Hot Topic: Is Love Enough?Jason Firmager
The purpose of my blog on love and relationships? … Well, my life as a spectator is constantly throwing me a vast array of love topics which propel me, often with great speed to my laptop. I love to write, offering up my perspective in a “me, you” discussion and then I like to offer advice as an “experiencer” first, then an educator, on what maybe happening. It’s then up to you and your innate wisdom to take from it what feels right.
Would you do anything for love? And when you find love with another is it enough to have a long lasting and happy relationship?
I have experienced many people over the years, myself included, sniffing over another box of man sized tissues while whining “but I love him or her” when a relationship is clearly not going well. The pain in the body and soul is excruciating and yet we chain ourselves to love like Emily Pankhurst. Seems bizarre on some levels but we all do it.
Lately, the mantra “love is not enough” keeps playing in my mind and rolling off my tongue to those who want to catch it. I see people in relationships where what they truly want, need or desire is not being wholesomely fulfilled, but they feel this indefinable thing called “love” and it keeps them staying where they are and putting up with less than ok.
Katie Hendricks, a renowned relationship expert, said on a recent podcast, we need to know what our 3 “must haves” and 3 “absolute no-no’s” in order to have the relationship that feels good. That was an eye opener for me because I can think of many past relationships where several no-no’s were present and yet I was convinced that loving the person was enough and that love would win over all in the end. Doh!
A “must have” for you could be someone who is into spiritual and self development and although I interject here, saying that I don’t necessarily think relationships work when two people are “tooled” up, having someone who has common interests and hobbies may make the relationship easier and better. That’s really it isn’t it. When love is tough more than it’s good, we must look at the elements of why.
I know for me the above “must have” is present in my relationship and this common ground we share, deepens our love. A wonderful thing and because my beloved has worked on himself extensively our relationship is all the easier because of it. ( I have too by the way…lol!).
Having different backgrounds and upbringings can irk at a relationship as well. My ex-husband and I had completely different upbringings. He grew up with 3 brothers and a mum who had a string of different men and husbands and Neil never felt that love was safe and long lasting. I loved him so very deeply but the differences tore us apart in the end. I believe that you get married for life, but he had experienced several marriages during his parenting and so felt that it was ok to jump in and out of marriages willy nilly.
A “must have” for you might be someone without children. If you are childless and you meet someone with children then the dynamics are completely different. They will have daddy and mummy time and you will have to fit in, like it or lump it. If you are not up to it then don’t go and fall in love with someone who has kids, simples! I don’t mean to sound hard but a girlfriend I know has a relationship with a man who is the sole caretaker for his son. She has 2 grown up sons who are not at home and she wants her man and lots of time with him to explore the world and life. A natural desire I feel. It has caused great angst in the past because maybe it is a no no for her deep down and yet it is so not easy because she will have to be a mum to her man’s son in many ways.
Distance between you if you live in different parts of the country or the world, will cause angst at some point. Love falters unless you are in the same room for good periods of time because connection is largely based on physical closeness. I once had a boyfriend who lived only 2 hours away but the distance did cause friction. We used to ag over who would go to who’s at the weekend etc. Eventually comes the decision, who is going to move to who? A move is a big decision and the depth and quality of your love comes under the spotlight. Is love really enough when you could be way away from friends, family, work/business and your whole life?
People break up over distance problems, the “wrong time in life to meet”, large age gaps, different upbringings, different cultural backgrounds, different religious/spiritual standings and other things, all the time.
How many times have you been in the pub or sat with a group of mates where the hot topic is of a relationship break and they list all the reasons why it didn’t work which often have nothing to do with love? So love wasn’t enough then?! Yes some people will say “we fell out of love” and I really hear that and that’s a subject for another article but generally life consists of many elements that all need to come together nicely for love to feel like it has got fertile ground to flower.
So what can you do? Well it’s all about risk mitigation if you are cautious type. I used to oscillate regularly from the cautious type to throwing all caution to the wind. So ouch!
Let’s look at this inflated example to get the thought juices flowing. If you meet a man/woman in a bar who is totally gorgeous but they have 4 ex marriages, a string of kids, they live in Timbuktu and regularly sacrifice lambs on an alter and expect you to be circumcised before you have sex, then I guarantee that no matter how hot they are, love won’t be enough in the end. Get my point? But we often choose not to hear the important stuff up front because the lust goggles cloud your vision.
To singletons I always say, I know many times you just can’t help who you are attracted to, but throw in a huge dollop of discernment where you can. What I mean by that is stand back and spectate on a prospective mate and see if who they are and what they are about is likely to make love easy or not! It will save you time and heartache. It is a choice.
When people start dating the key stuff is usually known up front over a bottle of wine or two. Where they live, have they been married, have they got kids. During the honeymoon stage all this seems irrelevant because you just “wanna to be togever”. But as the chemicals of war kick in the next phase, fondly knows as the friction zone, these things are up for discussion and often argued over.
To marrieds and long term daters I would ask…now you know this person you co-habit with, is love enough? Many may say will say yes every time but I am talking to those who may say “errrr no actually.” If you are with someone and life is difficult with your partner/spouse but you “love ‘em” ask yourself if you want to spend your life like this or do you want it easier? Assuming you say yes to that, get talking to your partner, always from a place of “I feel” or “what I really need to feel happy is..” Try not to tell them what wrong with what they are doing. Defence lines build that way. If this is where you are at but feel at a loss to know how to go about communicating your concerns then give me a call.
I am always here to offer support and advice and to set the way for a new perhaps renewed path to love or to find a way to say goodbye nicely because love is not enough. I offer a number of ways to help from phone to Skype to 1:1 in person sessions.
No-one said you had to put up with and adapt yourself and even prostitute you heart, for love. You can choose more difficult mates by not seeing or not wanting to see what are really absolute no-no’s for you. Making love easy is a choice. What’s it going to be for you?
‘Til next time my little love students
by Gina Hardy