Any serious relationship will not be easy. Let me repeat that one more time. It. Will. Not. Be. Easy. Let each word sink in and resonate.
You grow up reading fairytales about the prince who sweeps the princess off her feet and marries her a few chapters later. You watch movies where the boy meets the girl and is suddenly a die-hard romantic. Everything is beautiful and passionate and full of romance. From childhood all the way to adulthood you’ve become acclimated to the dream relationship. The one full of ease and pure joy from the moment you two meet. So that’s what we go searching for.
I can promise if this is what you continue to search for, you will always be left disappointed.
In the beginning, things do tend to look like this. After all, you probably wouldn’t stick around very long if there wasn’t that doe-eyed look evident at the start. The romantic love is palpable in the beginning. The times when he always texts back right away, shows up with a bouquet of flowers, wants to know every thought flowing through you mind, and makes every effort to make you happy. It’s new and exciting, and you’re both on a high.
Just like any other high though, you have to come back to reality. That’s when the rose colored glasses disappear.
You both are so caught up in the passion and thrill of finding a connection in the beginning that the negative traits are either ignored or haven’t yet seen the light of day. We always want to put our best self forward, so we tend to close off the things we don’t like about ourselves as much. But eventually you settle into a habit and routine, and it’s not an easy adjustment. After all, who wants to go from a fairytale dream to reality again? That’s not how things were supposed to go.
This is about the time where a lot of people break things off. Expectations grow substantially, yet the effort isn’t kept up. Both people want and need something from their partner, though rather than communicating this in a healthy way, we criticize, blame, and argue. We expect our partners to know how we want to be loved, and for them to easily see how we ourselves show love. No one is a mind-reader though.
Things become so frustrating and intense that our minds instinctually blame the other person, coming to the conclusion that they must not be The One. Because The One would make you happy all the time, and cater to every need, and life would be a breeze.
No one is easy to deal with all the time though, not even you. If you take a close look in the mirror, you may find that the frustration is really discomfort. You’re uncomfortable because you’re being forced to dig beneath the surface and develop self awareness. Nothing brings about the things we need to work on within ourselves quite like a romantic relationship.
Perhaps you feel your partner doesn’t open up enough to you and share their inner thoughts. In your mind, this may mean he or she is emotionally distant and will never provide the comfort and safety you need. Rather than jumping to that conclusion though, take a pause and try to understand why this is so bothersome. Have you communicated your desire to know more from them? What does your body language and tone look like? Do they open up in ways that may differ from you?
Perhaps you are more in tune with your emotions, and they haven’t reached that point in life yet. Rather than attacking and criticizing, ask yourself what you can learn from the situation. Could you be more approachable? More patient? When you turn the tables to focus on yourself and what you can do to be more kind and loving in the moments you feel anxious or frustrated, things begin to shift in a good way.
I firmly believe that relationships teach us the lessons we need to learn about ourselves. And growing pains are never easy to handle. It’s much easier to pretend we’re perfect and deserve our idea of a perfect partner than step back and say, “Hey, I’m not perfect and neither are you, but let’s figure out how we can grow and be better-together.”
Nothing easy in life is ever as meaningful as the things you work hard for every day. You may just find the love you work at becomes the fairytale you were always waiting for.