So, we already addressed this question… but #1 has recently read Mindset in which it actually discusses what “work” entails.
What work entails according to Mindset:
1. Listen to your partner
2. Discuss differences
3. Solve problems together
4. Communicate and realize people can’t read minds
Ohhh, that’s work? Well, gee, we do THAT. But I don’t think of it as work, but as fun. Who wouldn’t want to get to know their partner better? Who wouldn’t want a partner to help solve problems?
Partner and I discussed what we’d thought work meant…
I thought maybe it was something like giving up some of your own preferences and desires like in a roommate situation. Possibly effort towards doing romantic things from time to time.
He’d thought it was maybe it had something to do with the cognitive dissonance of your partner in reality not actually being the partner in your head. (Which the book also discusses.) (Note that he prefaced this with talking about his friends dating crazy people who had this problem, so no reflection on me!)
#2 notes: Work could also be a joint project of working out your life so that you are BOTH happy: how can we manage the dirty dishes situation so that nobody is unhappy about doing them, or about them not being done? We are a team and we have a problem to solve together; if we don’t solve it, somebody’s going to be cranky and we’ll fight. But it doesn’t involve giving up your own preferences and desires entirely.
So, to sum, apparently relationships take work but we don’t actually have to have the mindset that these “work” activities are work. We can view them as perks instead.
Does your relationship take work? What do you think “work” means in terms of relationships?