February 23, 2022

How to make a Relationship Work without turning it into a Job.

We have to work at everything else—our job, our health, our parenting…

Can’t our love relationship be exempt from our work ethic? If your relationship is more toil than joy, think about it. Did you fall in love with this person because it was work or because it just…worked?

I fell in love because it was an adventure filled with passion, deep conversation, and happy, silly playful fun. I looked forward to our conversations and dates; each moment we shared it became more apparent that we had a certain chemistry. And then, it blossomed into something beyond the mere physical—a real connection.

Moments of simple, yet meaningful time together, when doing something as mundane as running errands was enjoyable because I was with my special person.

With joy in my heart, I thought, “Wow, could this be the one?” 

It was love, natural and real. It didn’t require work. 

As the relationship evolved beyond weekend dates and we decided our connection would progress into the commitment of blending our lives, it did require a deeper level of communication, compromise, cooperation, and negotiation beyond “sushi or Mexican?”

But it was always conditioned on working things out together because we desired happiness for and with each other. When we were dating, we spent our time winning each other over by showing how much we cared. We went out of our way to please each other, even dining at their favorite spot instead of our own. Those negotiations go deeper as you share life, but the basic premise remains. Making each other happy should be a natural demonstration of your love.

And even when life together required blending dissimilar tastes, habits, and routines, I began to understand that the pleasure of true love is not a competition for who wins and who gives in. It’s respect for each other’s differences.

If your partner loses out in the day-to-day negotiations, then you are setting yourself up for loss eventually because in love, win/lose is always lose/lose. Giving to the other an equal share of decisions is the smartest, most loving investment you can make in the partnership and also for your own happiness.

True love is a united identity, yet two people with their own preferences, personalities, and opinions. It’s about equal but different—the yin/yang of lovership. It’s pulling your own weight and still finding ways to carry each other because together, you can do more, be more.

When you find your one you discover your why—why you love this person, why they love you. Together, you reflect the attributes that you deeply value and create a singular identity.

We becomes more important than me.

It’s being a fair partner, which shouldn’t be work.

If, however, you have allowed the drudgery of day-to-day existence to tarnish your love’s glow, there is opportunity to shine it back up. Remember why this one is your one by bringing back the joy, passion, and all the things that united you.

Make time for your love. Start by carving out a date once a week, whether it’s dinner or a morning coffee. Remember to look good, smell good, all the things you did in the beginning when you were dating.

It’s making special the time you have together. It’s remembering how you would prioritize each other in the beginning and maintaining that heart space. It’s about making an effort to be a really amazing, attractive companion, keeping the romance sparking by sharing humor, fun, flirtations, experimentation, and mutual satisfaction…stay interested!

Appreciate the treasure you hold and don’t let it go. Because if you don’t cherish what you’ve got, it will fizzle out in the minutiae of roles and responsibilities.

At night, as you lie next to each other, feeling more lonely than if you were alone, reach out to your love. Because true love never dies even when it falls dormant. Make sure each other’s love tank is filled by reminding each other why they’re your one. You can fall back in lust by (finally) figuring out how to give them love the way that they want to receive it.

That’s being a generous lover. Pleasure shouldn’t feel like work.

And ultimately, it’s being as loyal and honest as you would to a friend. Would you ignore your bestie? How long do you think your friendship would last if you did? Likewise, why would you neglect your most important friendship, aka lovership?

It’s building each other up so that you can work on all of the other roles that you have to fulfill. It’s believing in your partner, encouraging them to realize their full potential. It’s being their best cheerleader, celebrating their victories. And during the tough times, bring support and solace. It’s reinforcing the behaviors that you want more of by showing enthusiasm and appreciation for their efforts. It’s taking a moment to make them feel valued because that’s what you do when you want to build up a relationship.

And as a result you will want to be with each other as much as possible because it feels good.

It’s treating each other like a good friend; it’s not work.

And ultimately, your relationship is a mirror reflecting back to you a version of your self-image—what you’ve allowed, accepted, contributed to, looked the other way from, disrespected, abused, or neglected. If you don’t like what you see reflected back, then it’s time to consider your future.

Begin first by examining your impact on the relationship, fixing the holes within yourself before looking for problems in your partner. 

And if after you’ve built yourself up, repaired the damage you’ve caused or allowed, you realize that this one is not the one, it’s time to make a decision to move on. This does not include seducing another until you’ve properly unraveled this relationship.

Honest uncoupling is more humane than destroying your partner’s self-esteem in a deceitful way. And by freeing them, they can find their real one. So, ultimately, letting them go to find true love is indeed a loving act.

And then you can begin to rebuild yourself.

It’s taking we back down to me. Now the work begins.

Heal your broken heart and repair your severed identity. It’s an opportunity to harvest the lessons learned and apply them to your new life. Do the work on yourself now so when you find a new one, you are ready, willing, and able to enter into a healthy partnership. And this time, make sure you select one with the same “love style” as you.

A relationship shouldn’t be work, even if YOU may be a work in progress. 

A true partnership is the honor of a lifetime—to make a commitment, place importance on, willingness to compromise, change for or allow to change, love regardless of anything, communicate through the difficult times, share with an open heart, assume the best, defend, build up, and support. It’s realizing your best self by being a fair partner, generous lover, and a best friend.

That’s the truth about relationships.

When we do our own work, then love just works.


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