I have seen a hundred relationships die a death by mediocrity. Routine. Stagnancy. Time. Nothing.
A death where a relationship breathes its last, simply because it cannot find any reason to continue living.
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It happens just like that. You are lying in bed, writing in your journal when you notice the words wouldn’t flow as easy when it’s about him. You are driving down to work and your song on the radio does not make you hum along. You are looking at photographs from your first vacation together but the memories don’t make you smile.
The problem, however, isn’t this sad reality.
It is the refusal to accept this sad reality.
Suggested read: You and I … in this beautiful world
As a culture, we are accustomed to believe that love is enough. We lap up the songs that tell us ‘all you need is love,’ or ‘if I had you, that’d be the only thing I’d ever need.’ The assumption makes us feel happy. Safe, even. It makes us feel like all we’ve to do is allow our hearts to fall for someone- and the rest shall be taken care of. Idealizing love and putting it up on the ‘almighty’ pedestal so it can take care of everything is so convenient we refuse our own part in building it. We simply hope to fall in love (like the movies teach us to) and convince ourselves it is the final destination. Like finding a person we can love shall be the solution to all our problems. An end to the strife and struggle we call life. In overestimating the power of love such, our real relationships suffer.
Because love isn’t enough. Not alone, it isn’t.
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As hard as it is to lump, it’s true. Relationships require more than just pure emotion or noble intent. They require the actions that translate those emotions and intent into acts of togetherness. It is when people work to build, nurture and sustain the bond they want that a lifelong commitment and a ‘happily ever after’ is birthed. The success of a relationship hinges on a lot of factors and it takes maturity to look love in the face and tell the bugger it alone won’t do. That it cannot fool you and that you wouldn’t put your hearts in its hands simply because it makes you go weak in the knees.
You may feel that something that feels ‘so right’ can’t possibly go wrong- that your ‘connection’ is mapped for greatness but you may not be compatible. If you find little common ground to connect on, it would only take so long before you decide to part ways. Know that shared goals and values are crucial to the longevity of your relationship. If you want different things from life, you may not be able to work things out even if you love each other to bits. I know, it stings to even accept that the ‘love’ you feel in your heart isn’t ‘enough to overcome the odds- but it’s true. Love isn’t enough. I will tell you why. Because finding middle ground or compromising to accommodate needs works only so long as one person is willing to ‘be less’ or ‘have less’ for the other. Even if you take turns doing the same, the accrued resentment can erode at the foundation of your love without your knowledge. And it will only be a matter of time before someone’s patience is put to the test and fails, big time!
So, here’s a little dose of reality for those of you who constantly idealize love:
Love does not guarantee a happily ever after
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If you have the *feels* for someone, it doesn’t mean they can make for a good partner. Falling in love is an emotional process, being in love not so much. You have to ascertain if you are compatible for each other and that takes more than the magic wand flicked by your heart. You need to rope in reason to decide if you can be with someone you love over the long haul. Because our heart is an idiot- it can fall for a drug-crazed maniac who abuses us and makes us feel horrible about ourselves- but he, surely, isn’t the partner we deserve to be with. Remember that love and compatibility do not bleed in well- so we need to be smart with life-changing decisions that can determine if love can build our lives or bring it down with itself.
It is not a one-stop solution to your problems
I will tell you why love tricks us into believing it can magically solve our problems. That it is enough. It does so because of the *feeling* it elicits. I remember being in love with someone who never had time for me, whose family absolutely hated me and whose errant behavior often made me doubt myself. Needless to say, our love life was riddled with endless drama and fighting but after each rough patch, we’d get back together and make up, simply because we were crazy about each other and would figure a way to ‘make it work.’ The reality was nothing had changed and nothing would change- only our ‘feeling’ made us believe we were ‘going somewhere.’ Looking back, I can see how we stuck to the illusory hope for two long years!!! The lesson: don’t let your emotions wash away your logic. Love feels wonderful but that’s all it does. The rest has to be done by YOU! Love isn’t enough!
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And it isn’t all-important
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Don’t get me wrong- I am not doubting the importance of love. All I am saying is when you tend to occasionally slip up your needs or desires in love, you need to be extremely careful of how much you are letting go and if it is all worth it. Never sacrifice your self-respect and your dignity in a relationship. Never let love make you feel you have to be ‘less’ for it. If it is eating you away, you have to realize you are paying too steep a price. Never let love make you any lesser than who you are. Don’t change yourself. Don’t lose yourself and allow yourself to love and be loved, just as you are.
Because love is great. Love is wonderful. Love is magic. Love is many things. But it, sure, isn’t enough.
Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License