When it comes to relationships, this has got to be the worst myth out there, leading a whole lot of people into a whole lot of misery.
Let’s examine what it means when you have to work at relationships.
It could mean that
- the relationship does not “fit” you well, requiring a lot of adjustment
- the other person is not pulling their weight requiring you to do all the “work”
- you really are not that keen on the relationship yourself, so the “work” is to convince yourself that you are
- the other person is just plum incompatible with you, of course, that’s going to require work
- you’re very afraid that you will get unfavourable reviews if you end the relationship, so you put in every effort to maintain some semblance of normality
The list could go on endlessly, but those are but a few examples of why a relationship might require work and none of them indicate to me relationships worth holding onto.
Now this is not to suggest that two individuals with their very own take and filters on life are not going to have to modify something to get along splendidly, but the truth of it is, when there is genuine love, respect and admiration, all those modifications take on the aspect of a no-brainer, rather than work.
See the difference? One way of doing it requires effort, possibly resentful effort and an uphill climb. The other is a natural extension of who you are and your way of being and is a walk in the park.
And the path to getting that latter taste of heaven is dead easy. Stop trying. Stop “working” at relationships. If they are making your life miserable, extricate yourself from them with dispatch! Know beyond a shred of doubt that once you clear your space of angst and anguish, you give yourself a golden opportunity to find other associations you don’t have to work at.
With the current daily diet of high profile marriages followed by divorces in quick succession, there could be a leaning towards the good old days of not giving up, or of working through problems and staying together no matter what. This is an unnecessary and extreme correction. Much better to make sure on the way in, that the relationship is a good fit in the first place and that maintaining the relationship is effortless and natural.
No point closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, or even in try to rein it in when it’s at full gallop – both are losing propositions. Nope. Best to listen to your heart, head and gut reaction when you meet people to decide if associating with them is going to require any dreaded work. And if so – run!
This applies equally to romantic, platonic and familial relationships. Because, let’s face it, we are communal beings. Even if we don’t actively need people around us, and there are those that are more reclusive than others, we must interact with people around us every now and again. It behooves us to make those interactions as pleasant and downright joyful as we can.
I suggest that when we are done with a full day of “work,” we should not have to come back to a household or social circle of more work! If you haven’t guessed by now, my answer to the title question is an unequivocal, emphatic NO!
Do you have relationships that need to be worked at? How does this affect you? How do you resolve it?