Is Love Really Not Enough?

27 Jan

Aiden made me laugh.  He made me feel safe.  I enjoyed his friendship.  I loved him, truly and sincerely.  And I broke his heart.  Twice.  We were comfortable, happy and in love, but we weren’t moving forward.   There was no growth, no advancement.  We weren’t talking about marriage.  We weren’t working towards any goals as a couple.  I wanted a family. I wanted a house.  I wanted to travel.  I wanted and wanted and he was happy with things as they were.  So, for years, we just…were.  I moved to Chicago for law school and suddenly my entire life was on fast-forward.  But Aiden, who was still at home, had his finger on the pause button and he wouldn’t let go.  So I did.  I loved him fully and completely, but he couldn’t give me all of those things that I wanted.  So I moved forward to find someone who could.  Because love just wasn’t enough.  Or was it?

 

 

I was reminded of this story when NotEnough e-mailed me a few weeks ago, submitting a post for consideration as a “guest post.”  Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten many requests from writers to publish a guest post.  In addition, I’ve gotten information and samples sent to me of some interesting products geared towards “dating” and “singles.”  I’ve been provided with some interesting books and articles and have come across a collection of many, random and fascinating things that relate to dating, being single, living in DC and more.  So, I’ve decided to make Friday’s blog theme “Fusion Friday.”  On Fridays you may find a review, a recommendation, an article, a guest blog.. And with that idea triggered by NotEnough’s request, I found it fitting to start with her post as my first ever “guest post.”

   

 

“If you had a choice between someone who could provide all of those “things” that you want in a partner, but you could only love them half as much as you could love another person, who wouldn’t be ready or able to provide you with any of those “things” that you were seeking, who would you choose?  No one ever wants to say their answer out loud… but I think people would choose the one who can provide all of those “things.”  It’s the saying, “love is not enough.”  You need forward movement.  At least, the more valuable currency appears to be forward movement over love.  But is that really the way that we should be approaching dating?  A checklist of “things” that one needs to bring to the table, where, if one item isn’t checked you let that person go, even if you love them fully and completely?  With the divorce rate at an all-time high, is it right to choose forward movement, and all of the security it brings in the form of  tangible “things,  those things that act as markers which prop up one’s pride and coddle the ego, allowing you to warm your voice to say with confidence, “Mine!” over the intangible feeling that is love?

 

 

So, there you are.  You meet him.  You create a connection with her.  You laugh, feel and understand each other.  Every minute you spend together is enjoyable.  You fall in love.  You love him.  You love her.  They love you.  But there is no forward movement.  You find that you just, are.  You are standing in the middle of the love bubble that you’ve created but it’s not floating anywhere.  It just…is.  Suddenly, you feel a sense of danger to the relationship because of the lack of forward movement.  If you allow this doubt consume you and question the relationship because of the lack of forward movement, was it ever love?  Or just a strong infatuation with the idea that you could fit this person into your idea of perfection in a partner?

So then, what happens to the person who enjoys just being in the present in the relationship?  The one not quite ready to propel forward, or backwards but rather radiates in being in the now?  What if it is that they aren’t ready for the forward movement right then.  But they could be in months, years.  Could love ever possibly be worth waiting for?  If you knew you knew that, by simply waiting a bit longer, you could have that “perfect love,” that partner that you could love fully and gives you everything that you need, would you wait?  How could you not?

 

 

Why is it that we often overlook celebrating what we have and, instead, destroy something beautiful by focusing on what we don’t? Imagine, for one moment, that we could just celebrate the fact that there is love being shared? Why is that not enough? Why is something so sacred… so rare… so beautiful… just. Not enough? Do we think that we are more deserving than that very thing which every breath in this world was created on?

What if you waited for someone your entire life? What if it took THAT long? For argument’s sake, what if someone just wasn’t ready until the very end? What if you loved each other deeply and found happiness in celebrating what you have, but the flaw was that one of you wasn’t ready to do those societal things (marriage, children).  Let’s say all your plans for family and a white picket fence go straight down the drain because one person wasn’t yet ready. But the love is there.  Every day of your lives together you never doubt the love.  It’s strong.  It’s real.  It’s just yours.  And on your death-bed, the person is sitting next to you, holding your hand, saying “I’m with you.  I’m here.”  Would that have been such a terrible life? 

