The best relationship advice I can give is binary: Don’t listen to other people’s advice about your relationship, and love the person with your whole heart without expecting anything in return.
Part A: The trouble with outside relationship advice is that our friends and family all have completely different ideas of what a relationship should consist of. Sure, Aunt Mindy’s long-time therapist may deliver good relationship advice, but Aunt Mindy’s long-time therapist is not living your life for you; you are. You have to do what suits your needs, not just listen to someone who isn’t at the epicenter of your relationship. It is really important to listen to your own feelings, in relationships and in life. You can act as logical as you want to, but your true feelings will never leave you. You can pretend they don’t exist and try to ignore them, but they’ll always show themselves in one way or another. Therefore, I think it’s important to listen to yourself when it comes to your relationship.
Part B: Any person that says relationships “shouldn’t be hard” is either single or can’t maintain long term relationships (I apologize to anyone this statement may offend, but check yourself before you’re 58, alone, and still wondering why). Relationships ARE a daily effort. Putting your loved one’s needs above your own needs is admittedly challenging, particularly in a society where we are taught to put ourselves first. But, in order for your relationship to thrive, you have to love that person as much as possible and give that person your best effort, and then…not expect anything in return!!! It may shock people to hear this, but that is essentially the whole concept of loving someone. Love is not about the presents or the flowers or the pictures or the vacations. Love is putting the other person’s needs above your own, and doing so without expectations.
Now, I’m sure some of you will have read all of this and rolled your eyes tenfold (I know exactly who you are), but for the many people who can read something objectively, I hope this advice helps you! It took me a while to realize all of this, but I am SO thankful that I did.