Sometimes it seems like there’s this misconception that relationships that last until you’re old and gray don’t take work — that spending forever with another human should be easy and smooth and the furthest thing from “work”.
I don’t know where that came from. Perhaps it’s because there can be a negative connotation with the idea of “work”. Perhaps it’s because we have created a culture where “work” is the thing we rush, and leisure is the thing we crave, and we’ve adopted this silly idea of work-life balance that we’re constantly striving toward that suggests we must separate the two.
Relationships, especially romantic ones, take work.
They take a lot of work.
But it’s not the kind of work that feels like a job. It’s not the kind of work that makes you roll your eyes or groan or wish for the weekend and stretches of unrestricted time.
It’s not that at all, really.
It’s that the work is effortless. It’s that the work is a pleasure. It’s that you want to do the work — and that’s what makes all the difference. That want is what keeps bringing you closer and closer to being old and gray, sitting in rocking chairs, talking about the things you used to do together when you were kids and your hips didn’t hurt so much. That want is what keeps you wanting to be better, for yourself and for your partner. That want is what keeps you moving forward, and what makes you get up every day in the morning and choose that person, your person, forever.
When you chose that person, the work feels easy and smooth. When you choose that forever person, “work” no longer has a negative connotation; instead, it becomes the glue of the life that you are building together.
When you want to wake up every morning next to the same human, and grow with them, and learn with them, and hold hands until you’re old and gray, you don’t mind putting in the work.
You want to do it, too.
And that’s the difference.