on a date or hang out with friends. But then it hit me.
One of the biggest changes that occurs when we get into relationships is the need or desire to go out all but vanishes. It's a subtle change -- one you hardly realize -- but it's there.
When you're single, one of the easiest ways to meet someone face to face is by going out with your friends to bars or clubs.
Before I was in a relationship, I was going out a lot with my friends. Sure, I wanted to meet someone, but I was going out more just to have fun with my friends rather than go home with someone at the end of the night. And eventually, it became totally exhausting.
You're out late on Friday and Saturday nights after a long week of work, you're spending money you don't want to be spending and you start to wonder if you're ever going to find someone. I totally understand how that can be mentally exhausting and physically draining. Not to mention how your wallet is taking a hit.
While going out is fun and it's great to do from time to time, staying in is hands down one of the best byproducts of being in a relationship.
I didn't realize until I started staying in more just how often I was going out. I noticed I got more sleep on the weekends and felt less stressed out about the upcoming week when I was able to just enjoy my time and not feel the pressure to be "on" all the time. I quickly stopped feeling like I was missing out when I realized what it was I had.
Being in a relationship allows you to curl up next to someone on a Saturday night in your pjs with some popcorn. It could mean a quiet date night that costs less than the four drinks you would have had. It means an earlier bedtime -- or sometimes a later bedtime because the conversation is just so good.
Of course we still go out with our friends. It would be weird not to. But the way you spend your time changes when you enter a relationship, and that's OK. Not going out is OK. Enjoying staying in with the one you love is such a great feeling.
Until I had those conversations, I wondered if we were missing out on something by never going out. I realized our naps, trips to the grocery store, endless puzzles, movie marathons and all of the silly videos we watch before going to bed are so much more fulfilling.
Staying in is the basic desire everyone wants out of a relationship, and I am so happy to embrace that change.