At the beginning, it was exhilarating … Looking into each other’s eyes, holding hands, hooking up, savoring the physical and the emotional highs. Then, slowly, all seemed to be calming down. You started to notice little quirks that annoyed you. The same quirks that you used to think were oh so cute …. You asked: Why do you leave the wet towels on the floor? Who do you think should be putting them in the hamper? For a few days, that behavior improved, and then, back to the old ways…

So for every relationship, there does come a time when you ask yourself: Is it time to break up? Time for me to exit, stage left?

Also for every relationship, there are turning points. It is when you decide to work at making it better, for you and your partner, and accept that it is a joint venture. You contribute to what is going on as much as the other does. Most of us put in eight hours a day into work. How much time do you think you invest in your relationship? Studies show that it is much less than that. So why do we expect things to be better if we do not actively do something about it?

Someone could be your soulmate, if you believe in that notion. Or it could be a person you are absolutely compatible with. But getting along and being at least content, if not happy, does not happen by itself, no matter the good intentions. I am not singling out romantic connections only. This holds true for friendships, parent-child encounters, with coworkers and neighbors too. If you tell me you are a vegetarian, and I keep inviting you to steakhouses, how would you feel towards me?

Now there is no denying that none of us is perfect and we all do things in ways that bother others, and we may be too demanding or unrealistic. It is equally true that we can make amends, change our ways to respect those we care for and love. So can they. It is when both (or more) parties make the effort to observe each other’s needs, requests, and wants that respect and love grow. It is also important to acknowledge that to love another, we need to have love within, to see ourselves as worthwhile people. We have to do some soul-searching to examine our own weaknesses, frailties, strengths, and offerings. If I think I am not good enough for me, why would anyone else think differently? Looking at one’s self in the mirror is not always comfortable, but it is crucial to learn what we are made of so we can offer it to others. The work you put in will give you priceless returns.  

“It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve, and bad things are very easy to get.” – Confucius

Author Profile

Janan Broadbent, PhD
Janan Broadbent, PhD
As a psychologist in private practice since 1979, Janan Broadbent, Ph. D. offers individual, couples, group and family therapy, in addition to conducting workshops on topics such as stress management, communication skills and assertiveness. She writes about current issues relevant to relationship building and conflict resolution in LGBTQ and minority populations, with emphasis on health, fitness and education.

Born in Turkey, Dr. Broadbent earned her undergraduate degree in psychology in 1965. At that time, first as a Fulbright Scholar, then as a CENTO Fellow, she received her master's and doctorate degrees in psychology and education from the University of California at Los Angeles. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology at St.Mary's College of Maryland, Mt. Vernon College in Washington, D. C., Johns Hopkins University and the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore. From 1981 to 1988, she was also the Director of Counseling at Notre Dame College.
While in graduate school, Dr. Broadbent worked for the Voice of America radio program, writing and recording materials on the cross-cultural college experience. She has been interviewed on various news programs on TV and has received media training.
Dr. Broadbent is a member of the American Psychological Association and has served as the chair for the Public Affairs Board and as a member of the Executive Council of the Maryland Psychological Association.
Dr. Broadbent's office is located at:
Village of Cross Keys, 120 West Quadrangle, 2 Hamill Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21210-1847 phone: 410-825-5577