If you are reading this, I can make a guess that you have either already been in a relationship or are in one & at least started facing the hardships or you've never been in a relationship precisely because of the hardships involved.
Maybe it's a case of - "why can't he just understand me?" or it could be "why can't she give me my space?", "why does he have to hold my hands in public, it's childish?", "why does she have to force me to be with her parents?"
I am sure, in your own life, you have experienced your version of difficulties & challenges.
So - let's get to our question - why are relationships so difficult?
Both partners in a relationship have expectations of each other. In the early stages of any relationship, both partners are eager to fulfill each other's expectations.
Then, after some time, life takes over! Often, you are too busy to even understand the expectations of your partner. Take for example something that happens in almost every relationship, if you are a guy reading this, how many times you have been asked by your woman - "honey, do I look fat in this dress?"
RED FLAG!!! If you are like most guys who faced this situation - you either answered her "no honey, you don't look fat" or "not too much honey" or "just a little bit" or if you were particularly insensitive, you might have even said "yes you do look fat".
And you would have realized that none of the answers work!
Why? Because, you were too busy to take the time to understand your partner’s expectations.
In the process of trying to find the correct answer & getting exasperated at not finding it, you lost out on the opportunity to notice the great length she went to, to get dressed & make herself look attractive. Maybe she wants you to reassure her that she is still attractive. Maybe she has an insecurity that if you don't find her attractive then you might stop loving her, caring for her.
Her question is not a factual one, not a logical one. It's an emotional one. So don't even try to answer this factually or logically.
Take the time to focus your attention on your partner, understand her/his emotions. When the two of you speak with each other, don't just "hmmm" from under your newspaper or your smart phone. Take the time to look at each other & focus all your energy & attention in connecting with your partner. That will make a huge impact on creating a deeply fulfilling & loving relationship.
As time passes in any relationship, what makes a significant impact on the quality of your relationship is not how much you did for each other, how many sacrifices you made for your partner but what memories you created during this journey.
Clichéd as it sounds, how many of you remember the amount you paid for the restaurant bill for your first magical date? And how many of you remember, very distinctly, clearly & lovingly - the way you felt in that magical date?
The quality of relationships is directly dependent on the quality of memories. And memories are created through experiences.
If you are a woman reading this & your partner came back very late even though he promised to be on time, what experience did you create in that moment? If he went out and purchased an expensive gift to surprise you, even though you both had agreed to consult ech other before spending that amount - did you celebrate the surprise or did you argue about why he broke "the pact"?
What experiences are you creating in your relationship today? Are you creating average, mediocre or even downright unpleasant experiences? Or are you celebrating your relationship in such a fabulous way that even holding hands becomes an experience to be remembered forever?
Human nature is to like others who are like us. When the relationship starts out, both partners go out of their way to be like each other.
And then again as time passes - life takes over, isn't it? And then the differences start cropping up.
Having differences is natural. You compare both your arms & you will realize one arm is slightly stronger than the other. Likewise, no two people can ever be exactly same.
The question is - what do you do with these differences? Do you use it as a reason to identify why your expectations were not fulfilled?
Or do you accept these differences and find ways to compliment each other’s strength to have greater collective bonding & unity?
Relationships are not difficult. We make them difficult. And hence we have the power to make them easy the way we want.
What with a deluge of romantic novels, movies & pulp fiction ideas of a relationship, nothing in life prepares us for the natural challenges of any relationship that can grow & evolve into something even more beautiful.
Before you start beating yourself up, give yourself a break. There are hundreds, thousands, millions of people who face these challenges on a daily basis. And it is no one's fault. You see, the academic system teaches you how to become an obedient, structured, organized employee. But nowhere do they teach how to build relationships.
I have made some of these (and may be more) of the same mistakes that you have. No one taught this to me in my school. You see, I wanted change, not just change, but rapid change, effortless change & long lasting change and I am sure even you want the same. And when things turned really bad, I decided to learn this somehow, I decided to read any book that I could get hold of to get better at my relationship. I read books on relationships, on psychology, on body language & even on philosophy. I came across & learned something called Neuro Linguistic Programming - the body of knowledge which teaches you how to develop an understanding of your own thinking process & other people's thinking process.
Since then I have been absolutely fascinated by what new results I can create rapidly & effortlessly in my life, in my relationships, in my career so much so that I have been absolutely passionate & even obsessed with teaching this to you & helping you achieve a quality of life you might not even have imagined as being possible. For over a decade, I have coached and trained more than 10,000 people across 14 nationalities and each day brings in a totally new surprise for me when I see them taking the small things of life, doing them right & making their lives great & magnificent.
Wishing you a marvelous & beautiful relationship & an outstanding & fulfilling life.
Author - Anil D Dagia, ICF Credentialed Coach (PCC), NLP Trainer member of ANLP, UK, Foremost NLP Trainer in Mumbai & Pune (India).