RELATIONSHIP BALONEY: LOVE IS ENOUGH!

“Yay, I found my soul-mate.  We’re so in love, there’s nothing we can’t overcome.”  How many times have we heard that?  In essence, that love conquers all?   Well, bah hum.  That myth couldn’t be further from the truth.  When choosing a partner, love isn’t enough.

Believing that it is, we might jump into a commitment that’s wrong for us.  The person of our dreams could turn out to be our worst nightmare.  Commitment requires many considerations beyond love (or lust) as the case may be.

Like values.  Do you share the same values?  Is one of you a devout Catholic; the other, Jewish or not spiritual at all?  Does one have children from a previous relationship; the other, a low tolerance for kids?  Does one have a hefty appetite for sex; the other lukewarm?  Is one career minded, spending overtime at the office; the other expecting dinner together, then time for conversation and making love?  Is one sociable, enjoying  people and dinner parties; the other, socially shy?  Is one a shopper; the other a spend-thrift?  One an athlete; the other a couch potato?  That’s what I’m talking about.

These things seem trivial in the throes of love, but loom large when the bloom is off the rose.  Oh and by the way, it’s easy to mistake lust for love in a new relationship.  When it’s all sparkly, heat tends to override everything….for the moment. We feel confident, sexy, alive, over-the-top happy.  But beware, in this state we’re also delusional!

So what do you do when you jump into a commitment, then realize you’ve made a mistake.  Of course, with determination, it’s possible to work things out.  But it does take work and many of us just aren’t willing to put in the time and energy.  We’d rather dump this one and find another who seemingly fits us better.  Truth is, if we don’t know ourselves and still believe that love conquers all, we’ll look for that initial high again and keep finding ourselves in the same miserable place.

When you stop believing love is enough, and take the time you get to know someone, you save a lot of heartache.  You find out a religious difference  really is important, or that you can’t stand her obnoxious kids, or that he’s a couch potato and never helps out. You find the differences which once seemed trivial, aren’t trivial at all.  You learn what you can compromise on and what you cannot.  Shattering your illusions before the commitment is a lot better than having them shattered after the fact.

What do you think?  I would love to hear your opinions.

Check out my book, The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-life Journey, for more great tips and insights about relationships. You can buy it on Kindle worldwide from all Amazon websites, including www.amazon.com

 

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  1. I agree with you, most people overvalue attraction and undervalue compatibility. I also agree with you about retiring the phrase “Love conquers all” wholesale, and the reason why isn’t so much a disbelief in the real power of agape, but rather that the casual application of “Love conquers all” by people who do not possess the natural introspection and objectivity where they might even ever understand love in an unselfish way isn’t making the world a better place. It’s not even helping them in their own lives and relationships, and this goes far beyond their own romantic life. Though the saying is actually true and the people who told the world “all you need is love” were well meaning, they really didn’t consider how irresponsible it was to put those words where anyone could find them and wield them recklessly. I truly believe that love is very rare. Not only in relationships, but in life altogether. People “love” people because of the roles they play in their lives. It’s very selfish. Agape is “red pill” in contrast to people who live their lives in “blue pill” bubbles where “they care” about the people inside their own bubble, but are strikingly oblivious to the humanity of people outside their bubble. Too many people would drive right on by someone walking in a metaphorical snowstorm with a gas can in their hand without so much as the thought to even roll down their mataphorical windows and offer to help.

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