I had a long talk with my sister this morning about relationships and it reminded me of something my Mom used to tell me: relationships (of all kinds) take work. I’m amazed really at how easily people forget this (myself definitely included). Expecting a relationship, whether between you and your significant other or your friend or sibling or children, to just be great all the time without any effort is crazy. It’s the same as expecting to be in tip top shape physically without ever going to the gym. It just doesn’t happen. Yes, some people are more naturally gifted and can stay more physically fit without any work just as some relationships just naturally click better than others, but those are the exception and not the rule.
I consider myself lucky to have an amazing girl like Julie in my life, and we do get along very well. Actually I think we have a pretty good relationship. It is not perfect by any measure, but I the foundation is good..we love each other and we like to be around each other. I just realized recently that life had done its part to dull things for us. It’s not that things got worse, it’s just that we stopped putting effort into the relationship. I try to spend at least an hour a day on my body at the gym, but recently I have not even spent that much time deepening my relationship with her. Now we both are very busy, and it is hard when we finally connect around 9pm after a long day to do much other than talk a little and watch some tv. I suspect this is the case for lots of couples, and I can only imagine it gets more difficult when you have kids. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why we have recently felt a little distant, why things don’t feel like they did when we first got together. It’s not because we don’t care for each other, and it’s not because we don’t work well together, it’s because we’re not putting in any effort. Relationships, good ones, take work (movies are wrong).
If you’re spending more time on your blackberry writing emails than you are talking with your significant other, it’s only a matter of time before things “don’t feel like they used to.” I’m not saying you have to give up everything else in your life, I’m just saying you don’t expect to get washboard abs by avoiding the gym so why do you expect your relationships to just be great without any effort?
How do you start working on it? I’m not sure exactly, but talking is a pretty good place to start. Ask them what’s on their mind, what’s going on their life, what they like, what they want from the relationship…and then see where it goes from there.
I know this is a subject most people don’t like to talk about (guys especially), and I think that’s the problem. It was on my mind, so I posted it…