(CBS Charlotte) — There’s a small window at the beginning of every relationship where everything is perfect, everything is seemingly magical and wonderful — there is an overwhelming amount of puppy love in the air, and then … something happens.
The truth is, once the puppy love phase ends (and it does of course, always end) people in a relationship are forced to see each other as they really are … and quite frankly, they don’t always like what they see.
Someone once told me that “99 percent of relationships fail.” At the time, I thought this statistic couldn’t possibly be true … but, think back to all of the relationships you’ve been in over the years — in the end, there’s a reason they didn’t work out, right?
In retrospect, when two people enter into a relationship, the reality is the odds are already against them that the relationship will fail. So why bother, right? Well … not quite.
Perhaps, part of the reason that relationships fail is because people set their expectations too high at the start of the relationship. The fact that people enter into a new relationship thinking that their new significant other may be their soul mate or their lifelong partner, quite plausibly, sets the relationship up for failure. Furthermore, has anyone ever stopped to think that maybe every relationship that begins isn’t meant to last forever?
During a relationship, good or bad, we learn things from the situations that arise — and we learn things from our significant other and the life experiences that we encounter, together and apart. It is often these life experiences that either make a couple or break a couple. Throughout the relationship, the couple either grows closer together or they grow farther apart. This is an inevitable part of every relationship, no matter how long two people have been dating.
Don’t get me wrong, I too have read stories where couples that were married for decades die hours apart. In those rare instances, these couples really had and maintained true love, but the sad reality is … true love is fleeting, it doesn’t always last. Of course, the hopeless romantic in me wants to believe that in those rare instances, these elderly couples loved each other so much, and relied on each other wholeheartedly, that they couldn’t or didn’t want to live without their soul mate. But, the realist in me knows differently.
While true love is not impossible, it’s important to realize going in, that it’s not probable. It doesn’t mean that the relationship won’t work out, it just means that you should be aware of the odds going in … because if things eventually start going south, you may be forced to make a decision about whether or not this is the right relationship for you.
Of course, some things are worth fighting for, but in each case where a couple either makes a conscious choice to stay together or to go their separate ways, each situation presents an opportunity to learn from the past, prepare for the future, and put your best foot forward — whether that means doing so together or apart.
While love at first sight or true love that lasts forever may exist, it’s important to realize that in either instance, it won’t be easy. Relationships are hard and life in itself has its ups and downs. But, if you can brave the waves, tides and tsunami’s that every relationship at one point or another endures, there’s a good chance that you will be able to weather the storm together, and find a great deal of sunshine throughout the relationship.
-Nichole Jaworski, CBS Charlotte