Just like everything else I do as a hobby or for fun. If I put in the effort and want to succeed it isn't work at all. I enjoy it...I look forward to it. I want to do it.
Hmmm, let me think about this.
My job takes time, effort and energy, but it isn’t where I want to be all the time, so I consider all my effort to be “work”.
My hobbies take time, effort and energy, but since I enjoy them, I consider all my effort to be “practice”.
So I guess that's the question that I really need to answer for myself. Is my relationship a place I want to be, or a place I don’t want to be?
Based on the above, if I don’t want to be there, then yes, a relationship will be “work”.
On the other hand, if my relationship is something I do enjoy and do want to be a part of, then shouldn’t I be “practicing” my skills, just like with all of the other things I enjoy doing? It shouldn't be work at all.
Another point to consider...when something is work, theoretically, mistakes are not allowed. If I do something wrong at work, there are negative consequences. When I am practicing, I am expecting a certain amount of failure along the way. That is how I get better at something. That is how I develop my skills. I try things out and see what happens, I get feedback and I make adjustments.
So...If I want to be in a relationship, and I want it to last, then I should want to practice. If my partner wants to be a relationship with me, she will want to practice with me. I guess that's the sign we should both be looking for while we are out fishing for a partner. Do we like each other enough to practice our relationship together so that we can develop our skills?
Note to self...
STOP “working” on my relationship. START “practicing” my relationship skills!