Falling in Love is Easy, Sustaining it is ‘Work’

Decoding what keeps a relationship going.

Illustrative photo by Dexter Fernandes on Unsplash
Illustrative photo by Dexter Fernandes on Unsplash

Riya, a marketing consultant in Mumbai, met Ajay, a content producer, at a social gathering. They instantly click, realise they have similar interests and decide to exchange contact details. Over time, connecting over calls and meetings, having conversations around love, relationships, career, goals, family and the world in general made them realise their fondness for each other, which led to communication at a deeper level.  It was rainbows and unicorns after that.

This is how they perceived their relationship, always happy. All sugar, no spice.

Riya and Ajay had it all going until life took an unexpected turn, which challenged their relationship even though they never signed up for it. Despite love and immense support for each other, they had to overcome and deal with life’s unexpected challenges individually to sustain their relationship. It was becoming challenging for both to keep going as a couple and that was putting strain on their professional and social lives, more so when they were looked at as a ‘poster couple’. 

The questions that arise are:

  • Did they change in the relationship or did the relationship change them? 
  • Is drifting apart and going their own ways the answer?
  • How to continue to stay as a couple despite odds?

Riya was 29 and Ajay was 30 when they decided to enter a committed relationship. However, two years later, they reached a place in life which they least expected. Could they have avoided this juncture? maybe or maybe not. The question here is, how could they avoid reaching a breaking point?

Relationship: together you break it, together you make it—your choice.

Interestingly we see few discussions around investing and building a life-long relationship. All the content is around ‘falling in love’, which, in all honesty, is the easy part. Sustaining it is ‘work’. 

So, is there a secret recipe to keep you going through years when life throws you off-track? Guess what, you, yourself are the secret recipe.

Riya and Ajay had love and respect for each other but were they,

  •  able to ‘express’ when they felt vulnerable,
  •  ‘truly listening’ and picking up signs when the other partner was anxious or apprehensive,
  •  patient in the relationship of letting the other be, who they are versus changing them to a ‘version of what they want’,
  • accepting each other’s shortcomings, and
  • respecting each other’s space.

It is important to recognise, like everything else, even a relationship is not constant; it changes with time and it is important for the couple to be able to catch up with it. It is also important to accept, there will be several ‘red-flag’ instances in the relationship journey which should be addressed while is on simmer not allowing it to boil over.

Drifting apart and giving up is the simplest way out, but is that an answer?

So how did the ‘poster couple’ Riya and Ajay’s story end, are they still together? 

Unfortunately, no. It has been four years since they separated. They realised they could have salvaged what they shared by being patient and accepting towards each other. Today, both are friends and have moved on to the next phase in their lives, feeling more confident about their current relationship.

Relationship: together you break it, together you make it—your choice. Falling in love is easy. Sustaining it is ‘work’.

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