Relationships are a bit like a gourmet dish; they take time, commitment and effort. They are not about instant gratification any more than they are about simplicity. Yet I come into contact with those who refuse to put in the work and who continually see a disagreement or a hurt feeling as a sign that they need to break it off and go in search of a relationship that is more like the idyllic (perceived, of course) one that their sisters best friends Aunt, twice removed has.
Ive discussed before how we are in this sort of ‘hurry up and microwave it’ world where its about instant gratification and not applied effort-if there isn’t an app for it our eyes gloss over and our attention is lost. Well, there is no app for love; there is no easy button. The difficulty is that conversations have turned into texts, arguments have turned into immediate reasons to leave. He left his socks on the floor-that’s it, your out the door! She said something which was offensive to you-bring on the silent treatment and passive aggressive pity party!
Do you want a relationship which mirrors the physical manifestation of your perception of every other relationship you see? Want to actually have true friendships within your platonic AND romantic realm? Then its time to get real.
Step 1: Stop Being A Needless Complainer!
He left his socks on the floor or didn’t drop to his knees in gratitude for dinner? So what! Is your skin really that thin that these things are worth getting upset over? Are you really hurt or do you just want attention and are behaving like the preteen who decides to misbehave in order to get mom and dad to pay him a bit of consideration? If you want peace and a drama-less environment than stop searching for the most miniscule things to be upset about!
Step 2: C.O.M.M.U.N.I.C.A.T.E.!
If there is something bothering you; but keep in mind the step above. If you are dealing with something truly offensive to your sensibility then you need to address it directly. You do not text your complaint or write a pages long email outlining all the reasons why they are shit; you speak with them face to face or at the very least on the phone. We have become so used to having this buffer of technology between us that we have lost touch with how to communicate with one another. The sad part is that our relationships are directly and massively impacted because of this. I do not care if its your boyfriend or your best friend if you cannot have an open and honest dialogue then you might as well just lock yourself into a room with your smart phone and computer and trawl the online communities. Genuine relationships require genuine communication and yes it is sometimes hard to have a heartfelt discussion with another, especially if they may not agree with you but it is, mark my words, one of the most, if not the most, vital component of a healthy relationship. No communication means no depth, no substance and no damn growth in your interpersonal relationships.
Step 3: Stop Comparing And Put In The Effort!
Lets get this straight right here and now-those relationships that you think are perfect or always lovey dovey are not. All relationships have an ebb and a flow and there are issues that reside in every relationship. The difference between a god relationship and a bad relationship is respect. Its the ability to respect the self, to respect the other person and to respect the commitment between them. They work through issues rather than avoid them by not communicating or leaving at the first sign of troubles. I’ve been with my husband for 8 years and married for nearly 4 and we have had more than our share of ups and downs and will always encounter a few along the journey. The trick isnt an easy button or having enough love its having enough respect for what we have built to not just give up on each other. Am I suggesting that you stay with the man who acts as though you do not exist or who cheats on you with anything sporting a vagina? No, obviously not. That said there are often times easily dealt with issues if the proper effort of BOTH people is applied.
Relationships take work (GASP!! I just blew your mind, I know) and those who make it understand this more than not. You cannot allow your friends relationship as the gospel truth of what a “real” relationship should look like just as you cannot expect to have a long term relationship if you leave in the face of the slightest provocation. There is no app for a successful relationship but there is a method and yes sometimes the method is arduous and requires just as much from you as it does the other person. Relationships are not for the faint of heart-if it were easy everyone would be happily paired and this would all be for naught. If you want to have and keep love then its time to assess what commitment means to you and get out of this instant gratification, instant perfection mindset that is destroying love lives. Its time to get real, its time to get honest and its time to get your hands dirty.