A friend once told me “Love is easy; relationships are hard.” No words could be truer. It is very easy to fall in love. However, putting in the work to maintain that love is generally what trips us all up.
One of the biggest problems in relationship that I have found is that people love their partners not for who their partners are, but for the idea of who that partner should be, and who they would like to mold. In order for a relationship to stand the test of time, what people must do is love each other within their limitations. This is not to say one must love unconditionally. While romantic, it’s an ideal that is not necessarily attainable. Rather, what I am suggesting is that people love their partners in spite of all of the petty annoyances they may have with them. It also has enough insight to acknowledge that while those annoyances may drive us to frustration, our partners may very well be tolerating things about us they find equally distressing.
When it comes to love, one has to accept that real love is not about the butterflies and light-headedness of infatuation. Yes, infatuation feels good, but it is unsustainable. Real love is more about knowing that your partner has your back and accepts you totally: the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s about knowing this is the person with whom you want to share not just your great days, but also the awful ones. Real love is not the extreme highs and lows of passion. Rather, it’s like a heart monitor reading – basically steady with occasional blips to let you know it’s still alive.
And that’s a good thing.