Can hard work save a relationship?

Mike tells me that there are three important factors for a good relationship:

1) Compatibility

2) Hard work and commitment, and

3) Circumstance and luck

“You and your boyfriend share high compatibility,”
says Mike. “And both of you don’t give up on relationships. Now, all you need is luck to make it work.”

He was talking about the fact that my boyfriend is planning to relocate to Hong Kong by the end of this year.

And you know that long-distance relationships can be difficult. Both he and I have done long-distance relationships before.

My boyfriend has already gone back to the States for a month-long vacation.

And I miss him so much already. This will be our longest separation ever since we knew each other.

How worse will it be once he moves to another country?


I shared to my boyfriend about Mike’s three factors of a good relationship. He agrees with factor (1) and (3), but not (2).

“Why?” I asked. “Isn’t hard work and commitment important in a relationship?”

“I’ve always believed that relationships should be comfortable and easy,” he explains. “If a couple is putting too much work in a relationship, there must be something wrong.”

He then cites our relationship as an example.

Ever since I’ve known him, we’ve never fought, and it’s been very, very peaceful. We just go with the flow and enjoy each other’s company.

And it gets better every day.

So different from my previous one where it wasn’t going anywhere.

My boyfriend then cites his previous long-term relationship as a contrast.

“Do you know the feeling when you’ve put so much effort in a relationship,” he says. “And still end up feeling extremely frustrated?

Yes honey, I know.

I’ve felt that in my previous relationship as well.

I’ve gave it my all, gave it my best shot… and yet, I felt unhappy and unsatisfied. I was working too hard at the relationship, and in the end, I found myself trying to change myself just to make it work.

My boyfriend is an extremely laid-back person.

He likes doing things, and loves flyfishing and the outdoors.

His ex was an elegant woman from a wealthy family, who loved the city, to shop, and just being in absolute comfort.

In the end, my boyfriend had to change himself to accommodate his ex.

For example, he wined and dined with high-class society, just because this was his ex’s world.

Even though he hated shopping, he accompanied his ex in her weekly extravagant shopping sprees.

Even though he wanted to explore Taiwan, he found himself staying home because his ex didn’t like to go and explore.

He suppressed his dreams of becoming his entrepreneur because his ex felt that his idea couldn’t work out.

But he did all of these to make his relationship work.

He really worked hard… and in the end, he found himself completely changed.

Even his family felt that he’s changed.

If I have stayed in my previous relationship, I would’ve found myself completely changed as well.

Seriously, there was a point that I was thinking of doing a crash course of becoming a Japanese woman, just to make a relationship work.

But it just wasn’t me.

And I knew that if I’ve stayed, I would’ve been unhappy.

But I would’ve stayed because I loved him, was committed, and wanted to have a successful relationship.

But my boyfriend said that love… simply isn’t enough.

It doesn’t mean that your relationship is continuing, you have a ‘happy’ relationship.


“Relationships are all about compromises,” conceded my boyfriend. “But there’s a BIG difference between minor compromises, and sacrificing who you are.”

If you find yourself changing, or finding your significant other significantly changing…

Then, honey, you’re just not compatible.

And it’s better to just cut your losses RIGHT NOW while you still can, and move on to someone more compatible to you.

People have limits,” explains my boyfriend. “And people don’t really change that much. If you’re not the romantic type now, chances are, you won’t be a romantic type 10 years from now.”

The trick is to accept that person wholly for the person that he/she is,” he continues. “If you cannot accept the person, and try to change it, I promise you, that relationship will not work out.”

This brings a friend of mine’s relationship to mind.

My friend’s a super-sensitive gal with not-so-minor emotional needs. She wants to be held, pampered and lavished with love, care and attention.

Her boyfriend, ironically, is a very direct, no-nonsense man. For him, why sugar-coat the facts when you can just blurt it out?

Obviously, they’ve had their faire share of conflicts.

Mostly because the woman wants the guy to be more sensitive to her needs…

And the guy trying to mellow himself more for his girlfriend.

But will the relationship work out?

If they work hard enough, can they make it work?

Personally, the way I see it, right now, they’re working hard to make it work… and it looks quite successful. They’re working hard on it because they love each other.

But I think they’re trying too hard.

As my boyfriend says, “Love isn’t enough.”

It’s true.

Him and his ex loved each other. But feelings will fade away someday.

And then what?

You have to ask yourself if this is the person you can happily and peacefully spend the rest of your life with.


Because in the end, once you get married, that’s exactly what’s going to happen — this will be the person you’ll live with for the rest of your life.

So here’s some food for thought…

Can you really live with the person you’re with right now?

Or are you trying hard to force a relationship’s that’s doomed to fail anyway in the end due to lack of compatibility?

If you’re trying too damn hard, there’s something wrong.

C’est La Vie!

Having a bummer day… woke up late for work, got pissed by a slow taxi driver, and my boyfriend hasn’t called me up for almost three days.

Mike says am overreacting, and that he’s not dead.

But can’t help but worry… argh. 🙁

Will this day get any worse?!

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3 thoughts on “Can hard work save a relationship?

  1. hehehe…. sorry raven, it seems that i put my comment for this post in your previous post…. hehehe… sorry again!!

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