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  • Andy Paulucio

Going With The Flow

“Let’s just go with the flow,” either you have heard this phrase at some point in your life, or perhaps you are a practitioner of it. It is often applied in many aspects of life, such as dating. But it does not always carry its true connotation by those who live by it. This post will explore what this concept means and what it says about those who practice it.


Let’s start by answering the question, where does this concept of “going with the flow” originate from? Some sources attribute it to Marcus Aurelius, a Roman emperor who was a prominent practitioner of Stoicism. The notion of going with the flow implied accepting the natural course of time as a river of passing events rather than trying to force change upon it. Suggesting that change is an inevitable process. Clinging onto a particular stage in this process would be futile as by doing so, one would be refusing change, thus refusing progress.


The notion of going with the flow has been widely misunderstood throughout the years. Nowadays, this philosophy's common but incorrect connotation is for one not to oppose any resistance that comes in one’s way and accept things as they are. In other words, when dealing with a particular circumstance in life, stumbling upon any form of opposition would be seen as an indication that things are not meant to be.


In dating, this concept has a similar connotation. It is often used with the intention of suggesting that one is open to accepting the outcome that the universe thinks is best. And thus, one shall not interfere with its flow by trying to overcome a challenge that may present itself, as that would mean opposing the right course of events.


If we apply that mentality in building a relationship, no relationship will ever last. It is by overcoming challenges in which the bedrock for building a relationship is being solidified.


In some instances, some may use this concept as an excuse to free themselves from any commitment or responsibility they might owe to a (potential) significant other. For instance, they might tell you they want to go with the flow, but they just want something casual in reality.

So when things begin to go in the direction of a casual relationship, you might not be pleased in the position your find yourself in (assuming that is not what you wanted in the first place). Nonetheless, it was something you indirectly agreed to. This potential issue could be easily addressed by clarifying things at the beginning.


But generally, those who apply this concept in their love lives are deluding themselves that some higher force will intervene on their behalf to make it all fall into place. When in reality, when they are saying they want to “go with the flow,” they are using this concept as a scapegoat from confronting the truth, which is not knowing what they want.


If you can relate to the point highlighted in the previous paragraph, worry not. There is nothing wrong with not knowing what you want, as it is by going through experiences that you get to figure that out. But a great start to addressing this would be establishing your values.


Think of it like you are a ship floating in the ocean; the weather is the flow of time, the water represents the flow of life, your destination represents your goals, and how you decide to get there is determined by your values. There will be times when the weather and water will change to unfavorable conditions making it challenging to navigate. You will not be able to modify the weather or control the water. You will just need to accept it. But you will be free to choose your destination, and you sure can change how you want to get there. That is the essence of going with the flow.


I appreciate you took the time to read this post. I hope this helps!