Effort

by - June 01, 2018

 Soon after my most recent break up I had a long all night chat with one of my friends about the dating world and how I want to start dating again but it's also so much effort. And a theme in our conversation was about effort. We talked about the effort into dating, the effort in a relationship, and how effort can change from the second someone says yes.
 When you start to know someone and start dating them, you put effort into it. You put effort into this person that you see potential in. You see a relationship possibly forming so you want to put your best self forward and put in a good amount of effort. Both people on both sides do it, they put in good effort and as Lorde says "I'll give you my best side, I'll give you my best lines". Even as my mother has told me people are usually on their best behavior for the first three months in a relationship, then you slowly start to see the real them. So for the first however many dates you have, you put forth good effort into something that could be amazing. Then someone asks the question, and someone says yes- and the effort drops. Or at least sometimes it does, in my previous cases- it has.
 Now that this person said yes to you, you can relax a bit and step back on the amount of effort you put into the relationship. Why keep trying to put so much effort into getting this person to say yes now that they have what they wanted? Why wear all that makeup, your best clothes, your frilly underwear, shave your legs, go to the gym, etc. etc. etc.
 The effort, I wonder, is only so obviously present and super impactful in the beginning because of the chase. I wonder if that goes hand in hand. Like Meredith Grey said to Derek when they first met. "The thrill of the chase. I've been wondering to myself, why are you so hell-bent on getting me to go out with you? You know you're my boss. You know it's against the rules. You know I keep saying no. It's the chase." 
 Does the chase and the effort go hand in hand in starting up something new? I can maybe see it- who knows. But my thing is when in the past I agreed to start a relationship with someone, I noticed effort started to drop. It was never anything too significant in the short time being from month to month- but it was obvious. First dates were going on hikes, being outside in the sun, going to parties with friends. Those turned into watching Netflix and eating in, not needing to wear clothes that looked like you were able to leave the house. Sure, of course, comfortability creeps in and you don't feel the need to wear a full face of makeup. You don't feel the need to wear the nicest clothes in your closet. But- you still need to put in effort in other places. If your partner is only putting in 30% effort you have to put in 70% somedays, and that's okay- that's normal. Not everyone is going to be able to put in a perfect 50/50 amount of effort for a relationship every single minute of every single day. But when it becomes you putting in the 70% into a relationship more than usual, or all the time- that's when it becomes a problem. That's when it becomes a problem with effort.
 In the end effort is key to a relationship of all kinds- between friends or your significant other. I understand that, I know that. That's why, in my relationship now with my new S/O I'll still continue to be the person that puts in consistent effort. I hope he will too of course but I wonder what effort boils down to after someone says yes. I wonder why, in some situations people's effort drops off and things slowly crumble. While in other situations effort stays consistent enough for your friendships or relationships to last a lifetime.

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