Are Relationships Stressful?

Most relationships require time and attention and this can prove stressful. For relationships to work, they require maintenance and energy. If these are in short supply then you can experience stress. The very nature of forming a good and healthy relationship is different for every person and every relationship. A secret that many people have to learn is about timing. An attractive relationship will not get off the ground unless the timing of attraction is good. As an example, think about any relationship you have pursued. If it worked out, both sides were available and ready. This is good timing. If only one side of the attraction is available, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, for it to work out.

Relationships have a wide range of possibilities. They can be romantic relationships or friendship relationships or business relationships or therapeutic relationships or possibly all of these. Most people require relationships at some point in their lives. Many people are raised without positive role models of healthy relationships and no matter how many TV shows or movies, or even books you read, you may not come across good relationship examples. Sometimes you have to use trial and error to figure this out and it is greatly complicated by the complex personalities of the people we attempt to have relationships with. By the way, relationships continue to evolve and change as the participants learn and grow. Your strong, but flexible, motivation may be a useful tool in maintaining relationships.

Some people are very traditional and have very strong inflexible values. Unless they hook up with the “right” situation in the first place, their relationship may prove difficult or fall apart over time. So knowing about yourself and your values can be a great start to developing stronger relationships. Controlling your expectations of changing your partner is a very useful consideration. If you do not like (and accept) the person in front of you but you see “real potential” then you may be doomed to the pain of watching their “unfilled potential” as they veer in a different than expected direction. “Expectations screw things up!” It is good to have a list of important qualities that you are seeking in a potential relationship before you begin to pursue the challenge of finding and then developing a relationship, especially if this is an important relationship for you. Ask yourself what you really need and do not accept less. What you want, may offer some flexibility.

A lasting relationship requires your loyalty and trust. If the timing is not right, one side or the other may move in directions that are less loyal and trustworthy. (And, “mid-life crisis” type personal changes can wreck certain relationships.)

Remember to take GOOD care of yourself. Because if your “light goes out” you run the risk of losing the attraction you have to your partner. It sometimes feels selfish to take care of yourself but this is essential to your own well-being, on many levels, and to your relationship. Continue your self exploration and growth. A healthy relationship can weather the storm your personal change and development may bring.

For many people in relationships good communication is hard work but necessary. Honesty with yourself and your partner, from the beginning, builds the best foundations for long term success.

Relationships can be the most stressful thing that you experience but they can also be the most rewarding. Ask most parents about their children. Without connection, shared love, and the deep bonding of relationships, most of us would not have the depth of purpose that create the most important lesson we have to learn from in this life.
Learn on….

If you require an assessment to learn more about your style or your values or your attitudes contact the Stress Education Center at to get the assessments and the coaching that can make you more successful. This can be used for personal relationships and is also very helpful with key teams and management groups.