It seems that I constantly see social media posts where people are talking about relationships. One thing I have noticed in a lot (not all) of those posts is that people are always talking about what they need, what they want, etc. Don’t get me wrong, we ALL have needs and want to be with someone who can take care of the majority of our needs (no one can take care of all of our relationship needs), but what I find is that their posts come across self-serving. Relationships should be a two-way street.
I’m sure some of you remember Seth Smith’s article, “Marriage isn’t for me.” The title led you to believe one thing, but when you actually read the article, you found that his message was, “a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love–their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?” while Love asks, “What can I give?” Many people go into a relationship expecting to gain something instead of giving something.
In addition to trying to get something from a relationship instead of giving, some people also have an unrealistic expectation that relationships, the ones that are supposed to be, are effortless. I once read somewhere, “People tend to expect love in two extreme forms – either wanting it to be too easy or accepting that it’s too hard. When you’re in love, the love comes effortlessly. Kisses come without effort. Wanting to jump their bones should come effortlessly. But relationships do not fit effortlessly. Otherwise, what would make the good ones so special?” Just because a relationship may require some level of effort that doesn’t mean it’s not meant to be. I also read once, “Common sense reveals that some of the best things in life demand effort and prove worthy of whatever amount of labor we endure in the pursuit. The best relationships require work…” I think there is a misnomer with what some people consider, “work” or “effort”. In order for two people, with different personalities, different experiences, different backgrounds, and the list goes on, to succeed in a relationship, it does require some level of effort, and the older the two people are, the more “effort” it may require.
Now allow me to add a caveat here, it is possible for someone to captivate you effortlessly, without even trying, but that doesn’t mean the relationship will be effortless. Those who live in a fairytale world and think that they are going to find their Prince Charming or Miss Right and it is going to be effortless are delusional and may find themselves 80 years old and still alone. It’s important to remain open – remain open to the fact that the one God has for you may require some level of effort.