When you’re looking for love, it’s easy to think that the end goal is love itself. Once you’ve found the right person and have gotten into a relationship with them – life will feel more complete. They’re your partner in crime, your future, your everything. You want to have a family together, to grow old together. It’s the dream, the missing piece to the puzzle. The hardest part is finding them. Right? Well maybe. But relationships take work, regardless. And actually, when you do find the right person – that’s only the very beginning. This is the mistake that so many people make. So let me explain.
Where It All Starts…
When you’re single, you’re doing your own thing – hopefully – making the most of all the opportunities it gives you and learning & growing to become the best possible version of you. (Wahoo!)
When you start dating, you’re trying to impress. You want to show this person what a great ‘catch’ you are. You’re also genuinely interested in getting to know them, so that you can assess their suitability as a partner for you. (It’s good to be picky you know…)
When you feel like the two of you are a good fit and sparks are flying, you continue the ‘courting’ process until the two of you are ‘official’… all providing it continues to go in the right direction. (Take it slow so you know for sure that this one’s the right person for you!)
Once you reach this stage, you’ll have the ‘honeymoon period’ where you’re just madly in love, having heaps of fun together, enjoying getting to know each other further. You might come across a few hiccups or problems, but you’re still readjusting to your new partnership and you work through them, coming out stronger than ever.
Gradually, things start to become more comfortable. You feel settled, safe, secure. It’s all very familiar. Which is great. You’ve reached a new stage!
The Problem Is…
Relationships take work, but we don’t always think about that – especially when it’s so good anyway. Then gradually, as time goes on, it’s easy to let things slip. You might start taking your partner for granted and don’t put in the same amount of effort as before.
You find there’s not as many date days or nights, or quality time spent together. And even when you are with each other, you can be more preoccupied with your phone or just mindlessly watching tv. Your partner is always there, but they’re not always fully present and nor are you.
Aside from this, sex isn’t always quite so sexy. In fact, you can feel like it’s slipped into a bit of a routine, become predictable. Or maybe you just feel like you’ve done everything there is to do, and “can’t be arsed” to spice it up! It ‘does the job’ right?!
You’re not afraid to be yourself around your partner anymore (which is great) – but when we’re talking totally yourself, manners can go out the window! It’s cool that you’re so relaxed around another person, but some things should be kept just to yourself and yourself alone. Some habits are not the most attractive and it certainly doesn’t do much for romance side of things!
Talking of which – when was the last time either of you did a romantic gesture? No matter how big or small? Or made an effort, just because you wanted to? Self-care is less of a priority now. I mean, who cares if you haven’t washed your hair for a few days or have the same grubby pjs on? You’re comfortable… it doesn’t matter right?
You may also find you snap at your partner more when the relationship is settled. You’re around each other so much, it’s bound to happen at times. Only, this can start to become a habit. That or the nagging, the digs, the stupid little arguments. Or sometimes it’s simply not bothering to speak at all – especially if you’re feeling annoyed about something and let the feelings foster. But it will ‘blow over’ right? It ‘always does.’
And we’re not saying it’s all bad. It’s really not. You may relate to just one or two of these things. And aside from this, there is of course, still the fun and affection. But there’s often far less appreciation – or should we say, showing your appreciation for your partner.
You assume they just ‘know’ how you feel – or worse – you assume you know how they feel… After all, you’ve been together such a long time now. You know them like the back of your hand! Yet communication is key, no matter how comfortable the two of you are and how long you’ve been together.
This is just touching the surfaces on it. And of course, every relationship is different. This doesn’t always happen, or it can happen sooner / later, depending on the two people. It doesn’t have to be make or break either. And actually, when you get into a relationship more aware of the fact that relationships take work – it doesn’t have to happen at all.
Think Of It This Way…
It’s like if you set up a new business. You put in the hard graft to begin with, take all the time and effort to get it running properly. It’s exciting! It starts becoming pretty profitable and is growing well. Life is good! But would you then just leave it and expect it to carry on in the same way without you having to do anything more? No way!
Things change, challenges arise, and sure – you can deal with them as they crop up. But if you’re not heavily involved in the business, sometimes they happen without you even realising. You may also end up acting when it’s too late and the damage that has been done, may be too difficult to come back from then. Not always, of course. It depends how strong the foundations are that you put in place. But why risk it?
The best way around it is to take a hands-on approach! That way you’ll be able spot the issues before they arise. You won’t need to put as much time into it as you did at the beginning – you’re in a far safer position now. But actually, you may find you want to… Because you have a passion for it. This is something you really care about, and you know that you get out what you put in. That’s what makes it flourish. That’s what makes it all the more rewarding.
Because sure, if you set up the strong foundations, you probably could neglect your business and it wouldn’t go bust. But is that what you really want? Something that’s just surviving? I don’t think so. I think you want more than that. And you deserve it too.
If you set this up to just sell, it’s different. But we’re talking about a business you started out of love and passion, that you want to grow, as you grow. Don’t lose sight of that.
Relationships Take Work. Even The Great Ones…
Like we said, so many people put all this effort in to begin with, make all these promises, try to be the person they’re meant to be and the best possible partner… But then they get comfortable, they feel like they’ve done what they ‘need’ to do and start to slack!
Your personality shouldn’t change as time goes on. Sure, you’ve done the groundwork, so the ‘building’ stage doesn’t need to be done to the same intensity, but relationships still take work.
You need to keep things alive and exciting. Otherwise all that’s left is routine and familiarity, which is fine – it’s very safe and secure. But it doesn’t meet all of your needs, and it’s probably why you find that the sparks starting to lack and the questions are beginning to arise.
You still love each other, of course. But great relationships require far more than just love alone. Great relationships take work too, just like anything.
Right now, things might have gone stale, because the two of you have let it. But instead of chucking that bread out, turn it into toast – gee, even add a bit of cheese on and make it even tastier than it was in the first place!
There’s Different Elements That Keep Relationships Alive Long Term
- You need to have the intimacy in a relationship. This is the emotional connection, the ability to communicate properly, to manage conflict, to become best friends as well as lovers, to open up to one another and to have that deep bond, trust and closeness.
- You also need to have the thrill: the attraction, the interest, the feelings of excitement when you’re around them – no matter how long it’s been!
- Then closely following that, there’s the sensuality. From the wild sex, to the meaningful sex where you’ve never felt more connected to a person. That loving kiss, to the hugs where you don’t ever want to let go. There are many different elements to a relationship, and key components which keep relationships alive, long term.
It’s easy to fall in love. It takes conscious effort to sustain those intense feelings in the long-run. And this isn’t a chore. This doesn’t mean that relationships have to be hard. It’s just like anything: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.
Who you choose to get into a relationship with, is a big decision. You’re going to spend such a huge part of your life with this person. It’s a big deal, and not something that should be taken lightly. So when you do find someone who’s right for you – give it the love, time and attention it deserves. Not just at the start, but continuously.
Put in the same amount of effort that you did to begin with, and I promise you – you will have far longer, stronger and more fulfilling relationships that add so much juice to your life.
No-one should be your EVERYTHING. I’m not saying that you have to live for that one person and that person alone. (I’d argue against it if anything!) But, the person that you decide to be with – will of course – be a big part of ‘your everything.’ So give them, and the relationship, the time that it deserves and needs… alongside building your empire, becoming an absolute boss and following all of your passions to the peak!
Food to think about anyway. What’s your view – do relationships take work? Let me know in the comments below. For more relationship guidance and tips, subscribe below and I’ll pop you an email every couple of weeks with the latest.