Good Relationships Shouldn’t Actually Be Hard Work

“Relationships take a lot of hard work.”

We’ve all heard it before, probably a lot, from many different people. But it’s been my experience that healthy, good relationships, the ones you want in your life, don’t really take that much work.

When you’re in a relationship with the right person, it really shouldn’t feel hard, and it really shouldn’t feel like work. It will feel completely easy, normal, and natural. It should feel like what you’ve been wanting your entire life. “Work” means something’s not working in the relationship. Here’s why.

In a compatible relationship, mutual respect, effort, appreciation, love, accommodation, consideration, and every other healthy quality come automatically. You won’t have to really try to feel them for your partner. You won’t have to try to make them a priority, or make them feel loved, or make them feel important, or make them feel understood. You’ll just do it without thinking because you love them and value them.

Then there’s the question of personalities and the basic essence of how you act. If you have to struggle to get along on a daily basis, if you butt heads over seemingly every little thing, if your senses of humor, general outlook on life, and personalities feel like they clash and result in awkward moments and stony silences more than they unite you, you don’t need to work harder. You’re just in a relationship with the wrong person. How is it that you can feel like you’ve known one person for years after a few minutes and other people, even after months, still make you feel stiff and bottled up? That means the chemistry is off, and that’s not something any amount of hard work will fix.

Of course, even in a relationship where you feel you jive perfectly with your partner, there will be issues and topics where you don’t see eye to eye. But it shouldn’t take an abundance of hard work to try to see their perspective and respect it.

Don’t settle for people you feel you have to battle with to get what you need from the relationship or people who make you feel that you need to change critical things about yourself to get along with. If this is you, stop thinking it will get easier, because as a wise person once told me, that means it’s time to get out. It should be easy the vast majority of the time, and not just after months of investing your time and feelings.

From the start of your relationship, you should feel things flow naturally both ways and like you’re both giving each other what you need and expect. “Hard work” will pop up as a requirement occasionally as you go through life’s tough times together, but it shouldn’t be your mainstay.

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