For love to really work, you have to work at it sometimes

Ah, love. There’s nothing quite like it. The birds sing sweeter, the sky is bluer, and nothing can get you down. It’s the best feeling in the world, isn’t it? Makes you want to dance in the streets and sing zip-a-dee-doo-dah!

But don’t kid yourself. Loving someone doesn’t mean you like them all the time. Think about your folks for a moment. They love you, right? But they still punished you and yelled at you. Lots. Especially when you were a teenager. But they never stopped loving you, even at the times they wished you would just move out. And on the flipside, there were plenty of times you weren’t too happy with them, but you loved them too, right?

So don’t panic when you feel like popping your boyfriend in the mouth for making some dumb comment, or you want to wring your girlfriend’s neck for dinging your car—AGAIN. It doesn’t mean your relationship is over. It just means the pixie dust has worn off. You know, that pixie dust that keeps you from being annoyed at things that usually annoy you. If you’ve ever caught yourself saying things like: “I know I usually hate axe murderers, but he’s just so cute!” – you’re on the dust, big time. Eventually, you snap out of it.

You see, no matter what they say in poems and soft rock songs, love really doesn’t change you that much. If you’re a selfish spoiled brat, you become – a selfish spoiled brat who someone loves. If you’re a neat freak, you always will be, even if you fall in love with a slob. And guess what – you’ll always fall in love with a slob. It’s why I’m convinced that whoever is up there has a warped sense of humor. That, and the fact that Carrot Top still has a career.

No one ever falls in love with the easy ones. But they’re boring anyway. Admit it. If you don’t have enough in common, one or both of you gets dragged to a lot of stuff that the other is interested in, all in the name of love. Do you honestly think any guy wants to go to Crate and Barrel? (Except THOSE guys, I know.) Then again, if you’re too much alike, you’ll get on each others’ nerves eventually. Think about it. Taking love out of the equation, what happens when you put two bossy people together? Or two stubborn people? Or two know-it-alls? Ugh.

So, if you avoid the “opposites attract” thing, and stay away from people too much like you, where does that leave you? Alone. But while it’s fairly obvious to see the problems on both sides, there are millions of people out there who it works for every day. You’ve seen it for yourself. And you’ve even wondered – how did the staunch feminist fall head-over-heels for the uber-jock? How can those two spend their lives finishing each other’s sentences? How?

Face it. For love to really work, you have to work at it sometimes. But even that isn’t as tough as it sounds. You just have to remember what you love about the person you’re with. That’s it. No counseling, no Dr. Laura books, no heavy lifting or rocket science. Just remember why you fell in love. How you fell in love. All the stuff that made it possible for the both of you to disagree (LOUDLY) over where to put the couch in the new place you just got together.

Couples fight. Fact of life. No matter who you are, you’ll never agree with any person in your life 100% of the time. You fought with your folks. You’ve fought with your siblings. You fought with your best friends. Those fights, those disagreements, those whatevers – they’re all just little tests. If you really love the other person, you’ll get over the grudge. You’ll actually want to make up. And even though it doesn’t make you 100% happy, you’ll compromise. If you don’t love the other person, well, I think we’re all grown up enough to know what happens there.

This leads me to one of the WORST things ever said about love. This dumb phrase gets more couples into more trouble every day than cheating, alcohol, and fights over the remote. It is:

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

WHAT??? Whoever said that was hopped up on some high quality crack rock. I know, I know, it’s supposed to mean all kinds of stuff – if you’re in love, you’ll never do anything to be sorry for or; if you’re in love and do something wrong, your significant other will KNOW you’re sorry, so you don’t have to say it. Puh-leese. Turn off the harp music, and tell that chubby kid with the wings to sit down. If you’re in love, you’ve probably said sorry more than you ever had in your entire life. Not because you’re a wimp, or a screw-up, or don’t know how to be in love properly – but because you actually care about this other person’s feelings. And I don’t care where you’re from, sorry is one of those things that HAS to be said out loud. Get used to it.

So anyway, back to my point.

Sometimes you won’t like the one you love.

Sometimes, love is work.

But you don’t get in trouble for sleeping with your co-workers.