It’s Not About Love

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Photo – samcaplat/Flickr

I am a bit obsessed with figuring relationships out. Probably a good thing considering my chosen field right?

Growing up in a household where my mom and dad (in my humble opinion) should have never been married, had me questioning love, marriage and relationships for as long as I can remember.

What is the secret to a long lasting relationship?

How does one have a healthy relationship?

What is needed to make it work?

In my years of observing, studying and experiencing relationships for myself, I have come to the following conclusion:

It’s not about love.

Yes love is important and it is a foundational piece in a relationship, however it is not the end all be all. Just like sex cannot be the end all be all.

It’s about having your needs and wants met.

A relationship is complex. There are multiple facets to it. For it to work, all of the components need to be there and functioning, or at least a majority of them.

Within that is communication, connection, honesty, respect, admiration, love, etc. Those are the tools in order to meet each other’s needs.

A relationship can only go so far before it stalls or deteriorates if the fundamental pieces are not operating in a healthy capacity.

It is about both people wondering “What can I bring to the table and how can I make this relationship work?” on a constant basis.

I have been coming to this realization from a very personal and recent place.

Not even two days ago, I had the conversation that most people dread. My romantic relationship had been in a rough spot for a couple of months now and was inevitably coming to an end.

Regardless of how much we loved each other, it simply was not working. He was not in a place in his life where he had the capacity for a relationship. I on the other hand was, and still very much am. I want, and am willing to do the necessary work, to have a relationship.

We were on the same page in one respect … this relationship was not working. For either of us.

As I mentioned, it’s not about love. Because I love that man more than I have ever loved anyone before.

Being with him and loving him, I learned unconditional. I learned to be open, honest and vulnerable. I learned to face my fears and communicate them to someone who compassionately held me and my fears while I worked through them. And he, in turn, loves me (present tense). This I know undoubtedly.

Yet my needs and wants were not getting met. I barely heard from him in between visits. He rarely reached out or planned the next time we would see each other. Super important things for someone like me who travels a majority of the time. His schedule got busier and my place in his life became smaller and smaller.

I felt more alone in my relationship than I did when I was single.

His needs and wants were space and self-reflection.  There was no room in his life, physically or emotionally for a relationship. Had nothing to do with me or how much he loved me. I could see how much it pained him to be with me and not be able to give me what I needed.

At the end of the day, as a couple, the foundational piece was missing for us:

The desire of both parties to do whatever is needed to make sure the relationship is thriving and growing.

No matter how much you like, or love, the person you are dating, or in relationship with, if you are unable to meet each other’s needs, then what is the point?

I am not speaking from a bitter place, but from a truthful one. Were tears shed as my relationship with someone I loved dearly came to an end? Absolutely. Yet I was not happy and needed to do something about it. I knew it was the right thing to do, especially for the future of my love life.

I want us all to have relationships that are fulfilling, inspiring and solid. I want us to experience being cared for, taken care of and adored.

All of this is possible. But it takes work. Can’t have the hot bod without time spent in the gym. Same goes for relationships.

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P.S. If you are ready to call in your ideal partner and have the kind of relationship you have been dreaming about, for like forever, click HERE to check out the Virtual Love Course I have cooked up. Holiday Discount until end of January 2016! 

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4 Responses to It’s Not About Love

  1. Aaron F. Steinberg August 2, 2013 at 4:03 am #

    I think there is an incredible amount of truth to this. I think that, for the most part, many, if not most, people want romance to be eight parts magic and one part practicality. This, to me, is simply a false idea. Relationships are one part magic and maybe a few parts practicality.

    On the other hand, I could say that the exact opposite of this is true, and perhaps more so. What do you think love is? I tend to think it’s the emotions, instincts, actions, and connections, that go along with the feeling of being committed to someone’s well-being in the same way you are committed to your own, for something approximating a lifetime. You could then say that the proportion of relationship we have with someone is equivalent to this commitment (perhaps this is why there are so many people I’m attracted to in many different ways that I don’t want to actually date). So what is the factor that motivates you to meet those needs and work to get yours met? Is it not love? Is love not the entire basis for the drive to do the required hard work?

    It sounds to me as I say this that I’m arguing that you actually didn’t love your partner enough, or came to the realization that he didn’t love you enough–i.e. you each weren’t committed to each others’ well-being in a strong enough way–to make it work, get your needs met and meet his. You decided it wasn’t worth the time, because you knew intuitively that someone must exist out there that you can love more. And, in fact, I may be arguing for this–I’m not totally sure.

    I don’t really have a conclusion here. These are just some things that came to mind in reading your article.

    • elizabeth August 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      If we take the assumption that we can’t love another person until we love ourselves, isn’t there a space, then, where if we need certain things (space, time alone, etc) to be happy with ourselves but is the opposite of what our partner needs, well can’t it be that you do love each other, but situationally it’s too much of a challenge? If needing to be with my partner frequently for them to be happy causes me stress and to be less happy, I think I can most certainly still love them but acknowledge why I must let them go.

  2. Emily June 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    Good article- interesting read. Having done a lot of self help work on myself before embarking on a relationship myself I have definitely found there are lots of sets of needs and wants to be considered. I do believe relationships are about love though- the kind of unconditional love that is there constantly helping each other to grow and develop both alone and as a couple. My partner and I talk together to establish what our individual wants and needs are but if they don’t match up it doesn’t mean the end of the relationship, because that love is still there. It is down to me to be able to communicate my needs (afterall whoever I am attracting is a mirror of where I am in life) and my partner to communicate his. We then meet in the middle – and COMPROMISE. I think in a longer term relationship you can’t just give up if your needs aren’t being met. Otherwise we can end up constantly searching for perfection and a man that first exist only to miss what we have under our noses. Learning to love myself helps me be concise with my needs and to appreciate my boyfriend can’t always meet them- there are lots of other people in my life I can share the load with!

    • Natalie June 24, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

      I definitely hear you Emily … and I do believe Love is the base but so often I see people hang on to situations that do not serve either person because they love the person, or the other person loves them. Relationships are more than love. It is a commitment, it is communication, it is COMPROMISE as you said. I don’t disagree with anything you said, I am in 100% agreement. For sure! Thanks for taking the time to give your feedback my dear! XO, Natalie

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