Skip Nav
Mean Girls
Why I'll Never Be Part of a Girl Clique
We Solemnly Swear You'll Be Obsessed With These 50+ Harry Potter Gifts on Etsy
Romantic Comedies
25 Movies For a Hauntingly Hot Date Night In

Should Love Take Work?

Labor of Love: Should a Relationship Take Work?

The end of a relationship's honeymoon period typically comes with a realization that your partner can in fact do some wrong. It may start to bother you that he's not as social as you'd like, tunes out when you're venting about friends, or has irresponsible spending habits. And as time goes on, and you start to take each other for granted, it might take more effort to make time for date nights, sex, or other romantic moments.

For some, these bumps along the way are signs that something's soured, but others accept them as relationship realities that couples need to work out with counseling, occasional drawn-out arguments, or old-fashioned compromise. This Labor Day, I'm curious: do you think love should take work, or should we strive for seamless partnerships?

Image Source: Shutterstock
Join The Conversation
Nancy-Einhart Nancy-Einhart 4 years
Looks like we all agree: "takes work" does not equal "feels like work."
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
*love isn't!
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
Totally agree that love takes some work but if it's meant to be it won't feel like work. I tried explaining to my sixteen year old sister that love is always full of rainbows and flowers but she didn't get it. I've been dating my boyfriend for 2 years and I felt that our relationship needed the most work when my birth control made my sex drive plummet. But, in the end everything worked out and it's smooth sailing. I think there is a fine line, you can't be perfect yet you can't be fighting 24/7.
thisbulimicwar thisbulimicwar 7 years
i think all relationships take some work but if its really meant to b it should b easy for the most part. it should go with the flow and b smooth and when u come across those bumps in the road u work for it but it shouldnt b a battle, u shouldnt b stressed from it. my bf and i have been together for 6 years, 4 of them was long distance we worked on making sure we called eachother almost everyday and stayed in eachothers lives but it never felt like work bc we wanted it.
Frenched Frenched 7 years
I think overall EVERYTHING in life takes work. Even friendships take work so it's pretty natural to realize that love takes work, too. Like a few ladies have pointed out, it shouldn't really be a struggle but, it does require some effort.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
IMO real love can be seemingly effortless and hard work it just depends on the individuals involved. However if working on communication, compromise, trust, financial and family issues is a (chore) which leaves you unfulfilled and not a stepping stone which leaves you feeling accomplished as a couple than yeah you're probably barking up the wrong tree.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 7 years
A little bit. You're not guaranteed a fairy tale but at the same time, if you find that you're always the one who's always working and always trying maybe it's not meant to be.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
I think relationships do take work, but when it starts to turn into nothing but work, it might be time to move on. It shouldn't be expected to always feel miserable and too hard to do. I don't believe that the work should outweigh the happiness.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
Agree, well said SKG.
redchick152 redchick152 7 years
spacekatgirl said it best, i think.
stephley stephley 7 years
I wouldn’t stay in any relationship that felt like ‘work’ or a ‘job’. Yes, getting along with other people and not simply insisting that everything is your way or nothing does take effort. Occasionally, you’ll find unexpected areas of strong disagreement that might require that you grit your teeth and compromise - but that’s life, with or without a ‘soulmate’. The overall relationship between you and a loved one should be natural and comforting – if you’re constantly shifting trying to get comfortable, there’s likely a serious problem. If gardening is your passion, you do a heck of a lot of hard work to cultivate and nurture your crops. But to you, it’s gardening: not a job, not work. A storm or a pest can come through and tear things up, but if you love your garden, you clean it up and still call it gardening – still not your job, not work. And even if you're exhausted, you look at what you've made and feel good about it. It’s when your perspective starts to shift, and doing what you loved feels like work and not something that nurtures you that you have a problem.
spanishgirl69 spanishgirl69 7 years
Relationships are like a job.. if you love each other it shouldnt be that hard to make decisions, but you HAVE to work for it, thats what ive learned love is not a fairy tale and things dont fit perfectly, sometimes u have to compromise. Unless you want to be by yourself any real relationship is going to take a lot of work, because of you are trying to make a life with another individual who doesnt like the same things or have the same life goals as you. The biggest challenge in most relationships is that in my opinion if something is really important to one person but not the other of they dont compromise it eventually will damage the relationship.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 7 years
Well said spacekatgal!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 7 years
Absoutly! But you shouldn't have to work until you resent. You do it because you are deeply in love with the person and you want to be with him or her. The perfect website to help explain this:
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
This is silly, but there is this line from Scrubs (I know, I know) where he says something like "couples that are meant to be together face the same problems, but at the end of the day one of them is going to stand up and fight for the relationship." Source aside, I really like that idea and think it's true.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
I agree with both of your posts :) When I think of the reality of marriage, I think of a quote from Runaway Bride: "Look, I guarantee there'll be tough times. I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you're the only one for me." I also think of Sara Bareilles song Fairytales. I believe many women (and men) expect to find their soulmate and believe that when it's the right one, it will be easy. I know people like this, once the relationship gets hard, they bolt. The honeymoon phase definitely ends, but that doesn't mean the rest of the relationship is going to suck. Love changes, people change.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I think that all relationships, even those that are "meant to be" take work to stay alive. You'll inevitably run into some things that aren't easy - that's just the way life goes. But if I were fighting with someone all the time and it felt more like work than love, I'd get out. I don't really understand why couples who are at each others' throats all of the time doggedly slog it out when they're miserable.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
I chose option 3. I agree it takes work, and like danaskully said, as soon as one person stops trying, it goes downhill fast. That said, in my current relationship, we both try and we both put the other first conciously, and given the circumstances of him working 5 hours from our house and being 3 hours additional from his family and most of his friends, it takes tons of compromise and tons of work to make everyone happy, get everything done, be everywhere all the time, and still spend quality time together. However, it's true love and i believe it's meant to be, and so it doesn't feel like WORK (in a negative sense) - sure, it's hard work but it's worth it, it's rewarding, and neither of us mind doing it. When it starts feeling like a job and it's not fun anymore, well then you need to check yourself. But in order to be married for the rest of your lives, like danaskully also said, you definitely need to commit to it and know it will be hard work your entire life. You can't become complacent, or things will not work out. and as soon as you don't feel like you want to try anymore, then things are going sour.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
I honestly think that true love takes work. I just got out of a 5 1/2 year relationship with someone who just stopped trying and things went downhill fast. I think going into something with the idea that it will be easy just screams "breakup" and "divorce." I think anyone here who has been in a long term relationship will agree. When you're living under the same roof as someone, day in and day out for years, you have to work to make things exciting and romantic. You will have disagreement, no matter how compatible you are. I think some personalities might not have to work as hard at it, but it's still work. Another thing is after years of being together, you also might have some hard feelings from previous fights/missed anniversaries/ disappointing surprises/ one partner not pulling their fair share of the work (financially, housework, whatever)/ etc. My parents have been married for 34 years, my Mom has told me that it absolutely takes work. My Grandparents have been married for over 60 years (61 this year, I think), they have said it takes work and compromise. Sorry if I'm not making too much sense, I just woke up and I'm still a little frazzled from my breakup. I love my ex more than I've ever loved anyone else and even I had to put work into the relationship when he fully committed to it.
Why Age Doesn't Matter in Relationships
Sexy Movies of 2017
Fall in Love Oculus Rift Experience
Ways to Save a Marriage
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds