Relationships are not hard. They require work, but a sign of a good relationship is when the work you are putting in results in a better relationship. It's not good when you continue to work on the same thing and see no progress. - what my good friend told me when my long-term relationship recently ended. (hi Steph)
"Relationships are hard."
- This is what people would tell me constantly when I was going through a rough time in my relationship.
"Relationships are not hard."
- This is what people told me when we broke up because "we shouldn't have had to work that hard."
Needless to say, I was very conflicted on the advice I was receiving. After anazlying and piecing together advice that actually fit ME, I realized why people were telling me relationships are hard. It's usually because that person is going through the same thing and they need to justify it somehow. Or because they don't want to tell you to just end your relationship. Or they don't know what kind of advice to give you so they just tell you relationships are hard.
Relationships are designed to help you grow and evolve - individually.
Relationships are assignments, as Gabrielle Bernstein says.
They make you really understand who you are.
And if you are being anyone else but yourself, then you have a big problem.
Relationships are only hard if you make them hard.
When you have no progress. When you are stuck in the same position you were before. When you question yourself. When you are being someone you are not. When you lose yourself.
When you fear the potential outcomes. When you have anxiety about the future. When you think the other person will change. Or you try to change them.
You have to accept who the other person is. You cannot live in a relationship expecting that person to change.
People only change if they are willing to. I'm going to say that again. People only change if they are willing to.
Relationships are meant to be easy. If you find yourself saying that relationships are hard, look deeper.
They are supposed to be amazing, fulfilling, supportive, loving, and filled with smiles.
Yes, there are arguments, rough patches, and issues. But they shouldn't consume your entire being.
Remember that you have control.
You can choose to work on yourself. You can choose to stay. You can choose to leave. You can choose to change. You can choose to never change.
If you're having the same argument over and over or if previous issues are brought up again and again, you're not working on anything. You're glossing over the subject. Someone's not willing to work on that issue.
As soon as I realized all of this - through friends, through books, through blogs, through myself - I understood what kind of relationship I wanted and who I am in a relationship. And that's something I truly value, and I could only learn by going through it all myself.
This is a bit off topic for me, but for whatever reason, many people I know are going through a rough time in their relationships (either breaking up or thinking about breaking up) so I've compiled what I've learned from all of them, including myself, in case it can help you.
The kind of relationship you have affects the rest of your life. Now that I'm clear, I am so happy. I was clouded for so long, but now I know what I want, and there is nothing more liberating.
Leaving a relationship that is not working is not a failure.
It's being strong enough and brave enough to face the facts. It's about understanding who you are. It's about knowing how you want to live.
I think most of the time, we know the answer. But we try to look for evidence against it because we don't want it to hurt. Because staying together feels easier than letting go. That's common. And you will hurt. But a small amount of hurt in exchange for a lifetime of happiness is totally worth it.
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