There is something about a couple that has been together for seemingly forever that makes it seem like they were meant to be. It makes you start to believe in destiny.
The way they act around each other, the way their lives intertwine so – apparently – seamlessly. Some couples can make relationships that last a lifetime look as easy as those first few carefree weeks, when the stresses of an actual life together are far from an issue.
Some couples make it look easier with every anniversary that passes. They genuinely and fully mean it when they celebrate each year that goes by as another twelve months of harmony and love.
When you really are connected so intimately to another person, it is truly worth celebrating that you have been lucky enough to spend so much of your lives together.
When you’re in a relationship with someone who you argue with more than you enjoy being around, that kind of longevity stops feeling like a special occasion. It becomes a chore just to drag yourself to the next hurdle.
It’s easy to look at people who have been together forever and assume that it’s easy to get to that point, to assume that one day you’ve been together long enough that everything just falls into place.
But that’s not how relationships work.
Even the most perfect looking relationship has its problems on the inside. But the ones that last are the ones that confront them, the ones that go to every length to address and resolve those problems as a partnership.
The relationships that look the best, from the outside, are the ones that don’t really care how they look. The people in those relationships are too busy making sure that it feels right to worry about anything so superficial.
Anyone preoccupied with hastily patching over problems so that you carry on acting like they’re happy may well have a long lasting relationship they can keep up for their entire life. But it won’t have the stability of one where everyone involved takes the time to make sure that every problem is properly examined and, where possible, resolved.
When it’s not possible to resolve a problem, it’s no good pretending it will just go away.
You’ll probably be able to hide that it bothers you for a long time. Maybe even forever. But it’ll always be there, and it’ll always eat away at the relationship you tell the world – and even that you tell yourself – you have.
There’s no point in staying in a relationship for a year – or five years – or ten years – or fifty years if you spend half of that time upset or angry or paranoid or in any other way unhappy.
The value of a relationship is not in how long it lasts.
The value of any relationship is only ever in how happy it makes you.
It’s easy to pretend you have no problems as long as you’re prepared to see and weep on the inside, alone. It’s difficult to say to someone’s face that things aren’t working and to start over again. But when the situation upsets you and things only ever seem to get worse, it’s worth it.
There’s no point staying with someone if you’re miserable all the time you’re with them.
Ending a relationship that hurts you doesn’t mean throwing away the time you’ve already put into it. It means reclaiming all the time you still have ahead of you to find someone who makes you truly happy and who you can love purely and wholeheartedly.
It means making a decision to make sure you are happy.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.