I know this one will be hard for many to understand. It’s not something most people are willing to admit or even really see the reality of. The main thing is to keep an open mind about what I’m going to say. Although I’m writing to my LGBT community, this article applies to heterosexuals as well. In the end, a relationship is a relationship. Isn’t that why we want equality? bodies5

In this society of “ its all about me” relationships have changed drastically. It has changed to the point that people stay together more out of obligation, finances or fear of being alone, than because they are in love. Remember when video games were two players? Now it’s changed to one player. We’re living in a place within us that we’re more comfortable being alone than with someone else. Unfortunately, relationships aren’t video games. Most of us have heard “ Any man, is better than no man” . This can also be said of females also. Sadly this is not true. There are some people you don’t ever want to be with. There are also those you couldn’t dream of being without. We’ll concentrate on those and who can harm that dream.

The one thing I always tell my partner is “ Most people are NOT compatible. Too many people rush into a relationship and later find that they are trapped. Oh, anyone can always leave a relationship, and sometimes, often should. I’m talking about those who feel trapped, because so much is going on mentally and emotionally with them. The sex might be great, but everything else sucks! Relationships mean more than just having sex or sharing the rent. It means finding someone who complements you. I didn’t say completes. You should already be complete BEFORE getting into a serious relationship. I’m talking about someone with whom you have real reasons to think “ this is the one”. There are barriers though, that we don’t like to think of as barriers. To be clear, most of the time no harm is meant, that’s why we have such a hard time thinking of them as barriers.

This is just my opinion, but here is some of the most harm I’ve seen (personally and not) to a relationship.

1) Family

This without a doubt, has to be the most intrusive (yes I said it) of all causes of a break up or problem in a relationship. Why? We’re taught that no one will love us like family. Blood is thicker than water, etc. Lets face it, most of the time we as family members are all too willing to say “ he/she isn’t good for you”. It may be based in fact, but often it’s just based on what your family members think you deserve. Ego has a lot to do with it as well. We’ve known family members all of our lives, and they ‘ve known us , so they think they know what’s best. They don’t.

2) Friends.

One of the hardest things to get through, especially in a new relationship (or one on the rocks) is friends. Why? Friends are used to being first (after family). A friend will sometimes be jealous of the time they lose with you when you meet someone. They feel they’re being replaced, not given enough attention or just thrown to the side. Many times it becomes a tug of war. It often gets very ugly when this happens. I’ve experienced that the friend is often the one whispering in the ear, about “how are you letting this person come between our friendship’? The truth is that like a marriage, a relationship needs the two people in it to define what is important for it’s growth. There is no way around this. Its just a fact of life. When someone gets serious or is even moving in with someone, other relationships have to shift. This doesn’t mean you throw out everyone else, but it does mean “ what do I mean to you”.

3) Clergy.

A lot of times there may be a pastor, priest or other clergy that may not look at your relationship as valid or worthy of being. This is especially true with some clergy (such as the catholic church) who may look at your gay or unwedded relationship as an affront to G-d. While there are a good many clergy for whom this is not the case, it is too often the case.

4) Ex’s.

Another biggie is the ever lurking problem of the ex. Why? Ex’s have been in the spot of the current object of your affections. Have you ever said or heard “ Why is it that when I’m single no one wants me? Or “Why do I get so much attention now that I’m in a relationship”? The easiest mistake we make when most of us run into a snag in our relationship is, we fall back into the role of letting old feelings for an ex lead us to act as if we’re still in that relationship. Ex’s sometimes have an “ I was here before you” attitude. It’s like an old shoe. Comfortable…even if it didn’t work out. It’s one of the reasons you should never go into a relationship with baggage or without some type of closure. Its especially a mistake in this day and age when it’s easy to dump someone through email or online ( which I don’t recommend). Almost always it’s best to move on and remember there was a reason you broke up. Focus on what you have now before you throw it away.

5) Boyfriend/Girlfriend.

Your current love interest might be one of the main barriers in your relationship. Why? Lets face it: relationships are work. The old adage of “ nothing worth having comes easily” is true. Your significant other has to realize that you are worth fighting for. Those of us who are older know that relationships hold a multitude of sins. Forgiveness, compassion, attraction and other things have a lot to do with having a stable relationship. Sometimes it is very difficult, to incorporate someone else in your life, without feeling as if you’re losing yourself, your friends, family or whatever is important to you. Many relationships have been destroyed because of “ I need to hang out with my friends”. The key is to make the other person understand that being with you doesn’t mean losing out, it means gaining something worthwhile. There has to be a balance.

6) You.

Lastly, you may be your own worst enemy. The reasons I listed above can only affect your relationship if you let it. You have to step out of your own way and say “this is what I want”. You must, however be 100% sure it is what you want, and then go for it full force. No man is an island, although we may all be a whole other world. It’s making sure those worlds can orbit in harmony together that is the trick. Relationships are beautiful, but they have to be cultivated. It’s way to easy to end a relationship over something that in the end may be trivial. We give up too fast sometimes. We often expect and want everything NOW. It’s not going to happen. It takes time to grow together. It takes you knowing how to keep making time, so that you don’t grow apart once you have what you’ve worked for:A beautiful relationship. I like to think of my relationship as me being in a C.U.L.T. Contract. No, not a religious cult. C.U.L.T. ( Communication, Understanding, Listening, Trust) contract. Every relationship in the world is a contract. G-d, parents, bosses, and partners. We all go into each agreeing on the terms. We forget it with respect to the heart. I don’t know about you, but I’ve done some things I shouldn’t in my relationship (many because of the reasons in this article) and have learned from it. So there you have it, my opinion on why relationships are often hard and fail. The last thing I’ll say is what I always tell everyone. No one can ruin my relationship or anyone else’s except the two people in it. Here’s wishing you the best relationship you’ve ever had!

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