Love Is Not Enough

By Nancy Pollard, LCSW, LLC
 
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Saying ‘I love you’ is easy. Buying a romantic card, a gift, sending roses are all hints of loving someone special in your life. Loving someone however requires much more than what commercialism has shown us.

Below are some requirements.  Ask yourself how you are doing when it comes to the following:

Trust
You must trust your partner, but equally important is that you trust yourself.  Your gut and intuition can and will smell a rat, sniff out foul play, and should not let blindness and deafness hurt you.  In hindsight, people will usually admit that yes, they knew something was wrong but just didn’t want to face it.  What’s your gut telling you about the love in your life?  Are you listening?

Honesty
“Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”…but first it might tick you off.  Yes, sometimes, at first, the truth can sting.  However, once the sting dies down, relief and sanity sets in.  Something being wrong, and someone else denying it, can be crazy making.  The truth gives you the facts, and then you can act accordingly.  Protecting someone from the truth is insulting.  Are you being honest with yourself and your partner, or are you practicing deceit by omission?

Openness. 
Share your feelings.  Speak up so that your partner knows you.  It is not true that if you love me, then you will know what to do.  Partners need to be coached specifically.  Assuming that the other person knows what you are thinking, is setting your partner up to fail.  Usually we love someone in the way that we want to be loved.  We keep giving what we want to be given, instead of giving what the other partner wants.  We keep missing each other because we have not been open with what we like and don’t like.  Are you open with your partner? Do you hold onto thoughts and send zingers out at confusing times?

Acceptance
“Well, I thought he would grow out of that behavior. I thought with time, she would change.  If he loves me, he will stop doing that!  If she loves me then she will learn to do such and such.”  In relationships, when we think or hope that someone will change, we are headed for heartache.  What you see is what you get.  We don’t get to change someone.  Do you accept your partner?  Do you love him or her for who they are?  Are you trying to get them to be someone else?

Freedom
Part of staying in a relationship should be the discussion of how to end it. While to some this may look very unromantic, it remains sound important advice.  If you are free to leave, you are free to stay. For if someone feels trapped, resentment creeps in, spreading a cancer. Do you need and depend on your relationship or are you free by choice and desire to stay?

Respect
If you do not respect someone, it is impossible to have a healthy relationship with him or her.  If you think that your partner is a jerk, cheap, insensitive, dumb, and a truckload of other insults, then the quality of being together is greatly impaired. Respecting your partner’s thoughts, choices, and opinions is necessary.  It is okay to disagree not disapprove.  Do you respect your partner?  Do you feel respected?

Timing
Without timing, the best relationship is impossible and over. A 60-year-old person may be thinking about retiring, while his 50-year-old spouse sees the children leaving the nest and wants to start a career.  A 30 something’s biological clock may be ticking and the partner may want to test the relationship for three or four years before making a commitment. Here and now make a relationship work.  Later may be never.  Are you and your partner in sync with your life goals and dreams? Are you on the same page?

Nurturing
A relationship is like a garden.  It must be tended.  Left untended, nothing but weeds pop up. You, me and us makes the relationship. The ‘Us’ must be nurtured on a regular basis.  The ‘Us’ needs time alone, away from home, family and work.  The ‘Us’ must be a priority, not the last thing on your list. If so, by the time you get around to your relationship it could be over. Are you neglecting your relationship?  Is it a priority in your life?

Love relationships take more than obligatory holidays and cursory acknowledgments. “I love him but I do not like him” will not be sustainable.  It is a huge responsibility loving someone. Remember; love, alone is not enough.

Just a little Mountain Therapy...

Copyright © 2015 Nancy Pollard

 

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