There’s seems to be an enduring romantic notion that good relationships just happen and you don’t need to work at them.
That love alone should be enough to make things work. That a good relationship should be effortless and any signs of trouble mean the relationship isn’t worth saving because it’s not “right” and so the only option is to end it and search for the truly perfect relationship.
There is no perfect relationship
Most of us know deep down the notion of perfection is wrong, and that all relationships need nurturing. We know there is no perfect relationship because we are not perfect. Even couples who consider themselves ‘soul mates’ need to work at it.
We’re different to our partner in many ways, we have different views. We can’t read their minds (thank goodness), we all carry around a lot of emotional baggage, and have hang ups and faults…
This means good relationships always require work and effort. There are no exceptions. Love is an essential part, but it’s not enough on its own. Day by day, month by month, year by year, you have to nurture your relationship.
Love doesn’t conquer all
Love does NOT conquer all. You can love your partner with all your heart and still wind up in a relationship that is damaging and dysfunctional.
I’m sure you know of someone who loves their partner yet is regularly abused by them in some way. In such cases, the abused person’s love is misguided and self-harming. No amount of their love can turn a bad relationship into a good relationship. You can’t change an abusive person into a loving, respectful partner if they don’t want to change.
Love is not enough. Period. It’s a good place to start, but you need to back it up with trust, patience, communication (listen as much if not more than you speak), sharing, respect, support, kindness and commitment. And you need a partner who is willing to work at the relationship as much as you are.
It takes work to keep the love alive and strong in a good relationship, but the best things in life are worth the effort. 🙂
Good relationships don’t just happen. You create them with trust, patience, communication, sharing, respect, support and commitment. And love – but love alone is not enough.