Relationships require work

in our instant gratification world

Author: Dr. Julie. Sorenson, DMFT, MA, LPC

everyday requires work to cultivate your relationship

We have become accustomed to having it all right now. With social media, a million things on tv, and a store or restaurant at every corner, it's hard to recognize the good things in life don't happen overnight. Relationships are work. They are hard work. There is no magic pill to create happily ever after. Sometimes, throwing in the towel may seem more straightforward, and sometimes it may be the right choice. However, there are ways to make many relationships work if you are willing to work hard.  


Learning and understanding your partner is key to a successful, happy life together. What are their triggers? What makes them feel good about themselves? What continues to drive the two of you to the future together? When you first met, you were learning from each other. After the initial stages of infatuation, the real work emerges. It takes good communication, active listening, learning to let go of control, vulnerability, and embracing change.

remember why you fell in love

old couple walking

        You can't change each other, so stop trying to go down that path. Look in the mirror and see what you can change within yourself to strengthen both you and your relationship. Making temporary efforts to create the relationship you both want can seem overwhelming and challenging at times, but it won't last forever. It is usually unavoidable not to have to put some work into your relationship. However, the hard part won't last forever. You may have bumps along the road, but learning to put in the blood, sweat, and tears will strengthen your relationship. 

Love language

Learn your partner's love language and speak that to them. Often people show love in the way they want to feel love. However, it is vital to show your partner love in the way they want to receive it, not the way you feel love. You can take a 5 min love language quiz to find out your and your partner’s love language. 

Look at Your Relationship as a Gift

The work seems manageable when you look at your relationship as a gift with the opportunity to grow and prosper. Being unrealistic can add more challenges. Looking at things from your partner's shoes and working together to fix the issues can be attainable. The most important thing to remember is to persevere and be willing to look at things through a different lens while admitting when you are wrong.


Refining your relationship can be compared to tuning a guitar. You may need to fine-tune it to reconcile differences. Just loving the other person won't take you over the rainbow. Participating fully in your relationship and engaging in your partner's life is essential. Focus on what works in your relationship, stop comparing yourself to others, and let go of phrases that cut to your partner's heart. The process of strengthening your relationship is gradual. Remember, "Rome wasn't built in a day," and the effort you put into your relationship now can go beyond what you ever dreamed possible. 


If this work is too hard for you and your partner alone, remember that therapists are always available to guide you on your road to success. 

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