Over the weekend, a few of my girlfriends got into a discussion about relationships and marriage and the question emerged: Should relationships be hard work?  

What do you think?  Naturally, a bunch of related questions will pop into your mind once you begin to think about it: If
my relationship feels like hard work, does that mean that I’m not with
the right person?  What are we doing wrong?  Is it supposed to be easy?

I’m not going to attempt to answer these questions for you today; my
intention is to trigger some self-exploration for you that will help you
understand your own situation.  But of course, I’m going to offer my

If your relationship feels like hard work because you are both juggling
careers, children, or whatever priorities exist for you, then this is
just a natural part of life.  Compromise and communication won’t always
be easy, but if the love you have for each other motivates you both to
make sacrifices and find that common ground, you’re on the right track.

If it feels like hard work because you can’t be yourself with that
person, or they don’t respect you, or show you love; then deep down, I’m
sure you know that something fundamental is not right.  If it feels
like hard work because you want that person to fill a void that exists
within you then that is also a problem. You can’t change the other
person, and you certainly can’t expect them to complete you – contrary
to what romantic comedies teach us.  If you’re not happy with the one
you’re with just the way they are, or vice versa, this is a red flag. 
Making this kind of union last will not only be hard work, it will be
fruitless hard work.

Consider the following:

“There are many of us who are looking at what we need and want in
relationships with eyes that have been blinded by the wrong
information.  What we think people can do for us or give to us, and how
we think they can make us feel will shift when we accept our true
identity and begin to love ourselves because of who we are – whole,
complete, and perfect beings.   In the absence of fear; love, joy, peace
and truth can reign supreme.”

— excerpt from In the Meantime, by Iyanla Vanzant

We’d love for you to share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments.

is co-authored by Kim Jackson and GG Renee with the intention of
connecting with women through messages of self-love and personal
freedom. We believe that true beauty starts on the inside and radiates
outward, so maintaining emotional health and balance should be an
essential part of every woman’s beauty regimen. We use this platform
as an opportunity to share our personal experiences, and to help other
women who are seeking guidance to find their own truths and live