Relationships are a part of our identity. It could be the relationship with our friends and family. Our children or our significant other or any other relationship you can identify in your life. Relationships are important in developing who we are and how we interact with others on various levels. We begin to learn about relationships immediately in our lives starting with those who provide our care and eventually those who fulfill our needs and who’s needs we fulfill.
Relationships are about needs. Even as infants, we have needs that must be met in order to survive. Sometimes those who meet those needs don’t always remember to morph the relationship into a two-way street soon enough which leads to…well…let’s just say, th0se children we “whisper” about on social media. At some point and time, we all learn that relationships are two-way streets. They are, give and take. Investment and return.
“Relationships require an investment…and a return.” (Tara Parker)
Healthy relationships require two people giving and taking. There is really no other way about it and it does not matter the relationship. Platonic. Romantic Familial. Friendship. You name it they all require traffic to flow in two directions. The type of relationship will determine the role each person will fulfill or in other words the needs each person will meet for the other.
I would not venture to say than any one relationship is necessarily easier than another or that one is of lesser value. That is for you to decide as it makes sense in your life. The most difficult relationship, without a doubt, is the one centered on love – romantic love.
The problem with romantic love is the vision we all have of what it is supposed to be. Growing up we get this fantastical vision of what love is going to be. True love. Love of a lifetime. Soulmate. Happily ever after. Extreme acts of love. There is this repetitive idea of the acts that spell out love and that anything less would not be “love.”
In the no-nonsense words of Sherman T. Potter from the sitcom M*A*S*H…”Horse hockey!”
3 Rules To Remind You, Relationships Are Tougher Than They Appear On TV
First rule of relationships: Don’t compare your life to what you see on television. You will remain forever single with unrealistic expectations of every potential romantic partner you cross paths with.
That one relationship in your life that you get to choose and is meant to last a lifetime is not going to be comparable to what you see on tv. It should be better because it will be real. It will be yours. It will be incredibly joyous. It will be incredibly painful. It will be reality. It will be based on the choices you and your partner make not the writers trying to score a paycheck and franchise opportunity.
Second rule of relationships: If you don’t know who you are don’t be surprised if you find someone to tell you who you are.
This is the making of an unhealthy relationship, one of abusive co-dependency. Knowing who you are, being able to identify yourself will help in keeping the bad ones away and attract the good ones. If you don’t know who you are you won’t know what you can offer another and there are PLENTY out there who are thrilled to tell you who you are. It is called control and leads to abuse.
Third rule of relationships: Don’t confuse being alone with loneliness.
One is a status and the other is a feeling. Being single, or alone, doesn’t mean anything other than you are single. You aren’t a loser, you aren’t incomplete. You are just flying solo and that is a good thing until you can get your footing underneath you and begin to spread your wings of identity which means being good with being rogue. Loneliness is a side effect of a break up from a relationship – healthy or unhealthy. At some point, it hits you and it is uncomfortable. It can be a driving force to make decisions that are not in your best interests. But, you already know that.
Relationships, specifically the romantic ones are tough. They are tougher is you are not ready to put the needs of another person before your own trusting they will put your needs ahead of their own. It can be done. It has been done. It is not a matter of forcing it or learning how to do it. It is a matter of when you are ready to do it.
You can do it.