Why are so many people shocked that relationships are work? Didn’t you pay attention to your parents? Do you remember the arguments with your siblings? Seriously. Relationships OF ALL KINDS are work. Your friends, your good friends, piss you off sometimes, but you work through it.
Please, for the love of God, don’t compare your life to pieces of fiction. Romantic comedies are fake. They are edited to make a story interesting, just like the Bachelor…except that’s not interesting or funny, so bad example of romantic comedy and TV in general…but still fake.
It took a while for me to come to the “stop comparing my life to fiction” realization. Then again, my ego wanted me to feel like shit, so it glommed on to the sadness. It’s hard work overcoming bad thinking habits.
All relationships are work
Mostly, what you have to do, in all of your relationships is act like an adult. Not everyone is an adult, sadly. Being an adult means treating others as you want to be treated. Adhere to the golden rule. It doesn’t mean you can’t be silly or light hearted. It basically boils down to don’t be an asshole.
The other day I saw someone mention the Four Agreements and how you need to use it in marriage. You need to act like that with everyone. The Four Agreements are what people used to refer to as being an adult:
Be impeccable with your word.
Basically it translates to mean what you say. Be honest and forthcoming. Remember how people could “take you at your word” or “all a man’s got is his word”.
Don’t take anything personally.
Listen, most people have almost no awareness of you or what the hell you want or are doing. If someone accidentally bumps into you or your significant other forgets to do a chore, don’t fly off the handle. Chill out. If you are worried what people think about you, get over yourself. The opinion of others is none of my business. I know I do my best to be a good person. If someone has a problem with that, it’s their problem, not mine.
Don’t make assumptions.
Seriously, you’re going to look like an ass if you do. It’s better to ask because odd are you probably don’t know what’s going on. Like I said, most people can’t see past their little circle of awareness. If you really care, ask, but do it with kindness.
Always do your best.
This is one of the reasons I mentioned Hank Hill as the idea husband. He embodied all of these things…well, maybe he could work on the don’t take things personally thing, but mostly, he did his best at whatever he had to do. Now, that doesn’t mean being perfect. It means facing your fears and giving it a shot.
You don’t have to be perfect to be in a relationship of any kind. What you shouldn’t do is fool yourself into thinking that if whatever aspect of your life (or all of it) is not Pinterest perfect with well groomed lollipops and graceful shabbiness, you’re failing. Was that too many negatives in a sentence?
Life is messy. Follow the golden rule and if anything, have hope. Always have hope.