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Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and Netflix films. The Minimalists have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, TIME, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, BBC, and NPR.

It’s Complicated

There is only one honest type of relationship status: It’s Complicated.

Whether you’ve been married for decades, are recently single, or are involved in some sort of obtuse polyamorous love triangle, it’s important to understand that relationships—all relationships—are inherently complicated. We are human beings: mixed bags of thoughts, emotions, and actions; righteous liars and honest cheats; sinners and saints; walking contradictions; both the darkness and the light.

Ergo, there’ll be times you disagree with your partner, argue with your friends, quarrel with the the guy in the cubicle next to yours. Such is life.

The key is to work through complications with others, to find common ground, to change yourself if you’d like, but neverever—attempt to change someone else. Love, caring, and respect don’t work that way. To love someone is to understand them, warts and all. You may provide guidance, but the people you love still must steer their own boat.

Further reading: my essay, Thoughts on Meaningful Relationships, and Colin Wright’s rumination, One Should Be 1.