It has been said that relationships take work, and that is true. Anytime two people come together and mesh their lives into each other’s, there is going to be some effort required in order to feel out comfort levels, discuss similarities and differences, and find a balance.
While I don’t like the term ‘work’ in general, I especially lean away from it when it comes to relationships. Saying something is work just makes it sound tedious and cumbersome. Who wants those qualities in something that is supposed to be happy, fun, and exciting? I certainly wouldn’t.
Let’s call it effort. These things take (mutual) effort. If you want to call it work, fine – but it should be that relationships take work, they shouldn’t be work.
We can have all of the checklists and requirements and stipulations that we want when it comes to the vision of the person we want to be with – but none of it will matter if we just don’t mesh with them. If conversations don’t flow naturally. If we don’t connect emotionally. If we are uncomfortable intimately. If we can’t just be with them.
There are plenty of people out there who are intelligent, good looking, successful, and could be a great person – but this does not automatically mean they are great for you. There is a big difference.
The only way we can determine this is if we are truly honest with ourselves at the deepest levels. We may be infatuated with a person, there may be intense physical attraction, but these things do not mean that two people can effectively form a team and take on the world as a single unit together.
We have to consider personality types. Of course we can’t expect to be just like the person we are with and we probably wouldn’t want to be anyway. I think it is important to have someone in your life who balances you out. Maybe they are more energetic and you are more laid back. Maybe you are more ambitious and they are more nurturing. But these are traits that can work with each other, not against each other.
There is an important distinction between these types of differences and the types of differences that constantly cause tension between two people. We should never have to force ourselves to change who we are at a fundamental level in order to make something work. Sure, self-improvement and compromise are important, but if you find yourself constantly at odds with how you feel you need to act, and how you naturally want to act – you could be in a situation where you are simply trying to fit a round peg into a square hole.
The problem is that we are conditioned to believe that a failed relationship is just that – a failure. We stay in the wrong situations and try to make things work because we don’t want to give up. Maybe we have invested too much time or too many emotions into this person to envision ourselves walking away – when in reality that may be exactly what we need to do. We think that holding on makes us strong, and to ‘give up’ would be to admit defeat.
The truth is – strength doesn’t always mean holding on. Sometimes it means having the courage to let go of what cannot be fixed.
It means having the clarity and awareness to see when something is just too much effort to make sense. It is work. You spend so much time worrying about the relationship that there is no time left to actually enjoy it.
What’s the point?
When we force the wrong relationship we are stopping ourselves for being available to recognize the right one. We are trying to fit the round peg into a square hole when what we really should be doing is recognizing what we have and simply look for a person who matches up with it best.
The wrong relationship is like the peg – even if you do somehow force it into the square hole, one of the pieces will have had to be so altered that it will no longer reflect its genuine self.
Stay strong, stay positive, and most of all – stay true to yourself. There will be someone who comes along and appreciates you for you. And the best part is, it won’t feel like work. Not all relationships are meant to last – but they will teach and prepare you for the one that does.
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