5 Brutal Truths About Being In A Long-Term Committed Relationship

Photo: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock  
man and woman driving with a map

There is so much pressure on people to be in committed, long-term relationships or marriages. And there are countless numbers of books, songs, movies, and experts out there to show you the way.

And while their intentions are good, they reinforce the message that if you’re single, you’re missing out — that somehow your life is not whole and complete until you find that special someone.

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So if you’re single and longing for that special relationship, listen up. I’m about to shatter all the fairytale beliefs about long-term, committed relationships.

I want you to know that there is nothing wrong with you or your life. I want to liberate you from all the hype. And mostly, I want you to enjoy your single years.

Here are five brutally honest truths about long-term, committed relationships you might not realize:

1. They get boring

At times you will be bored with your mate, your sex life, your home life, and your life together. Sometimes you are simply not that into him and what’s more, sometimes he is not that into you. Sometimes this can last for minutes or hours; other times, it can last for months or years.

2. They can hold you back — from your dreams, your potential, and your goals

It can become easy to hide out in long-term relationships; forgoing your independence and drive to reach your potential and take risks in going for your dreams. Your partner may become stagnant as well.

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3. Your feelings will get hurt

You will be disappointed. You will be challenged. Relationships require vulnerability; intimacy demands it. Long-term committed relationships will always provide opportunities for you to deal with your insecurities, fears, and wounds.

4. They get messy

People get sick, have smelly flatulence, become wrinkled, have mood swings, go through menopause, and become impotent. Being in a long-term, committed relationship means you take the bad with the good. Some messes will be worse than others and sometimes you will need to clean them up all by yourself.

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5. You have to share... all the time

You need to share your personal space, your home, and your resources. Plus, you have to make decisions accordingly. Your ability to make independent decisions on how to flex and adapt your life to internal and external circumstances is affected by the need to take another person into consideration. You move in pairs or family units. This requires more cooperation and time to organize your efforts and implement decisions.

While it may appear I have a cynical view of long-term relationships, this is far from the truth. My work is all about helping people create powerful and intimate relationships. So before you go ahead and start writing those comments, I want you to know that I support both singles and couples. In reality, I can list as many positives as negatives for either status. 

The point I want to make is that there is not one ideal way to live your life. Each side of the fence has its challenges and rewards. In every life, there will be a time to be single and a time to be coupled.

Regardless of which side of the fence you currently stand, count your blessings. Enjoy the benefits. And remember, the grass is not greener over there; it's simply in another location. 

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Julie Orlov is an organizational consultant, mediator, executive coach, and licensed psychotherapist, providing quality services to both individual and corporate clients.