Sure, I hear you. Words are powerful. I too have particular phrasings I prefer / avoid because of how I'd like to grow. e.g. I dislike the use of "talk to" as in "I was talking to him about that" and would rather use "talk with". Just sounds more like a dialogue than a monologue, which is what a conversation should be.
I suppose the downside of having strong views about terminology (like you have, about "working on the relationship") is when the words themselves are broad enough to encompass a range of meanings that include both the meaning you dislike and the meaning you like. Because then when you say something like "'relationships take work' is bullshit" - people can get confused. Do you mean that you won't make any effort, in order to improve how things feel between you and this other person - if things are tense? Of course not!
Many times, you can rephrase to say "I need to work on this aspect of myself."
Other times, though, that's a bit of a stretch (in my mind.) E.g. there's been a miscommunication. Things feel gross. I'm really tense and I need to sit down and talk through what this situation is bringing up for me. I'm finding it difficult to relate to you at the moment. We need to make time to work this through. Maybe neither of us have anything in particular to work on personally - we just need to put the time in to talk and unravel.
As I've said, I recognise where you're coming from - having a violent aversion to allowing a demented idea of "the relationship" to grow. But you seem to be saying more than "I hate this phrase because to many people it implies X". You seem to be saying "don't say X, cos it grows the wrong conceptual structure in your head." I disagree with that. I think some words have powerful tendencies to grow a particular way, if unchecked. But words are also very malleable and with mindfulness (coupled with shared understandings, in conversations) you can take them almost anywhere. And internalise what exactly it is that you mean or don't mean by things that could be ambiguous.
I think I do understand what your objections are. Nonetheless I wouldn't have the issues you have with those phrasings. I find it quite abrasive/alienating for someone to insist I phrase things how they think is best. Not saying you were doing this, and also this is your blog so clearly not an open debate. Just trying to explain how I share your level of passion (I reckon!) for not seeing a relationship as this third entity you have to suckle and pamper, while still being OK with talking in ways that acknowledge that sometimes I do certain things in order to improve how well I'm relating with someone.
You've said you feel "committed" to IV. I'd say that's a similarly loaded word, that some people use to reinforce an idea of an external entity that requires their loyalty. But - you weren't using it like that. You were describing a feeling of commitment. Not an obligation you had to honour.
Yup, we have to choose our words carefully and - with particular words especially - occasionally have to clarify what we meant by that. But ultimately, I reckon, whatever works for us is okay.