If you think about it, we are always hearing how relationships take work. It’s not exactly untrue but it is a little misleading. Relationships do indeed take work…..sometimes. Every couple runs into life circumstances or stumbles into personal issues that challenge one or both partners' ability to cope well. At times like these, couples may find their issues from the past getting activated. Rationality will seem to have abandoned otherwise level heads. There may be heated conversations and unsettling conflicts leading to distress about the relationship. But in healthy partnerships, couples are usually able to right the ship without too much turmoil. They tend to lean into the strengths of each partner and of the relationship to navigate difficult terrain. The rest of the time, outside of these rough spots, things run along pretty smoothly.
If you find yourself working really hard on the relationship on a regular basis, especially early on, you might consider re-evaluating if this is the right fit for you. Does the amount of time, effort and resources you are putting into it pay off in any measurable way? Are you overvaluing some of the positive aspects and minimizing the things that don't work well? Are you in it because of what it offers you now or because of what you hope it might offer you in the future? Or maybe you're in it just because you are afraid NOT to be in it.
When people have been single for a long time or past the age when they thought they would be forever-attached, they tend to be willing to make bigger compromises when someone half-decent does come along. The hope of what is in front of them outweighs.... well, almost everything else. While I always err on the side of taking risks and having a curious and experimental attitude when it comes to relationships, a square peg is never going to fit into a round hole. Knowing when to stick with something either because it has the potential to go somewhere or because it's the kind of practice we need, and knowing when to pull the plug on something that isn't working, is one of the most valuable judgment calls we can learn to make.
If you are questioning whether the effort is worth it, ask the Evolve community for feedback. See if others think it's worth sticking with or, if not, how they can support you in letting go. When we only bounce things off the inside of our own skulls, we get the same tired feedback. Treat yourself to a fresh perspective because this stuff is hard and we can all use a little support. Visit the Evolve Dating Facebook page @IWantToEvolve or see my services page to join.