I was talking to a friend last night. She's in the middle of breaking up with her boyfriend of several years. They've been living together and have realized that it just isn't working. I hate saying that I'm not incredibly surprised, but the truth is, every time I speak to her (we only talk every few months) I'm always a bit afraid to ask about it, because I had a feeling it was coming. Not that I'm psychic or anything; I've never even met the guy, but from the way she has talked about their relationship for the past year or so, I had a feeling that things were heading south. It's funny because she was telling me that two of her co-workers are in the process of moving in with their boyfriends, and she is very fearful for their relationships. We discussed the difference between moving in together and actually getting married. She said if they had gotten married after a few months of knowing each other, when they were still flying high and so infatuated, that she thinks they might stay together now. That the committment of marriage might be enough to hold them, to push them to work a bit harder. But it's not there, and she just doesn't see a way at this point to make it work. Her boyfriend says they need space and to not to live together in order to improve their relationship; but she correctly points out that in order to get married, you have to be able to live together. She's right. She asked me about the married couples I know, since she told me she doesn't really know many married couples to look at as role models. I told her that I know a few happy married couples, and even those just take a lot of work. Marriage just isn't easy, relationships aren't. Many times being single is easier than being married because your problems only affect you - they don't affect another person that you love and their reactions and responses to your problem don't have to considered also. Another friend of mine has been building a relationship lately, and it's been extremely hard work, though the work seems to be paying off as she is heading quickly towards her goal. Her most recent insight I found extremely interesting. Her issues, her walls are being reflected in the guy she is dating. His reactions are starting to become the ones she has shown him, for better and worse. We take and feed so much on what we are given, and consequently, others give us back what we give them. Especially so when you really care. Which is why it's so important to make sure that we work on ourselves, rather than blame the other party. Life ain't easy, and relationships certainly aren't either. As I told my friend last night, as soon as I figure out all the secrets, I'll share them with her. But I told her not to hold her breath.