An author called Chapman wrote: “Being in love is not an adequate foundation for building a successful relationship.” It goes against everything we’re taught socially about love and marriage. The songs tell us that, “all you need is love” and “if I had you, that would be the only thing I’d ever need”. But there’s more to a relationship than that.
Love alone is not enough. It really isn’t. It might not sound romantic, but it is so so so true. We’ve lost the meaning of what “love” is. We can say “I LOVE my new shoes” and “I love you” and it sounds like the same word. Hollywood’s romantic comedies tell us that love is a fantastic chemical reaction in your brain that triggers intense feelings of joy, passion and butterflies. Love can be that, but if that’s your whole picture of love then be prepared for a bit of a reality shocker. While these intense feelings are real, there’s more to love than that. The butterflies are not what make up the deep binding kind of love that will last through the trials a relationship brings. Rather than relying solely on a romanticized version of love, Chapman lists five foundations you can really build a relationship on. You need spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social and physical foundations. Intimacy on each of these levels is essential. We’re told that physical attraction is the most important, but I think that it’s the least. An accident or illness, heck, even gravity, can change a person’s physical attractiveness. Don’t build a relationship on something so temporary.
Also, when looking at emotional intimacy, don’t confuse that with happiness. Emotional intimacy is a mutual sense of security and acceptance. (I’ve heard it said, and I believe this to be true, that pursuing personal happiness at all costs is a sure way for no one to be happy.) And a word once spoken is as hard to take back as a bag of feathers that was opened to the wind.
I think the main foundational piece to building a successful relationship…not feelings of “love”, but actions of togetherness.
What I wanna say with all this is: it’s not enough to just love someone. You need a connection, togetherness, understanding. Of course love is necessary, but there’s more than that. And why I’m coming up with this topic today is because I’m thinking a lot about it lately. Because I still love my ex who also is the father of my child, but I could never be with him again. The feelings are not enough for a successful relationship, not for a mature one. The connection we once had is lost. I can’t forgive him for the way he acted. Right now I still want him in my heart, but not in my life. Both things just are not possible at the same time. And that hurts, of course it does. But all I can do right now is focus on the future, not the past. And he can only be in one of those times. It makes me sad to see what happened to us, but also glad because therefore I finally realized who he has actually always been. An immature egoistic self-pitying child, incapable of having a functional relationship. Sometimes I wish I would have never found it out, but the part of me that’s not been blinded by love knows that’s wrong.
I love him, but I can’t be with him. Sometimes, love is just not enough.