My friend once told me that relationships should be easygoing and that, with love, you wouldn’t need to work hard to transform it into something awesome.
I disagree with this on so many levels that I don’t even know if I can count them.
This is the reason why married couples go to couples therapy, why they try to make it all work, but not even a therapist can give you advice that can work instantly.
Relationships tend to get really hard and therapists want you to be committed and dedicated to a certain goal that you set up together.
You really need to work on it.
That work includes committed listening, putting someone else’s needs in front of yours, letting go of control, practicing vulnerability, being honest, being open to change and even in the face of fear, being there for each other.
Maybe you Googled ‘Do good relationships take hard work?’ and all the books and blog posts you could find were about how you only need to work on it at the beginning and that it gets easier with time.
It’s all people want to hear. Instant solutions are the death of us!
You need to put work and effort into your relationship even years and years after you get married because you want them (and yourself) to be happy, don’t you?
It’s not just the beginning where it takes hard work.
Sure, getting to know someone takes a lot of effort, because you need to find out what your partner wants and needs in a relationship.
You need to know the right questions to ask. But you need to keep that up, sometimes even for decades.
Don’t get me wrong, nothing can work out if there is only one worker and one slacker. You can’t really ‘procrastinate’ when it comes to relationships.
What if your partner has made tons of effort and dedicated so many tears and so much sweat into everything and all you do is take it for granted?
Well, that sure isn’t OK and relationships of this kind are doomed to fail.
From personal experience, I have learned that long-term relationships need hard work invested into every aspect of them, so I’m going to list down the problems which might occur and how you can solve them (in the long-term):
Lack of the right communication
We sure do forget that sometimes words are like knives and we forget that ‘feedback’ needs to be pointed towards the actions of someone and not their personality.
Because of this, we tend to insult our partner and say really mean things to them, instead of telling them how their actions made us feel.
So instead of, “You’re such a stupid asshole for doing…” you might want to rephrase everything into, “I’m was hurt by the fact that you…” which makes it all much easier and less painful.
If we have a lot of work to do we tend to completely forget about our partner, especially when all the deadlines we had are overdue, but you still need and should want to spend time with them, even though you know you can’t.
And that stress builds up even more. The solution for that? Better time management.
There are a lot of tools out there that can help you with that and you can schedule time for your partner throughout the day.
And in the time you’re dedicating to your relationship, your only focus will be on your partner. Nothing else. So both of you will be satisfied.
Seeing one person for years on end can make you feel really bored, especially if nothing new is happening and if both of you talk about the same topics over and over again.
How do you heal boredom? You go on adventures together! Do something where your adrenalin rush is higher than ever before.
Something new neither of you have tried before.
I can guarantee you that after some amazing trips and challenges you’ll feel refreshed and your relationship will bloom.
I’ve struggled with this one a lot lately, because at some point nothing is fun anymore and you just want to damn everything and let it slip away.
But I know that it’s worth fighting for and that you need to conquer yourself in order to make it all work.
Consistency can be hard, but it’ll pay out in the end!
Yes. Love. If you don’t love your partner, what’s the point of it all?
Maybe you started the relationship because you thought that they could heal the brokenness caused in your last relationship.
But how do you know (or feel) that you love them? Well, that’s easy: You can’t imagine a life without them.
If you can imagine a life without your partner, then let them go. It’s not worth your time and effort.
If you really love someone, nothing will be too hard for you to do. You will find little romantic gestures that’ll help both of you grow and you’ll be better lovers for sure.
Just be patient and understanding toward each other and nothing can go wrong.