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Monday, August 18, 2014

Relationships: Not Easy or Hard?

Couples often complain that relationships are a struggle. They interchangeably use words like hard or not easy to explain how difficult love can be. I take issue with these descriptive concepts being presented as one and the same as the subjectivity is counterproductive to having healthy interactions. When couples claim relationship aren’t easy by default that means love must be hard. Hard is an absolute extreme that generates pessimism and becomes a roadblock to intimacy. Reframing these two implications however can make relationships better as the differences between not easy and hard are distinct. Going to college for four years, for instance, isn’t easy but it doesn’t mean it’s hard if you have a dream. Writing a novel isn’t necessarily easy but it isn’t hard either if you love writing. Fully decorating a house isn’t always easy but again, it isn’t really hard when you want your house to feel like a home. Anything worth anything takes time, commitment and attitude. The difference between not easy and hard is that not easy seems doable and has a positive objective. Not easy takes a concerted effort BUT feels good around most turns—and is solution based. Hard, on the other hand, is usually not fun, creates doubt—and is problem oriented. Hard is spending more time fighting to be heard and regarded whereas not easy infers cooperation and consideration. It’s the difference between compromising oneself and compromise. The former is hard because you lose yourself but the latter although not so easy implies negotiation and teamwork, which is certainly worth the effort. Do you use the word hard to describe your relationship with your best friend or is the interaction with him or her simply not easy?

Carefully evaluate how you feel when you say your intimate relationships aren’t easy to ensure you’re not leaping to the erroneous conclusion that they’re hard because your thoughts become your feelings and your feelings become your actions and your actions dictate your outcomes. If your relationship isn’t easy find ways to improve it but if it’s hard you might want to cut your losses and consider someone who isn’t hard. You decide.

Tomorrow we will discuss the difference between good versus bad marriages.

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