Although people long for love, that does not mean all people can give love, or are able to receive it from another. Some people have personalities where intimacy and love cannot thrive. They can get only so close before they pull away, or worse, they use a pretense of love to get what they want.
To make a love relationship work requires that partners are emotionally healthy and relatively balanced human beings. They must take responsibility for their actions and have the courage to share their hearts with another.
The Need for a Realistic Perspective
It’s wise to think about “love assumptions” before starting a relationship. Many people are in romantic arrangements, not in love, because a true love relationship is not all about how a person qualifies and performs against a checklist. It is about harmonious balance between two people who honor one another as individuals, despite their paired identity. In true love, you will at times take more than you give, other times you will give more than you get. It’s not about keeping “score,” it’s about the expansive flow of energy from your heart to your beloved’s and back again.
Since relationships involve the rise and fall of emotional states, partners often experience unhappiness with one another from time to time. This is normal. But when the unhappiness becomes chronic, it’s time to work together on the relationship.
Many people who should end a relationship hang on when they should let go. Some try to endure a bad marriage by stepping outside the relationship for relief. Some people are with an incompatible partner that they tied up with in their youth, when a rush of hormonal highs and romanticized attraction was mistaken for a lifelong love—a “soul mate.” More than a few couples are together because their current partner was grabbed on the rebound from a previously failed relationship. Some stay because of the guilt associated with dissolution, financial worries, and a fear of the unknown.
There are far more unhappy relationships than many single people realize.
So if you’re a single person, feeling like the world is overflowing with happy lovers and that you’re left out, you can take comfort in the truth that the grass isn’t greener for everyone else. And contrary to what many believe, being with the wrong person is not better than being alone!
When it comes to having the right love in your life, it’s important to give deep thought to what love means to you. You also need to be realistic and be willing to engage in the difficult personal work that may be required before a fulfilling love relationship can become a part of your life.
Will This Relationship Work?
If you’re seeing someone, or hoping for a relationship with a certain person and you wonder if it’s going to work, ask yourself the following:
- Are both of you available and free to have a relationship? –No matter how strongly you feel, how much you think you are the better choice, if either one of you is with another partner; you are likely in for a very difficult path that rarely works out.
- Do both of you want a committed love relationship? –If your partner is emotionally available, the relationship will not see-saw “on-again, off-again.”
- Do both of you put effort into the relationship? –If one person does all the work to make it happen, it’s a red flag for serious trouble ahead.
- Can you be yourselves around each other? –Knowing what someone is really like takes time. Fast entanglements won’t give you an opportunity to know the other person. Relationships that got their start as a sexual romp often don’t stand the test of time because knowing each other was not the priority.
- Do you both keep your word and are you both consistent? –Respect is a vital sign of true love, and chronic inconsistency shows an absence of respect…and thus, an absence of healthy love.
- Do you trust this person? Are you trusted in return? –If you are constantly wondering if this person is unfaithful, it is a powerful indicator that the elements of a good relationship are lacking.
- Does the relationship have the emotional nutrient you hoped for?–Maybe there is a simple lack of understanding about your partner or yourself, but when efforts at communication fail to yield emotional nurturing, the relationship is in deep need of attention and repair.
- Are you honest with each other? –There can be no viable love without truth.
- Is this a personal, face-to-face relationship, as opposed to email, internet, or text? Virtual reality connections are not relationships, they are cyberspace pretend, an outlet for fantasy.