If you’ve come across any of these relationship difficulties, I hope this offers you some comfort in knowing that they are totally normal. Relationships are hard and that’s ok.
People are always telling you that relationships take work. They’re fine giving you the vague heads up that “relationships are hard,” but they never tell you why. They don’t tell you that sometimes you’re going to experience certain emotions that are going to make you feel uncomfortable and guilty. They leave out the part about the uncertainty and fear that comes with falling in love. They conveniently forget to include the harsh truth that with beautiful, fantastic love, you also get a touch of fear tossed in the mix.
Disclaimer: Although these relationship truths are not exactly comfortable, I want you to know that they are common even in the strongest couples. I didn’t write this to discourage, but to inform and encourage. If you’ve come across any of these relationship difficulties, I hope this offers you some comfort in knowing that they are totally normal.
1. You may not always feel a fiery attraction toward your partner.
They’ll irritate you, hurt you (whether intentional or not) and make you angry at times. This does not necessarily mean you are no longer attracted to your partner (unless of course this feeling never goes away, in which case you should evaluate your relationship). These emotional fluctuations are a normal part of the human experience.
Take friendship for example. You and your best friend aren’t always skipping through sunshine flooded fields of flowers. You fight and get annoyed with each other. It doesn’t mean you love each other any less. It’s simply a symptom of being two humans that have different views, likes and dislikes. This is the same in a romantic relationship.
Passion is not constant. And could you imagine if it was? We’d never get anything done! We’d be emotionally exhausted, distracted and unproductive. Passion is a beautiful thing that we should cherish and explore in the right moments, but don’t distress if you don’t feel it 100% of the time.
2. Sometimes you’ll get bored.
Routine can sometimes equal a rut. Our habits get the best of us and before we know it we’re doing the same things everyday. This is not always a terrible sign. It can easily mean that you’re comfortable with each other. If this is the case in your relationship, take time to plan exciting things to do together. Don’t let your busy schedules or being set in your ways get the best of you.
3. You may wonder if there’s something else out there for you.
When I was younger, I used to believe in the myth of “The One” with a fiery passion. As I grew older I abandoned that idea and it has made my life and relationships so much better.
If we believe that some sort of fairy magic pulled us and is holding us together, we give up responsibility for our actions. We sit back and watch our relationship fall apart and say “it just wasn’t meant to be.” This is a ridiculous way of thinking.
Relationships take a reasonable amount of work. They take honesty and understanding even when we’re scared. They require learning to argue like a mature adult and not use cheap shots at our partner when we feel hurt or misunderstood. They need a nurturing attitude and a decision to wake up everyday and CHOOSE your partner. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable. Sometimes it hurts. But if you both put in the proper amount of work, your relationship can be beautiful and fulfilling for both you and you partner.
4. You’ll experience negative emotions.
You’ll feel unappreciated, misunderstood, afraid, anxious, and you’ll feel guilty for feeling that way. Neither of you can beat yourselves up for feeling, but you can do something to resolve these uncomfortable emotions. Communication is incredibly important in situations like this. If you allow these feelings to fester they morph into resentment and that’s the last thing you want in your relationship.
5. With real love comes real fear.
The more intensely you fall in love, the more real the fear becomes. In the back of your mind will be the worry that you will lose this amazing love you’ve found. You’ll wonder if they want someone else. You’ll wonder if you want someone else. But they don’t and neither do you. Don’t let your brain play tricks on you. These are just thoughts and they’re normal. Just because you brain conjures up a scary thought doesn’t mean it’s true. They are just manifestations of the aforementioned fear.
You will doubt yourself or your partner. You will sometimes feel disconnected from each other and the fear will come rushing back. You’ll encounter a conflict and wonder if this is the end that you’ve been so afraid of. But this is just the fear and the fear does not determine the truth. If you’re afraid it just means you have something valuable to lose.
Relationships are so hard and you can’t put the pressure on yourself or your partner to be perfect and happy all the time. You may feel a bit discouraged and disheartened, but please know that if you go into a romantic relationship with the expectation that you’re going to have to put in work and neither you, nor your partner, will be perfect, you’re setting yourself up for a rewarding and healthy relationship.
Don’t ever feel bad for hitting a rough patch. Don’t feel guilty for having your issues. Remember that any problem you two have is only temporary and with patience and understanding, it can be worked through.
Love is always worth it.