Love seems to be the easy part. People are falling in and out of love every day, and most have no clue why. But there are others who, despite everything that is wrong with a “loving” relationship, have decided that love alone is the reason to stay–and mind you, some people are being treated really badly. While the thought of staying committed to the love you have for this person is admirable, and is right up there with enduring a marriage that is failing for the sake of your children…the truth is…love may not be enough, and here are a few reasons why.
Reason One: Love is not synonymous with respect.
If the person that you love doesn’t respect you, then that is a problem. When your memories of this special person in your life are littered with thoughts of their cheating activities, their lies, and even their bad habits, and the negative effect that they have on you, this is not about whether you love them, this is now a question of whether you love yourself.
Reason Two: You may love them, but like them? Eh.
CONFESSION: I spent a long time with a person that I loved, but didn’t like. While some people will say that love is more important, like is the glue that holds things together. When I like you, it means that on a basic human level, I think you’re a nice person, a great guy or girl, and that you’re friend material. Being friend material, and having a friendship within a romantic relationship is optimal.
Reason Three: They do not love you the way you should be loved.
This is usually the problem that most people encounter when they love someone, but the relationship is not quite right. Just because someone claims to “love you,” that doesn’t mean that they know exactly what that means, or what it means to you. There are entire programs, like the 5 Love Languages, that try to show people what love language they actually speak. Some, like me, prioritize quality time, while others gifts or words of affirmation. If the relationship works, but something is a little off–this may be a place to start. However, if the relationship doesn’t work (this means that you spend more time crying than smiling), then there is a bigger problem. It’s time to sit down, perhaps use my SWOT Analysis Tool, which is in The Business of Dating to figure out what is going on. (Click here to get the tool.) When someone doesn’t love you the way you deserve to be loved–with respect, friendship, honesty, giving (of their time, energy and emotions) and commitment–that is not something that should be ignored, nor is it something that will go away. It is a serious situation that requires a response.
In conclusion, it just must be said that love is not enough for a relationship to survive and thrive. Sometimes we have to admit that and move on. However, whatever you decide, do what’s best for you, and be encouraged by the lessons this situation has taught you. There’s ALWAYS a lesson.