PolyAnna’s Musings: Relationships as group projects

Sometimes people seem to think that relationships, because they involve sex or love or both are some kind of a special snowflake. That they require some magic sauce. That they are mysteriously going to just happen.

They aren’t and they don’t and they won’t.

They require time, dedication, effort, and compassion. And likely a laundry list of other things– but in my experience mutual dedication of time and effort are crucial to the success of the relationship. It’s a group project.

I hesitate to say equal– I think on the average– there needs to be net equality of time and effort– although I can honestly say there will be ebb and flo. Sometimes one partner may need more support, but over the long view– there has to be at least parity if not equality or the overall health of the relationship, the partners may falter.

And effort and dedication do not need to be full-time. I absolutely believe that relationships can be casual, more episodic, but in the end– there still must be equal dedication of effort to that relationship. You define things anyway you like– but both people (or all the people involved) have to show up, they have to put up, and pull their share of the relationship weight– otherwise it will devolve into the nightmare college style group paper, which no one likes or enjoys.

There is grace in deciding when you aren’t able or willing to pull your weight, kick in your share of effort and dedication. Ideally one steps up and says they aren’t willing or able– lest the remaining partner(s) have to take actions.

To the remaining partner(s) there is also grace in deciding you have had enough– letting someone go is painful, but it does open a space, for someone or someone(s) who are willing and able.

Ignoring it never accomplishes anything. Just like with that college group paper, ignoring the deadline never achieves the desired results either.

Relationships aren’t special snowflakes– they actually have more in common with group projects than most of us care to admit.




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