Relationships are HARD, people. People are lying if they say they aren’t, because every single relationship takes work, every.single.day. That isn’t to say it shouldn’t be easy either, because you can have both in the right relationship. The connection my boyfriend and I have is easy. How well we generally get along and love hanging out, talking to one another, that is so simple. But the reality is that you and your significant other are still two completely different humans with completely different needs, no matter the similarities between you both.
I think as we grow up it’s hard to catch our bearings on what a healthy relationship looks like, and what it truly means to be in one. We grow up and date not so nice people sometimes, occasionally they treat us badly or even break our hearts. We see great marriages and we see brutal divorces, and we rarely see what goes on behind closed doors. The things that fill in gaps for us in learning are movies and tv shows, two things that more often than not depict a rose colored lense for relationships.
When I was 21 I remember having a very candid discussion with some women about the reality of marriage. Let me preface this with what I knew: the couple we were discussing had been married for nearly 28 years at this point, and basically all I ever saw was love, affection and respect. At some point during this conversation the woman in this relationship said, “there were nights where I’d sit in the living room at 3am and think, ‘is this really what I want?'”. She went on to say that she knows her husband has had those same exact thoughts, they’re just lucky that it wasn’t at the same time.
This nugget of information shed a lot of clarity for me on just how much work relationships take. Yes, the person should make you laugh and happy and feel safe and loved. But are they going to mess up? Yes. Will there be nights when you wonder what life might be like if you weren’t with them? For sure. Are they going to make you more mad than anyone else some days? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean you give up.
If they love you and truly care about your happiness above all else, keep them. Relationships are about respect, so as long as you and your partner hold each other’s values above all else, there are few things that can’t be fixed. Communicate- always, no matter how difficult it may be at times. Understand that we all mess up and make mistakes, because we are HUMAN. Forgive graciously, knowing that in the grand scheme of life, most issues are usually irrelevant. Be kind, because respect is not taking pride in hurting your partner.
In this day and age where there are articles and quizzes about how a relationship should be, and instagrams and facebooks posts about perfect relationships, do not let that dictate your definition. Know that every single relationship is so incredibly different and unique to those two people, and that is all that matters. There are no rules when it comes to being in a relationship, regardless of what some people like to say or think. As long as there is no physical or emotional harm, keep doing you. Follow your heart and trust your gut, you’ll know what’s right for you.