Over the years in my previous relationships, I discover that Love is not the basis of any relationship. Love alone cannot help you stick to one person. After all, cheating is not always a product of not loving your partner. In fact, loving someone does not guarantee not falling in love with any other person.
I’ve spent the past year looking for love and wondering why everyone keeps saying it isn’t enough. In the process, I’ve spent hours in conversation with men and women from across the world, recording their stories.
Two of the most commonly used words to describe successful relationships were not four letter words starting with “L” … they were “compromise” and “sacrifice.” Yet, according to Relationships Australia, over 90 percent of us still say we marry for love.
This very notion renders the institution of marriage even more fragile than ever before. And sadly, the divorce rate also shows that about 50 percent of us are kidding ourselves when we marry for love (and for ever after).
What does this say for the future of marriage? I don’t know. I’m not married so I’m probably not the most qualified person to talk about it. But despite our changing society and increasing divorce rates, there are still couples who hold on. How do they do it?
Relationships work out mostly because of our head not our heart; It works out because of emotional maturity, empathetic intelligence and self-discipline. You see, times will come when you will see people that are better than the one you are in a relationship with. In those times, Love will not help you, Self-control, Emotional intelligence and commitment will.
No matter how you feel for someone, the person you are committed to ranks first in your life. You think married people don’t see better people than the ones they married? You think they don’t feel funny sometimes? You think they don’t catch feelings? They do! But understanding that commitment is greater than feelings is a great arsenal to destroy that impulse. You can fall in love with anyone, but building a relationship takes absolutely more than what attracted you to them. It takes more than Love.
We are too fond of loving when it’s convenient, when it’s sweet. We are too fond of loving when love is there but that can only last for just the first 3-6 months in fact years of the relationship. After then, You will realise that the feelings have dropped, It is now your responsibility to make it work, not love’s responsibility!
Building a relationship is hard work, it’s like building a career, and it’s like pursuing a dream. It’s always tough, it will sometimes be so bitter but you can always make it work through hard work.
Here’s some of the advice I received about what makes a happy relationship:
‘’…don’t assume that your partner is coping the same way you are.’’ —Joseph
Talk about things that are important to you, practice being open and honest with your partner from the very beginning, and remember that human beings aren’t mind readers. If you don’t communicate with your partner, they’re not going to guess what’s going through your mind.
‘’ …the first thing you’ve got to do is learn to love yourself.’’ —Marjewel
You, on your own, are a complete person. You are capable of love and being loved but learn to love yourself first. Relationships aren’t about two halves making a whole; they’re about two wholes forming a partnership and to do that you have to be a whole to begin with.
‘’Being in love is about wanting to be with someone forever. While I don’t think I am naive enough to believe that we all stay with that one person forever, I think the minute you stop wanting to be with someone forever is when you know you are no longer truly in love with them.’’ —Chioma
Live in the short term but think in the long term. We all know that happily ever after doesn’t really exist but you’ve got to hope that it can.
‘’ …our relationship needed to go through everything that it has to make it what it is today. Love means you have to be sacrificial.’’ —Benson
People don’t like to think of sacrifice when they think of relationships but unfortunately you make many sacrifices for the sake of love (and your loved ones). Just remember, when you make those sacrifices you don’t have to make your partner feel guilty. And both of you should make sacrifices. Be sure you’re making the right decision and communicate the whole way through the decision-making process.
‘’We sat quietly on our veranda; cried together in raw emotional pain at three o’clock in the morning on the kitchen floor; and picked weeds from the front lawn. Through these simple tasks, through the authentic release of pain and emotion, our love grew.’’ —Joy
Sometimes love’s going to hurt. But when you get through the not-so-good stuff you’re stronger, happier and healthier for it.
‘’That feeling you had at the beginning fades and that’s okay, because you develop other feelings that can be even better, more meaningful.’’ —Micah
He’s right a thousand times over. Your relationship is going to change. Enjoy the change —even embrace the change—but don’t run from it or think there’s something broken.
My Advice? I learned to not be too proud to ask for help. There are people who genuinely care and want to help you (either individually or as a couple). Ask for help, learn from others and make informed decisions about your relationship.
It takes two to tangle!
Do you have any advice about love? Please share in the comments section below or join our CHAT FORUM