“Relationships are hard”
“Oh boy, it ain’t easy but it’s worth it!”
“All couples fight, but when it’s good, it’s so good!”
I don’t know when it started, but the idea that romantic relationships are hard is a lie that needs to die. Now.
I’ve been with my partner Peter for 13 years but in the years before we got together, I had A LOT of failed and frustrating relationships. Like, I packed a lot of heartbreak into the 5 years between coming out and dating Peter.
I thought relationships were supposed to be hard.
I mistook “the chase” (aka anxiety!) for love.
I mistook conflict for chemistry.
I mistook mismatched expectations and desires for the “cost of admission” for being in a mature relationship.
From sitcoms and movies and stupid sayigns like “the old ball and chain” and well-intentioned people talking about how much WORK relationships took, I just… kinda thought that the struggle was normal.
That this was as good as it was gonna get.
That’s something most of us go through. There are periods of time where we all think “is this it?”
Or, “What if I don’t get another chance?”
Or, “this is just what it takes”
Or, worse yet, “This is all I deserve”
What are some of the things that you believe about relationships? Let me know in the comments!
But here’s the thing: while some relationships are really hard, those relationships are usually unhealthy and unsuccessful. That’s not the type of relationship you want.
Healthy relationships? Healthy relationships take work to maintain and grow of course, but it’s easy work. It’s fun work. It’s fulfilling work.
The Gottman Institute researched happy, successful relationships and found that couples who stay together and are satisfied in their relationships have TWENTY positive experiences for every ONE negative experience.
AND, during times of conflict, those couples have 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative one. Yes, five sixths of the time spent IN CONFLICT is still positive.
“Relationships are so hard” is a lie. The type of relationship that you deserve is one where you are having a great time with your person the overwhelming majority of the time.
So if your relationship feels really hard, what do you do about it? The first step is to acknowledge that you want things to be different. And then take action to change things.
This article will help you sit with and work through uncomfortable feelings that crop up in relationships sometimes. And then this playlist will help you talk with your partner about what’s important to you.
If you want some extra support in making shifts in your relationship, reach out! I’m here for you.