Healthy relationships may sometimes be hard, but they’re not all that complicated. It’s a fundamental distinction that is easy to miss. Hard implies the necessity of effort, which positive and sustainable relationships unquestionably require, but “complicated” essentially means that the relationship is difficult to understand. That’s another notion entirely.
Most people describe their relationship as complicated when they are struggling with problems of trust, authenticity, commitment, and maturity. It’s an adjective that evokes a sense of confusion, drama, and tenuous circumstances.
In good relationships, there are no hidden agendas or the need for guesswork. You know exactly how your partner feels about you and their behavior is consistent. You work together to problem-solve. Each of you are supported and allowed autonomy and room to grow. Expectations are realistic, needs are readily met, and communication is transparent and fluid.
Essentially what you see is what you get, and each partner therefore feels secure and satisfied in the relationship. Yes, even healthy relationships will have problems, sometimes serious ones, but in functional relationships the couple works towards a mutual goal of understanding and resolution. The path to get there may be very hard, but again, that’s not the same thing as complicated.
It’s easy to mistake drama for love or passion, and our fear of being alone can result in tolerating and excusing hurtful behaviors and relationships that simply don’t meet our needs. Healthy love is so much more than a feeling or words. It’s the behavior that we consistently demonstrate each and every day.
When you replace the word complicated with dysfunctional or unhealthy our understanding of a relationship takes on a whole new meaning. If you are labeling your relationship as complicated, it might be time to take pause and consider whether or not it’s truly the type of relationship that you need and deserve.