How much effort should it take to make a relationship work? Is there any limit to what you would do to make a partner happy? We all have our limits, but what yours should be may not always be completely clear. Today, we look at how much effort should be put into your relationships, without losing yourself in the process.
Good Investments in Effort
Tell Your Partner What You Need
Romance novels may be to blame for your lack of effort, simply because many women have been convinced that men should be able to read their minds. Isn’t a soulmate supposed to know what you need? Yes, but only after you have communicated it to them clearly. It takes effort to express your needs. However, this is the only way you’re ever going to get what you want.
It is Not Your Partner; it is You
Another problem caused by expectation, is waiting on your partner to make things better for you. According to surveys, most cheating spouses believe things could improve if only their partner would get off their duff and make an effort. The problem is, where is their effort? This is the partner who is cheating; however, they don’t want to take an active role in the solution. Take responsibility for your own happiness, and you’ll be more likely to find it.
Romance Isn’t Lost or Found; It’s Earned!
There are thousands of articles in magazines aimed at regaining lost romance. I’ve got great news for you. It didn’t go anywhere. You and your partner have just not been putting in as much effort as you once did. What makes matters worse, as relationships wear on, oxytocin levels in the brain taper off, and you are left with less desire to make an effort. There are no shortcuts to maintaining romance, other than thinking up creative ideas, and following through with them.
Jealousy is a No-Win
For those who are dealing with a jealous partner, this is one area where your effort is just being thrown away. Jealousy is rarely caused by the person who is supposedly creating the problem. It is a personal problem, caused by a lack of confidence and security. You can’t give your partner self-confidence no matter how hard you try. It is something your partner must discover for themselves.
Effort to be Right
Winning arguments is another area where couples expend an extraordinary amount of energy. Even if you are successful, it will leave a sticky residue on the relationship, which will guarantee hard feelings the next time conflict arises. A better way to invest your effort is to incorporate compromise into your solutions, taking turns getting what you want, or pulling in a third party (counselor) whenever you really find yourselves against a wall.
Strong Work Ethic
Hard work is a factor behind much of your individual success. However, in relationships, if you set the precedent to work overtime in order to be successful, you’ll eventually run out of steam. If you’ve ever experienced a partner who was never happy, no matter how hard you tried; you can appreciate the limits to your labor. If you no longer enjoy spending time with a partner, you are giving too much. Good relationships require effort. Even so, that effort should flow smoothly, without causing undue stress in the process.
Cutting Your Losses
Knowing when to cut your losses, is a popular term for business investments and lemon cars, but not so much for relationship management. Most of us are cautious with our time. Spending 20 years with a partner, only to “throw it all away,” may be hard to accept. This is your greatest dilemma when dealing with a relationship on the rocks. According to research, the best way to know if you are investing your years to a worthy cause, is to focus on what you’ll gain by staying, rather than what you’ll lose by leaving.