A while back, I wrote about the importance of reacting to your partner. In the article, I went off on a short tangent about relationships being hard. That's no joke.

I never understood why no one tells you that. Maybe they think no one will ever pursue a relationship if they know it takes effort? But that makes no sense to me. Some of the most repeated inspirational phrases are about life in general being hard work.

“Nothing's worth having if you don't have to work for it.”

“If you want it, you gotta earn it.”

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work.” (Thomas Edison)

Disney, Hollywood and dear old Mom and Dad have been telling us for years that when you meet your one and only things will just fall into place. Birds will sing. Trumpets will sound. Ribbons and flowers will fall everywhere. Everyone will be able to see how happy you are together. No one will question your undying love for each other. You'll wish you could spend every waking moment together.

It's a load of malarkey.

You don't always know. You will sometimes wonder. There will sometimes be that nagging suspicion that, in a world of almost 7 billion people, you took that leap of faith too soon. Especially when you argue. Or the hot server slides you their phone number on the check. Or your mother-in-law tells you all the reasons you shouldn't be with her child.

And you will argue. Sometimes long and loud. Sometimes short and venomous. Maybe not often. But once in a while, and it might even feel like the end of the world.

So how do you know? What makes you think that the two of you are meant to be together? When you think about your forever, and your partner and you are there, what is it that let's you know you've found the right person?

It's simple, really. I think Doctor John Michael Dorian said it best when he said that the difference between “Mr(s). Right” and “Mr(s). Right Now” is whether or not you're willing to fight for the relationship. It's whether or not there's any one thing in the world that you'll allow to come between you. It's whether or not you're willing to stand together, hands clasped, and face anything this world throws at you. Obviously, I'm paraphrasing, because it takes that man an entire episode to say anything.

It's true, though. Think about it. Why'd you leave your last partner? You were tired of fighting. Tired of the way they treated you. Tired of trying when it didn't feel like they were. Ultimately? You just weren't willing to fight to stay together anymore.

When you're with your one, nothing's too big or too hard or too scary. Maybe you'll make it, or maybe you won't, but you're facing it together, so you're going to be okay. Even if you lose. That's how you know.

It'll still be hard. But even Hell on Earth is easier with someone you're willing to fight for.

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