Monday, September 28, 2009

Are You Working Too Hard for Love?

How hard to you have work for love?

If you listen to pop radio, you have to work really, really hard for it. Right now, there's a hit single describing love as a battlefield (not to be confused with Pat Benetar's "Love is a Battlefield," which was a huge hit way back when in the Eighties).

I'm always hearing songs sung by well-lit young women describing their pain in love, and these songs usually become giant hits. And it's no wonder. They can be pretty catchy.

The problem is, a lot of women listen to them and come to the conclusion that love equals pain. If we're not feeling sad, if we're not feeling the drama, then we can't be in love.

Furthermore, a lot of us who are in bad relationships tell ourselves, "Hey, this is the way it's supposed to be. Love is work." This causes some women to put up with a lot of substandard behavior from the men they spend time with.

Please open yourself to the possibility that if you're feeling bad or sad in your relationship more than 20% of the time, you may be in the wrong relationship. You could be with the wrong guy.

Love is not a battlefield. It's supposed to be joyful, exciting, uplifting, full of mutual attraction, affection, consideration, and fun. (Does this mean you'll never have a doubt or a disagreement? No, of course not, but if you're crying more than you're laughing, something is seriously wrong.)

Love is supposed to be you making a special man's happiness your priority. He should be making your happiness his priority (that's where the work comes in; sometimes somebody has to make a sacrifice, and and it shouldn't always be the same somebody).

If your boyfriend often disappoints you, makes you feel less than special, and forces you to work for his affection and attention, you can do better.

Step back. Give yourself time to reconsider whether this person is someone who can make you happy in the long run.

Give yourself the gift of you. In other words, spend time with yourself. Care for yourself. Nurture yourself in the ways that are missing from your relationship. Allow yourself to be happy by yourself.

Decide whether it's time to move on and make room for a man who doesn't expect you to settle for crumbs.