Thought Catalog
January 21, 2016

Why Love Alone Is Never Enough

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Twenty20 _saraheiseman_
Twenty20 _saraheiseman_

The past year I’ve witnessed more breakups than any other year. Breakups I didn’t see coming, breakups the couple involved didn’t see coming. The common factor in most of these breakups was that the love was still very much there, strongly present, yet it wasn’t enough to keep the relationship going. I fought for the idea that love conquers all, that love makes anything work, even the hardest of relationships. But then I realized that love alone is not enough. It is the pillar you build the relationship on, but it is not the fuel that keeps it going.

You can love someone who is not right for you.

You can truly love someone but they still won’t be right for you. You can be either too similar or too different to the point that you can’t really meet half-way. You both can be too stubborn to admit it, and even more stubborn to end the relationship. Eventually though, loving someone who is not right for you can feel like tug of war, you keep pulling and pulling until someone slips away.

You can love someone but the timing won’t be right.

You can do whatever it takes to make it work, but one of you may still not be ready to take the next step. One of you may be tired of waiting for the next step. One of you may get a big shot at a dream job and abandon everything else. One of you may just be starting grad school and want to solely focus on their education. Whatever the reason may be, it’s hard to schedule a meeting when your life timetables are not aligning.

You can love someone but the parents can get in the way.

Even though it’s 2016 and our generation is more independent than ever, parents still have a say one way or another. You can be in love with each other, but if her dad is not a big fan or his mom is not a big fan, the relationship is doomed. A relationship that doesn’t have the parents’ blessing is usually not blessed. Curse the stars, curse the universe, it’s hard to fight the parental force once it gets a hold of you.

You can love someone who needs help.

You can be in love with someone who needs help, and I mean clinical help. We are all crazy in our own way, but some people truly need therapy, and until they fix themselves, you can’t really fix them. You can try to help, you can be supportive, you can be the most loving and nurturing person out there, but you still won’t be their remedy. And they can love with all they’ve got, but because they’re their own worst enemy, or because they are damaged, they will most likely destroy the relationship along the way. It’s what they know, it’s what they understand, and until they get help, there is no way the relationship will survive.

You can love someone that you can’t keep up with.

You can love someone but you fight 50 times a day. You can love someone who is always working. You can love someone who is always on their phone. You can love someone who can’t open up about their feelings. You can love someone who changes their mind like they change their outfits. While you may think that love can outdo all of the above, sometimes it can’t. Sometimes it gets exhausting to keep up. It drains you when you can’t foretell what kind of person you will have to deal with. It sucks the happiness out of you to know that you are coming up against a brick wall. Love can start to feel like hard work — work you just can’t put up with anymore even though you need it, even though you love it.

You can love someone who makes you love yourself a little less.

It’s paradoxical and ironic and sadistic that someone can love you to an extent that makes you not love yourself. Love is a drug, and sometimes the high of the drug fizzles out and you are left with anger and anxiety and the need for a fix that is not always obtainable. You can’t go without it, but you know it is slowly killing you. Some people love each other so much but there is no understanding, there is no patience, there is no peace, there is no tolerance. The truth of the matter is that love only works when it is combined with a bunch of other factors to make it grow; like respect, humility, compatibility and commitment. Relationships based on the feelings of love alone crumble, because love can’t stand on its own, and love does not always equal happily ever after.  TC mark