Is Love Enough
In the many, many, many tries at love I have made, the one blaring question that sticks out like a neon sign: IS LOVE ENOUGH?
You know it, I know it, the 18-year-old finding first love doesn’t know it, the young southern bell who marries for stature knows it, the two lovers who meet on a Vegas vacation and marry don’t know it….
When is love enough?
Well, first of all, let’s define love. Love is not carnal desire or passion. Love is a deep respect for another person. Love is a subconscious drive that presses you forward into unchartered emotions when you are afraid. Love is built on trust, security, and faith. But mostly love is about giving each other space to breathe and to grow, and to be the support under which the manifestations of dreams come forth.
That being said, is that enough to make relationship work?
The unfortunate answer is no.
The one important feature in relationship that people never discuss until it’s too late is the couple’s journey toward the same destiny. This could be as simple as “Do you want to watch the same television shows at night.” Because if you don’t, there goes 3 hours wasted, when you are completely separated and could be enjoying something together.
Not working could be as simple as “I love wearing cologne.” The challenge, “I’m allergic to cologne. It gives me migraines.”
It could be as grand as, I have enough money in my bank account to go travel to Hawaii every two month to surf and you have to stay at home and work. But I still want to go for two weeks and that is something you are simply going to have to deal with.
It could be two great people with two diverse jobs, one requiring many hours divested in intricate thinking and the other in a job that is completely peaceful. Each now has a different way of wanting to rest. Who gets to have peace and who wants to go out dancing?
Not working may be the opposite of too good. This happens when two people have almost everything in common, and they both share great entrepreneurial expertise and work at home. They simple get sick of being around each other.
It could be as complex as religious beliefs. One person thinks that God would be okay with polygamy. The other one is so traumatized by his past, he can’t imagine sharing his partner with anyone and won’t settle for anything but monogamy.
I have been in or have been close to all these circumstances, and let me say first hand, love just wasn’t enough. Respect wasn’t enough. Trying to create balance by give and take wasn’t enough. Eating my words and swallowing my pride to accommodate my partner’s truth, wasn’t the answer. The only thing I came to is separation.
So, is love enough? No again.
What makes for the best relationships? Mutual beliefs. You meet someone that is a part of your church or your political party. You begin a life that is based on something solid. You decide if the attraction is right. But the most important facet of the working relationship is: Are your dreams the same! And a good look at how you would face life on a day-to-day basis is the way to discover if your love interest would be a good partner.
Things to ask:
Do you usually brush your teeth before you kiss?
Are you obsessed with cleanliness?
Are you obsessive compulsive about things in your life? What might those things be? (your car can’t be touched, your things on your desk can’t be changed around, don’t try to take a drink out of the same glass as I…)
What kind of food do you like? (is one a vegan and the other a Brazilian carnivore?)
Do you have to make the bed as soon as you get up?
How many cups of coffee do you drink a day? (sometimes 5 cups of Starbuck can not only be a big expense, but can make a person crazy by midday)?
How do you spend your money—conservatively or frivolously?
You may be thinking to yourself, come on Bo, really?
Trust me, these menial things are the kinds of situations that break up great relationships. Then you add children to the mix and how each would raise a child, and the complications get worse.
Marriage and cohabitation is not something to take lightly. It’s very interesting, too, how a great deal of these habits and dislikes above don’t come out until you are actually living with the person. Then it is a process of making concessions. And believe me, no one wants to do that, especially as you get older.
So, is it any wonder that people of my age are staying single and can’t find partners? I can see why and how often I share with my clients about the likelihood of finding that person who will fulfill this template. It’s not an easy one to find.
So, if you really want relationship, what most of us do is settle. We look at the long list of things that our partner is and isn’t and think: Is this something I can live with the rest of my life?
Maybe that’s a good thing. May that will help us grow into more compassionate individuals and better people. I certainly hope so.
But for the last 6 years I have been on an adventure to find that right person. I have gotten so close. Wonderful men have come into my life and have had such great qualities. I love them all still. But there were ways I could see that our lives just wouldn’t jive as we moved forward, so I moved on.
Sometimes I mourn in my heart for not having the fortitude for trying to work it out. Then most times I congratulate myself for respecting my wants and desires enough to move on, even though I loved big and without restraint.
Ultimately, you have to choose. As a wise person said to me, “It would be better to be in no relationship, than be with the wrong person.”
- Drinking Rum and Coca-Cola of Pimping Out a Friend
- Walking the Path