Is love enough to make a relationship work?

#353 - Are you dating in a world of reality or a world of fantasy?

From time to time, I enjoy engaging with strangers on social media. If you do it sincerely you can many times come away with a different perspective or at least an understanding of someone else’s way of thinking. When I do this I recognize there are generally one of three things that can happen.

  1. You’ll have a respectful conversation and one of you will come away with a new perspective.
  2. You’ll both share your ideas and neither of you will be convinced of the other’s point of view.
  3. People come out of the woodwork to attack you and your ideas.

I generally try to walk away from these types of conversations simply for the fact that they rarely end well. Yesterday, a Facebook friend (someone I’ve never met) posted a public question “Love is Enough…or Love is NOT Enough???” Well…I just couldn’t resist so I took the bait!

My response was, “Love is NEVER enough. I’ve loved a woman for more than 10 years but it’s not enough to bring us together as a couple. Love is enough if you only want a relationship from hell marked with short periods of warm fuzzy feelings.”

There ended up being a back-and-forth conversation between three of us. The two young women were of the belief that love will overcome everything as long as you’re willing to compromise otherwise you’re just too self-centered. As an example, one of them pointed out that Romeo and Juliet came from completely different backgrounds and were still madly in love.

I then pointed out that in spite of their love they both ended up dead at age 16. While quaint and romantic, their love was not enough to sustain them for a lifetime. Their emotions got the best of them.

Movies like The Notebook and The Princess Bride are wonderful love stories, two of my favorites in fact. But they are just that…stories. They’re not real life. They have script writers to create the perfect story line. Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl and they start dating. They break up, they get back together and live happily ever after.

You and I don’t have script writers to write us the perfect story plot or the perfect lines. The 20 and 30 somethings I was having a conversation with on Facebook are still living in their idealistic fantasy world. Theirs is a world of naivete where your love and for each other can conquer all. One day they will get smacked upside the head by the reality of life and wonder what happened.

After more than 50 years of dating, relationships, and coaching experience, the world (along with you all) have taught me a few things.

  1. God needs to be at the center of your relationship.
  2. You have to develop a strong Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual, and Physical connection.
  3. The more you have in common the stronger your relationship will be.
  4. It’s okay to compromise on where you go for dinner or even where you squeeze the tube of toothpaste. It’s not okay to compromise your morals, values, or who you are as a person.
  5. If you have to reinvent yourself to make a relationship work, you’re in the wrong relationship.

All relationships are going to take work. The question is, do you want to keep on trying to fixing a broken relationship for the rest of your life or do you want to work on a healthy, thriving, loving relationship? The difference is with one, you’re struggling to keep the relationship together whereas the other you’re doing the regular maintenance to keep the relationship strong and healthy (which is much easier, by the way).

It’s easy to get drawn into believing the romantic novels and movies and that their story lines can happen in real life especially when you’re a 20 or 30 something. Years of real-life experience will either draw you back to reality or make you a cynic and hopefully not both.

There are so many great things that can come from finding your extraordinary relationship. The greatest of those is finding love for your lifetime.

That’s this week’s food for thought.

If you're a Mid-life Single struggling to find a healthy relationship, you're in the right place. I've helped hundreds of Mid-life Singles over the past 10 years. I've been able to show them how to create better dating opportunities by Dating Intentionally so that their dating life is made simple. If you'd like to learn more about Dating Intentionally, request a free 30-minute consultation. Just email me at [email protected]. Let's see if you're someone I can help too.