Are you a sceptic? Or have the movies and Nicholas Sparks and the likes of him been lying to the whole of humanity? Does love really sustain the world and make it go round? Or is there more to having satisfying relationships that add meaning to our lives?
There are many theories that support either side of the argument. Some may think few things can replace the gratification the sentiment of love has to offer while the non-purists may conform to more structured, rational explanations.
Human beings are social animals. While it is important for all of us to have lasting relationships that serve our well-being, initial attraction can often be misleading. It is important for two people to get along in the absence of attraction. Sustaining a relationship requires effort, and these efforts are not necessarily rooted in one’s love for each other.
Here are 7 strong reasons why love alone cannot sustain a romantic relationship.
1. People evolve at different rates.
You might have found each other at the right time. But that does not ensure that you will evolve within the society at an equal rate. Your growth as individuals may take place within different settings and oftentimes, one cannot match the speed of another. It takes a lot more than love and attraction to sustain the relationship when the two of you are on completely different paths and have very little in common. This is a fact hard to swallow in the beginning of a relationship when everything you do is deeply coming from a place of intense love and attraction. But as time goes on, facing this truth, its harsh and glaring reality will take effort.
2. Love does not equal trust.
We often fail to ensure that we fully trust our significant other when we are overwhelmed by feelings of affection for them. Do you trust your partner enough to not have an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach when they are out with people you do not know (or worse, know really well)? There is nothing better than love embedded on a strong foundation of trust. However, when the initial high wears off and the peace of the togetherness sets in, it is really important to work on your trust issues to ensure harmony within your relationship.
3. A toxic relationship can take a toll on your self-esteem.
It is important to not omit the unhelpful traits your partner brings to the table. Sure, you would want to love them despite everything they are. Aren’t strong relationships based on complete acceptance of each other? True. However, one needs to know where to draw the line. If loving someone despite all their flaws is making you love yourself a little lesser than you did yesterday, is this relationship for you? You have to draw clear boundaries on what isn’t good for you. And demanding these boundaries from your partner is going to require a lot of self-esteem. However, in the long run, this is what will help you sustain good mental health.
4. Communication is subjective.
Incessant sharing of details does not mean good communication. Let that sink in. Just because you love somebody doesn’t mean you owe them all the details to your life. Your well-being can be enhanced by this relationship, but it cannot depend on it. While honest and uncensored communication is good for the health of a relationship, know the difference between sharing and oversharing.
5. Compatibility is hard to predict.
While you may get along in the initial stages of your relationship because it is riding on a lot of emotion and excitement, it is important to know that this excitement does not mean compatibility. There are various aspects of your relationship that determine if you are compatible like your ideologies, finances and self-respect levels. All these are only obvious once the initial stage is over. How compatible are you? (Insert hyperlink here).
6. Persistence is key.
When the initial excitement of the relationship is over, there is the possibility of boredom setting in. Are you both peacefully used to each other, or are their flaws becoming far too much to put up with? The key to a healthy relationship is consistently investing towards making it work. This goes above and beyond your usual flowers and chocolate romance and requires complete acceptance of each other in the lack of excitement.
7. What you want VS what you need.
Depending on your conditioning and exposure to modern pop-culture, your ideas of love might range from anywhere between realistic to superficial. What one needs on an individual level is the peace of a satisfying relationship and a sense of belonging. Instead, one might often end up seeking ego-boosts instead. While this is a perfectly natural need, it is important to realise that what you want and what you need are probably very different things. It is unfair to make the relationship carry the weight of both. While love is the foundation on which you build a romantic relationship, it is not enough to ensure long-lasting happiness. A lot of effort and basic compatibility is highly essential to begin with. Do you know if your relationship has it all?