Why Love Must Be Inconvenient (and Why It's Worth it)

Joe Duncan

Resistance is the Foundation of Every Great Relationship

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The guiding principles of our lives only become meaningful when we adhere to them in times of inconvenience or problems. Our moral character is truly tested upon the backdrop of pressure; when the fibers of what we’re made of are put to the ultimate test — in no place is this more relevant than in our personal relationships with others who are significant to us. All love must be unconditional love, otherwise, it is not love — it’s merely acting upon self-interest and bailing on someone when times get tough. You cannot love without being unconditionally understanding of another’s shortcomings, past history, or current strife; through the quarrels, spats, differences, and indifference, for love to be true, it must remain. Caring about another person was never meant to be easy.

Commitment means allowing yourself to be dependent, and more importantly, allowing others to be dependent upon you. The interplay of dependence is what defines and solidifies our bond. In a relationship, you serve as your partner’s rock, their sanctuary, their safe place where they can come to when the cold, harsh realities of the world have besieged them — you’re their blanket of security in an oftentimes cruel and uncaring world. This needs to take place at all times, especially when it’s difficult for us to do so. It is precisely the things that we like about our partners the least which provide fertile ground for us to muster up newfound courage that we never thought possible — and it’s through these things that our love for them is tested in the real world.

Beyond simply being there when your partner has had a bad day, to be a truly good significant other, we need to be present and available even for things that might make us uncomfortable. There are facts about our partners that often might cause a bit of discomfort or even outright jealousy to hear about, and it’s in these times that we must put ourselves aside and stare fearlessly into the abyss of our partner’s minds as we work with them through whatever is going on in their lives. For some people, it’s a habit our partners have, while for others it's our partner’s romantic past we don’t want to hear about; or even cases of infidelity within our own relationships. But the fact remains, you cannot love someone unless you love them entirely, and unconditional love means loving our partners for who they actually are, rather than loving them merely when it’s convenient.

Inconvenience is a sign that you’re doing love right by the other you actually love, that person who needs you as you need them. It would be ludicrous to presume that everything would go indefinitely right and in your favor in your interactions with someone who spends most of your waking hours with in one way or another. Times will come when your good intentions are put to the test, and it’s in these moments that we both shine. Commitment is meaningless in a world where that commitment is never challenged. The inconvenience in our love is the surest sign of the authenticity of our love.

Scientific research has pretty well documented what most of us already intuitively know, that we often bond the best through traumatic experiences, no matter how big or small, and this is exactly where the hidden treasure of relationships lies. The trauma of another is the lens through which our supportive natures can shine. As we progress through our lives with another person, our mutually shared pains that seem so real, so intense, so terrifying in the moment, soon become accomplishments that we’ve achieved with another person. These accomplishments are things we can reflect on and grow from, and most importantly, when we do it right, we grow together. One of the most basic fundamental laws of life is that anything that isn’t growing is dying, and this includes relationships — in relationships, if you aren’t growing together, you’re drifting apart.

It is through these moments of seeming inconvenience that we also get to learn ourselves, to put ourselves to the test, and find out our own moral caliber. This is how we grow as individuals also. In all, through our pain, through our moments of self-sacrifice, through our own willingness to cast ourselves aside and focus on someone who’s going through something significantly bigger than what we are, we build something that’s unshakeable, a rock-solid foundation with another person with which we can challenge the worlds in our moments of doubt and pain…and that’s beautiful.

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Keeping Florida informed with the latest. Life isn’t a series of many moments, but one moment that is always changing. Catch me on: https://twitter.com/JoeMDuncan

Orlando, FL
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