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I have bad news for you.
You’re always kinda going to suck at relationships.
But it’s not you.
It’s not me, either.
It’s all of us.
We’re all a bunch of screw-ups, dontcha know?
What I am getting at is this. We are all inherently flawed people. So although we may try our hardest and strive to be better people and better partners, we will fail again and again. We are selfish, self-motivated, lazy. Shall I go on? There’s a lot of good and potential in us all, but there’s a lot that sucks, too.
All we can do is accept that, and repeatedly dust ourselves off and try again.
But in truth, this is such a relief and a blessing!
The first of many silver linings here. you never have to be perfect. you never have to truly get it right. Even in your happiest, most fulfilling, longest-lasting relationship, you’re both going to suck (at times) but you’re going to get through it together.
The second: you can stop obsessing over finding that perfect partner. He or she does not exist. Hallelujah! You can drop that soulmate myth from your canon.
And third: it really is a process/journey. Be patient when you mess up (and understanding when others mess up) and have grace towards yourself along the way. If you’re trying, you’re winning.
Also, Love is freaking hard. It may be the hardest thing that is asked of us in this life. Love demands that we act unselfishly towards another person, that we put their needs above our own at times, and that we sacrifice for them. These are not easy things, and anyone tells you that “love should be easy” is probably new to the planet.
So embrace the fact that you are likely always going to suck at love.
BUT, being bad at relationships doesn’t mean you won’t have great, amazing relationships. It just means, you’ll never go pro. None of us has it all together, I promise. None of us.
We’re all amateurs in the game of love and that is so okay.
So let the pressure off a bit.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your damndest to be the best partner you can possibly be (because you should. You deserve that and your partner deserves it, too). But it means you can stop being so hard on yourself or beating yourself up when something goes wrong.
And know that you get to try again each and every day.
PS: If you want to keep becoming better at relationships, here are some great places to start:
- Relationship Advice for Couples: 12 Principles for Lasting Relationships
- 26 Common Relationship Myths You Need to Stop Believing Immediately
- How to Deal With Anxiety in Relationships: Best Tips from Our Own Experience
- 50 of the Best Breakup Songs to Help Heal Your Heartbreak
- 10 Common Relationship Problems (and how to fix them!)
- 7 Important Tips for Dating an Introvert
- Top 10 Relationship Green Flags for a Healthy Relationship
- How to Build Trust in a Relationship (Even if it’s Broken)
Amy Hartle is the author of Do You Love Me? How To Stop Seeking Reassurance in Relationships, a book on reassurance seeking and relationship anxiety. Both her book and this blog are born of personal experience; Amy shares expert relationship advice from the lessons learned during her own 10+ years with her husband, as well as couples travel tips and romantic getaway recommendations, all gleaned while traveling the world together.