Do Relationships Really Have to Be This Hard?

September 9, 2014 4:19 PM

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Do Relationships Really Have to Be This Hard?

One of the most frequent questions that we hear from people is, "Why is it that creating good relationships requires so much work? If it's so natural for us to love one another, shouldn't it be easier than this?" To paraphrase a former president, I can feel their pain. In fact I've asked the same question myself. Many times. The great poet Rainer Maria Rilke knew and acknowledged this truth when he wrote, nearly 100 years ago, that "to love another human being is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks."

Recognizing the degree of difficulty in this task is nothing new, but that still doesn't answer the questions of why exactly it is so hard, and what the nature of the "work" is that we need to do in order to master this challenge.

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