Is Your Relationship Just Too Much Work?

July 20, 2018  |  
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Relationships do require work but, if it’s a good relationship, that work never feels like work. When you get back so much more than what you put in, your relationship doesn’t feel like a project or a task. Anything that is deeply rewarding, of course, requires some effort on your part but, like I said, it’s okay so long as it’s very rewarding. It’s when you feel like your relationship takes more energy than it gives back that perhaps the scales have tipped in an unhealthy direction. People can forget that your romantic relationship is supposed to make every other part of your life easier—not harder. So, if you feel that, since you got into a relationship, other areas of your life are falling apart, like your friendships and your career, then your relationship is probably an energy-sucking entity, and that’s not how it’s supposed to be. Here are signs your relationship is just too much work.

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You’ve ditched friends for fights

You regularly flake on plans with friends because your spontaneous fights with your partner are so bad that you have to stay home and work it out with him. This happens once or twice a year in healthy couples but you have gotten a reputation for bailing on friend plans at the last minute frequently due to your relationship spats.

You always need to “get away”

You and your partner always seem to need to “get away” or “escape it all” to reconnect. You always feel the need to plan a vacation or to leave town suddenly in order to get along or have fun together. But, you should be able to get along, and feel happy together, at home, in your regular life. If you need a vacation to get along, then you’re not right for each other.

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There are a lot of rules

You have a lot of rules. They could be a variety of things like, no talking to friends about the relationship or, always calling back within an hour or, not spending time with friends of the opposite sex alone. If you have to remember a bunch of policies in order to prevent fights, you have a major problem.

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You have to set new rules all the time

You’re always setting new rules, too. It’s your way of addressing the fights that come up all of the time. Since you both get mad about something new regularly, you regularly have to make new policies to prevent that issue from coming up again. It seems that every week, there’s a new rule added to the long list of them.

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You talk about your relationship a lot, with him

You spend a lot of your relationship with your partner talking about your relationship—how to fix it, how to make it better, what the issues are, who is to blame for what and so on. If you think of a relationship like a car, you should just be able to enjoy the ride most of the time—it shouldn’t constantly break down on you and require repairs.

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You talk about it a lot, with your friends

You monopolize conversations with friends talking about your relationship. Whether you’re going on and on about how great it is (usually to cover up for how bad it is) or venting about that day’s fight, you aren’t leaving any time for anyone else to speak. When you’re in a truly great relationship, there really isn’t that much to say about it other than, “It’s great!”

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You’re half nervous when he calls

You should feel simply, purely happy to see your partner’s name pop up on your phone. But instead you feel other things like…trepidation…nerves…paranoia. At least half of your conversations with him involve emotions like that so, that’s how you feel half the time he calls.

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You say, “Relationships take work” a lot

Relationships do take work but, it’s usually just people in unhealthy relationships that are too much work who rely on the statement, “Relationships take work.”

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You’re already in therapy, early

You’ve been together for less than three years and you’re already in therapy. Life is very, very long. Three years together may feel like a while but, it’s nothing in the grand scheme of spending a lifetime together. The first three years should be a breeze with the right person. Therapy is for couples who have been together for nearly a decade or more.

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You’ve had to take a break

Let’s face it: taking a “break” from a relationship is kind of bullsh*t and everybody knows it. Fun fact: I’ve eventually broken up with every single guy I ever attempted to “take a break” from. You know why? Because when you’re with the right person, you don’t need weeks or months apart in order to get along. That’s insane!

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You’re happiest when he leaves town

If you’re being honest with yourself, since getting into the relationship, you have felt the happiest and most carefree when…your partner was out of town. Whoops.

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When you fight, you scream and yell

Your fights are bad fights. It saddens me how many people believe that it is normal and acceptable for a couple to scream at each other and break things when they fight. That’s called anger issues or a total lack of compatibility. Healthy couples argue, sure, but they use their words. They don’t use their screams or their physical force.

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Everything must bow down to it

It seems like everything else in your life has to take a hit in order for your relationship to survive. You’re always forced to put the relationship before other things that are, honestly, pretty important. It seems like your relationship, and the other areas of your life, can’t both survive—it’s one or the other.

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It takes up a lot of mental real estate

You’re constantly thinking about your relationship. It takes up so much of your mental real estate that you’re doing a bad job at work and have become a terrible listener to your friends.

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Nobody wants to be around you and him

Friends don’t really want to hang out with you two, as a couple. That’s probably because you’re constantly fighting or the vibe just isn’t fun.

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