Love is not Enough

Couple on Horses Riding off into the SunsetWe’ve all seen the movies where a couple, after overcoming every obstacle and hardship in their path, ride blissfully off into the sunset to a glorious—if uncertain—future, sustained by the enduring power of their love.  Well, I’ve been called a cynic and kill-joy, but I’m here to tell you that love is not enough to sustain a long-term relationship.  Love is, undoubtedly, a beautiful and wonderful thing, but it is not all-powerful, capable of vanquishing any and all demons from your relationship.

Maintaining a long-term relationship is difficult for a myriad of reasons.  If you live together, there are questions of finances and shared decisions about managing the household.  There can also be resentments about an unequal distribution of household chores or other similarly laborious—and necessary—tasks.  Love itself changes the longer that people remain together, and not all couples can survive onceCouple Fighting the all-consuming “honeymoon phase” (when your partner can do no wrong) has ended, and you are confronted with an ever-growing list of his faults.  It’s also normal for people to develop feelings for other people even while in a relationship—feelings that, particularly if the relationship is fraying at the edges—they may decide to act upon.  And children, of course, throw everything onto an entirely different plane of conflict and stress altogether.

The view that “love can conquer all” is foolish partially because it places too much stress on your relationship.  If you hate everything about your life except for your relationship (and particularly if you hate everything else because of changes that you’ve had to make to stay in your relationship), every bump or brief rocky patch that you experience within your relationship will seem like a much bigger problem than it actually is.  You may, in addition, become overly clingy or dependent upon your boyfriend, thus increasing the likelihood that he will dump you in order to find someone else who actually has a life of her own.

Do yourself a favor–have a life of your own, and resist the temptation to solely fashion your life around his decisions, preferences and desires.  You’ll enjoy your life more, in addition to making it more likely that the relationship you value so highly will survive.  heart

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