We are all in pursuit of that perfect love, right? By perfect, I mean that cookie cutter situation. That love that fits right into the parameters that we always expected. The fulfillment of that long ass laundry list that we created in years prior of everything that we “need/want” for that love to work for us when it comes along. There’s only one problem… That’s really not the way that shit works.

If we look at the way nature works, everything changes. Nothing ever remains the same, it’s naturally unheard of. We have four seasons in a year. In those seasons, the weather changes drastically, flowers either bloom or die, leaves grow or fall, and soil is either fertile or not. The same is applied to the business world. There are four quarters in a fiscal year. You could have a horrible quarter where your business takes several losses, and turn around and thrive in the next…. Same with college; with each semester comes different challenges. The amount of work and dedication that you put in determines whether or not you will be successful. Well, relationships are no different. I know we like to hold them to different standards, but it really doesn’t work that way.

 A realationship can go a long stint while maintaining unconditional love and effectiveness, and hit that one bump in the road that can make things rocky. Thatbump can come from either one, or both parties becoming comfortable with their situnation. When you get to this point, you can experience one or more of the symptoms below:

  1. There is no effort to date anymore. The relationship becomes boring and routine.

  2. You spend most of your time apart; either at work, or hanging with your friends… Pretty much anywhere BUT with your spouse.

  3. Meals are no longer being cooked.

  4. The house is no longer being cleaned.

  5. The tone in which you speak to one another has become somewhat… RECKLESS.

  6. Paying more attention to your phone (text messages, email, and social media) than you do your partner.

These patterns may be noticed by one or both parties, and quite frankly, they have the potential to change the dynamic of the relationship. Someone is going to start feeling lonely and unwanted. Someone is going to get jealous. Someone is going to deem these actions unacceptable, and is willing to throw it all away to escape the madness.

 The interesting part about it is, the shit will happen in every single relationship that you find yourself in! The only thing that may change is the timeline in which it occurs; some may experience it before even being a year in, while others don’t go through it until 10 years down the line. So yes, you can leave and chase the next best thing, but then how will you handle the bumps with that person? And hell, a new situation may come with even more bumps than that last.

 I know it sounds rather discouraging, but the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful relationship is how you deal with those rocky moments. When they come, because they will, what are you and your partner willing to do to get through them? This ushers effective communication back into the picture (which we talk about often), because both people will need to be open and receptive to having the hard talks, and figuring out what is needed to heal the union and move forward. Those are challenges that you just can’t escape. So, when your partners routine changes and you feel like you don’t know why, or you find yourself feeling neglected for one reason or another, start the conversations at that point. The longer you sit on it, the worse it will get, and before you know it, you’ve talked yourself into leaving instead of attempting to work through it.

 The bottom line is… Relationships are not exempt from the natural process of life just like everything else. You will have your rough seasons, and if you are in the right relationship, the great ones will trump the rough ones by far. The most important factor is:

  • How will you handle it?

  • Will you run from the thought of having a controversial issue or will you figure out a way to resolve it?

  • Is every point your breaking point? If so, you will never survive any relationship because none are exempt.

Before entering the one thing that may very well be the biggest challenge of your life, ask yourself:

Am I up for this?

It is hard work, but it is also rewarding if the work is done.