Relationships Aren't Easy But Damnit, They're Worth It

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Do you have what it takes to make yours work?

Life is messy. Relationships are messy. I've said in past articles that love isn't all you need; you need mutual respect, compromise, sacrifice, understanding, the willingness to work at it and stand by him or her when times get rough.

You need to be willing to be by their side, not only during the bright days but also during the dark ones; to encourage them to become the best version of themselves, but also to love and accept them as they are today.

To be under the impression that the perfect person will come along is to be under the impression that relationships don't take work. When, in fact, no relationship has ever worked without work itself.

When I look around at my parents, grandparents, or other couples who have been together for decades, I'm often surprised by how different they are from each other. None of them will tell you that they've been married for 30+ years because the pieces just fell into place. None of them will tell you that they're free from fights, disagreements, or conflicts.

None of them will tell you that they will stay together forever because, hey, it's easy. None of them will tell you that they pledged their life to the other because being with them is sunshine and rainbows every single day.

But that's the thing about love: when you love someone — when you really love someone — it's not a matter of convenience. It's not only something you feel when times are good; it's the very foundation of staying together when times aren't as good.

When they're bad. When life is tough. That's when you pull those you love closer, not push them away. It's the cornerstone of your willingness to fix something you might feel is broken instead of just throwing it away.

You're committing to someone's whole self. You aren't just committing to them under the condition that they stay young and beautiful, because they won't. And neither will you.

You aren't just committing to them until someone better comes along; you're committing to the idea that while neither they nor your relationship is perfect, this is the person you want to be with. You're committing to their very being; to the idea that the two of you are the consistent center and your circumstances simply orbit around you.

You don't commit to someone because things are perfect; you commit to them in spite of the fact that they're not.

Commitment isn't just an arbitrary word to be found in the dictionary. It isn't just a statement of temporary monogamy. It's a pledge, a vow, a way of living that embodies honor and integrity. Commitment isn't a rule or a regulation — it's an action.

Commitment isn't the act of losing your freedom, but exercising it to choose who you want to give your most valuable gifts to: your time, your emotions, and your heart.

Sorry, you'll never find the perfect person. But you will find the right person once you realize that the two don't have to be the same.


James Michael Sama is an award-winning Boston based blogger on the topics of dating and relationships, having amassed over 30 million readers in just a year and a half. He writes and speaks on the topics of chivalry, romance, and happiness throughout the country and has been featured repeatedly in news segments, talk shows, and mainstream radio.

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.


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