Marry Someone Who Doesn't Make You Think Love Is Hard

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Marry Someone Who Doesn't Make You Think Love Is Hard

What is love? We've all heard the depressing love songs that make us feel like we're bound to struggle in relationships for the rest of our lives. You know, like... love stinks, or love hurts, or love wounds.

Those well-worn phrases exist for a reason: people must really see love as hard. Even our friends and family warned us when we were teenagers to not rush into love because it was dangerous and a lot to manage.

But does it have to be? Does love have to be a struggle?

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Maybe back when you were a teenager, you looked at your parents like they had three heads when they told you love was going to take a lot of hard work. You weren't experiencing the slavery of love but rather the fun and fabulousness that young first love can be.

But then you ran into your first troubles with a boyfriend, or you had your first major breakup, or a guy cheated on you with your best friend. You tried to repair the relationship and move past the mistrust, but you found yourself unable to let it go.

You were wracked with anger and jealousy — it was just too hard to make up and keep on loving. Then all of a sudden you were like, holy crap, love... love is hard!

You entered your twenties trying to figure out how to find love, and new complications of adult life made love more difficult to manage smoothly. At this point, you just accepted that love equaled work.

Sure enough, your next serious relationship brought constant trials and tribulations. You realized, okay, love can be hard, but it's worth it. So you put up with a relationship full of strife and effort because that's how you had accepted it was supposed to be.

Take that record off the player immediately. Yes, sometimes in love there will be struggles and you will have to work at it, but that should not be the whole story. Love should be wonderful and enjoyable the majority of the time with just a little maintenance work thrown in on the side.

You want your future husband to be willing to work for your relationship, for it to matter that much to him. To work hard when there are problems or issues is a good thing, but if your boyfriend's deep-seated belief is that love is always hard and should be, you might want to rethink that relationship.

Someone with a strong sense that love is hard might inadvertently make that belief a self-fulfilling prophecy. He may make your relationship harder than it has to be by chipping away at the love you have with the pressure to always be working hard on it.

Guys who think love is hard might also cause tension when there doesn't need to be any because if things are going smoothly, it might make him question if it's real love. He might want to overanalyze every single thing you say and do to figure out what it means for the relationship. He might even be more interested in arguing than talking through things. And compromise? Your guy might not think that's even a possibility.

So if you realize you don't want to live in a love that's constant friction, does that mean you should be on the lookout for the opposite? Would an "easy" relationship be the answer?

Well, that attitude is preferable but just feeling like a guy is all perfect and your relationship is golden could just be an unconscious, early relationship strategy on his and your part.

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Aren't you always nicer and more agreeable in the early stages of love? We tend to be on our best behavior early on, letting things go much easier than we would if we had been with a guy for years. Once the relationship becomes seasoned, we've already settled into being more of our real, everyday self.

Once you've been with a guy long enough to have seen each other's good and bad sides, how does the love feel? You don't want your mate or you to feel completely nonchalant about the relationship because that could equal a sense of not caring.

When we're not really thinking long-term about someone, we're not going to be as willing to work on things at all. Someone might even be quick to leave if things do start to get hard because that's not what they see as true love.

So, what are you to do? I'd like to offer a third option: love is fun.

If you're with a guy who is seriously making you think that love is hard and that's just the truth of it, ask yourself if you want your life to be hard, because whether you like to admit it or not, your love relationship sets a lot of the tone for your whole life.

Life is hard enough as it is; you've got enough challenges with work and family. You don't want to be constantly working on your marriage. You should feel at the heart of it that your love is strong and can stand on its foundation.

Ask yourself what your goals are for life and for relationships. Do you want to have a loving balanced partnership with someone? How is that ever going to happen if you're feeling like just getting along with this person or getting anything done is hard?

Your love should be joyful and fun the majority of the time.

You'll face trials together throughout your lives but you can face those when you have an attitude of amending, improving and moving forward, not a feeling of this is difficult work.

Love should be one of the most joyous parts of your life. You get to choose, so consciously decide to be with someone who brings you joy and makes you feel like love will always be a discovery and learning experience, not a line from a sad love song.

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Sheila Hageman has appeared on numerous TV shows including Today Show, ABC News, NBC News, and as an expert on Bill Cunningham and Anderson Cooper. She has been featured on Salon, Mamalode, Mom Babble, and The Huffington Post. Follow her on Facebook or @SheilaMHageman on Twitter.