Are relationships that hard? Why is it incredibly easy for some, but not others? What is the common denominator for those who just “get it”? More importantly, what are others doing wrong? There are an almost endless supply of articles, books, and workshops who will tell you so, but none of these will work. On its own, at least.
Here are a few fundamental reasons why:
You’re scared of trying (and failing). Fear is a powerful thing. It can literally paralyze your body, even when your mind says otherwise. Since we don’t like to admit we’re chicken, we totally make up justifications for not making any real effort towards building and maintaining a relationship. We call it “not being the right place or time”, “not wanting to seem desperate”, “keeping my options open”, and my personal favorite “the thirsty man/woman” phenomenon. Fear keeps us fixed on looking for guarantees (ie – checklists) and rules. What they SHOULD do and what you SHOULDN’T do. Placing tests, imaginary boundaries, and unnecessary roadblocks as a way of fencing ourselves away from unqualified partner, but also keeping out the qualified. Real relationships require being open, vulnerable, and willing to put our heart up for the taking.
You don’t REALLY believe you deserve your ideal partner. You settle. Most people assume settling means you take someone less attractive, educated, or financially stable. Settling only means that you have decided you would rather be someone who provides a portion of what you WANT than wait to find someone who provides all that you NEED. That decision is based off of the belief that the latter does not exist or does not or could not want you. When you do meet or engage with that person, you behave in a way that sabotages the connection in order to maintain that belief.
You don’t REALLY want to be in a relationship. At least, not right now. Sometimes it just sounds good to say you want to be in a relationship or married. If you consistently prioritize work, friends, and personal time over the effort it takes to date or maintain a relationship, you really don’t want it. And that’s okay. The goal is to be comfortable with how you really feel and not be pressured by anyone who says you should feel otherwise. Relationships only work when it is on your terms and in your own time.