woman in white tank top and blue denim jeans standing on brown wooden dock during daytime

This Year, Say No To Struggle-Love

You’re attracted to relationships that require fighting. You think you have to do something to receive love. You think you have to overcome a crisis and suffer. These thoughts are struggle-love.

You believe this is how relationships should be because it’s what you’ve always known. No one told you that a person could fall in love with you.

If you don’t get out of this cycle, you’ll miss out on people who genuinely want to treat you well. You’ll realize that you don’t have to please people at the sacrifice of yourself constantly.

You’re looking for real love. You’re a giver, but sometimes you get confused for a cheerleader. Other times, a mother, lover, punching bag, investor, or maid instead of someone to grow with, cherish, and protect.

Struggle-love is being with a partner that doesn’t know if they want you. Struggle-love is full of excuses. There’s never enough time, money, or patience for you.

The truth is, love takes work and sacrifice—on both parts. There are no victims in love, only fighters. That’s where we often go wrong. We feel like we’re entitled to each other when we should be focusing on how to communicate, negotiate, and make two lives come together.

Struggle-love is full of fixing. You’re improving their esteem, pushing them to see the bright side of life. They’re miserable, blame the world, and have a chip on their shoulder. While it’s good to uplift your partner, this is a two-way street. They shouldn’t leave you feeling more depleted than ever.

Struggle-love is full of begging. You’re pleading for emotional support, to be taken out, to be shown a little appreciation or a birthday gift. You’re praying for decent sex or a little intimacy. When you’ve expressed your desires, your partner says you’re nagging, too emotional or clingy.

Struggle-love is full of poverty. Your lover can’t keep a job. They can’t seem to manage or save money but want you to have their babies. Continual financial problems can build resentment, causing relationship breakups that could have been avoided with a financial plan.

Say no to struggle-love. I know it’s complicated, because struggle-lovers are mysterious and passionate. You can’t help but feel attracted to them. Being with someone who likes you and has their shit together seems, well, kinda dull. With time, you’ll find the right balance. It’s much better to have a calm, steady type of love than one that leaves you constantly anxious, uncertain, and drained.

Say no to struggle-love by choosing people who choose you. Say yes to someone who makes it clear they want to be with you, not just for sex, but because they see a future in you. Be with someone who takes responsibility for their growth and doesn’t let their ego rule entirely over them.

Say no to struggle-love by building your esteem. Listen to kind words. Surround yourself with people that affirm you. Take responsibility for your emotions. Don’t rely on your partner to regularly make you feel better. Learn to self-soothe. Learn how to make yourself happy.

Say no to struggle-love by finding examples of people whose character you admire. Maybe it’s how they take care of their family. Perhaps it’s the way they always speak with respect. Maybe it’s their positive outlook in life, work ethic, or ambition. Many people suffer relationship hurt; as a result, they’re angry. They hate women and they hate men instead of seeing the value we both bring. Keep your heart open by resisting the urge to shut all people out because of your pain.

Say no to struggle-love by setting boundaries about what you want and deserve. Attraction and desire for someone can quickly take you off track. That’s okay, but if you know what you want, you can refocus when you’re able to.

When you say no to struggle-love, you say yes to making room for a partner who wants to be with you. You say yes to a partner who has done the self-work. I’m not saying it will be easy, but it doesn’t have to be more complicated than necessary. Say yes to more peace of mind, joy, and comfort.

This year say no to struggle-love by loving yourself, because then you’ll have a better idea of how people should love you. You don’t have to fight continually to receive the love you deserve.

This year, say no to struggle-love.

Arlene is a self-healing authour, and stress management coach

Keep up with Arlene on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and arleneambrose.ca