In our world today, many of us idealize love. We think love is the ultimate goal for all relationships and as a result of this, we tend to overlook other aspects such as respect, sacrifice, understanding, and commitment. We believe that when we love our partner it automatically fixes everything.
The truth is love really isn’t enough. It requires more than pure emotions and passion to keep a relationship healthy. For a relationship to be healthy we have to incorporate respect, sacrifice, understanding, and commitment into it.
PAINFUL REALITY ABOUT LOVE
The problem with idealizing love is that we create this unrealistic picture in our minds and if the relationship we are in isn’t bringing that picture to reality, it makes us believe that there is something wrong with the relationship which may lead to its end.
- Love does not equal compatibility: falling in love with someone does not necessarily mean you are fit for one another in the long run. It requires more than just love for two people to be in each other’s space for a lifetime. It is possible to be in love with someone who hurts you, someone who doesn’t respect you even when you know it, someone who hits you at the slightest provocation. It is possible to be in love with someone whose religious belief is entirely different from our and whose life goals are contradictory to ours. We fall in love with people that are enemies to our happiness.
When looking for a life partner or before getting into a relationship, it is important that you do not only engage our emotions but also engage our minds. You need to evaluate the person values which entail how they treat themselves, their relationship with family and friends, their ambitions and worldview in general and importantly what they think about the values you hold dear because if you get into a relationship with someone who you are not compactable with, you are going to have a tough time being happy in that relationship.
- Love does not solve you relationship problems: I was once in a relationship where myself and my partner will always fight about a certain thing and makeup almost immediately. It was a roller coaster because it became a routine for us to always fight, promise to change and make up. A day came and I realized we were always fighting over the same thing, yeah we kept coming back together because we were in love with each other but that didn’t stop the fights it dawned on me that this was never going to change, the fights were never going to end. While love may make you feel better about your relationship problems, it doesn’t actually solve any of your relationship problems.
- Love is not always worth sacrificing yourself: one of the characteristics of love is your ability to put the needs of someone else before yours. But the question we do not ask our self is if what we are sacrificing for is worth it. It is normal to make sacrifices in relationships, in fact, I would say that sacrificing is what makes a relationship but in a situation where you sacrifice your self-respect, dignity, physical body, ambitions and life purpose, just to be with someone, then that same love becomes problematic. A relationship is supposed to build you and not tear you down, it is supposed to make you realize yourself and not loose yourself, a relationship is supposed to bring out the best in you and not reduce you, a loving relationship is supposed to supplement our individual identity, not damage it or replace it. If we find ourselves in situations where we are allowing our love to consume us and negate us and find ourselves tolerating disrespectful behavior from our partner, it means we are in an abusive relationship and if we’re not careful, it will leave us as a shell of the person we once were.