 

 

But, let’s take the other fork in the road.  Let’s say that in that same scenario, you had let that person who wasn’t ready…go.  You leave the love you have and go out in the world to search for someone else who can provide it all.  And you find a person.  And they are well enough.  And they meet every box on your “checklist.”  And you love them.  But the love is not quite as bold, the sun never shines quite as bright and dreams of them are not quite as sweet as the love that you left behind.  Fast forward through a life with this person and, on your death-bed, your thought is of the person you had let go.  Would that then have been such a wonderful life?  Would letting that love go to get the white picket fence and all American society accepted life be worth it? 

I believe we are never going to reach our full potential, find our true partner, experience the love we crave internally if we believe that love can be treated like a job.  Something earned.  Something that, if it doesn’t go according to plan, can be left for a better opportunity.  Love happens.  Whether you want it to or not.  Whether you think it’s right or not.  Whether you’re read for it or not.  It’s a strong as a hurricane and just as uncontrollable.  But, we keep trying to control it.  We say it’s not love because X isn’t happening.  It’s not love because Y isn’t there.  We label other things with the name of “love.”  And we keep being wrong. And we find ourselves out there, yet again, alone and searching for that “perfect love.”  Isn’t it time that we stop, take a breath, stay still and silent and simply stand in the love that we’ve created in another. Experience it.  Enjoy it.  And be in the present with it this day and every day and let the Universe take care of things instead of trying to control the outcome ourselves.  Isn’t it worth seeing what happens?”

 

 

 

Obviously, this post is a different tone than my usual posts.  Which is why I feel that a day dedicated to sharing posts from others is beneficial.  It reaches more people, it expands everyone’s thought process.  I know it made me think.  About Aiden.  On my death-bed, will I think about him and how I regret letting the “love” go to find the forward movement?  As I write this, I think not.  I think that, as I’ve matured, my understanding of what a relationship is and/or should provide has also matured and that I am more realistic and will find someone who strikes that balance between “love” and “forward movement.”  But as I write this, I’m still single.  I’m still dating.  I’m not close to finding an exclusive partner because I am still searching for that “perfect love.”  If I don’t find it, that would be another post entirely.

 

Share your thoughts with NotEnough.  Is love really not enough?  Do tangible things that satisfy the ego outweigh intangible feelings that can’t be explained?  Is it black and white?  Is love worth waiting for, ever?  Is it not worth the risk to wait?  Have you ever felt like this or been in this situation?  I’d really love to use the guest posts as a way of coming together as a community to show that the thoughts you have, and the problems you face in your own situations, are universal.  And we are a community, of people.  Who can support each other and expand our perspectives on life and love.

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3 Responses to “Is Love Really Not Enough?”

  1. Paul Roth January 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    There’s a difference between getting out of a relationship because the other person doesn’t like your hobby or something else inconsequential and getting out because the other person isn’t willing to include something you feel is fundamentally important to your life’s satisfaction, like having a child or getting married.

    At the moment, and for all of my life up to it, I’ve not wanted to get married or have a child. But for five years I dated someone who did.

    At about the 2yr mark, we broke up, frustrated with each other. She went off and tried to find someone who fit her goals. She actually did date a fellow like that for few months or so.

    Then we got back together and worked out our breakup issues and I thought I might actually be able to move forward to a place where I would want to get married and have kids. Coincidentally, when she told me about the guy she’d tried dating, we called him “Checklist” and though he was right on paper, he didn’t make her feel the same way I did. Her words, I swear!

    And I tried for three years. I grew up in many ways and I think I became a much better boyfriend. But I never got to that point where I found myself wanting to be a husband and father. So we talked again and agreed to part ways for good, amicably this time.

    We stayed friends, I gave her relationship advice as she dated, and then about a year after we separated with clearer goals, she got a marriage proposal from a guy who suited her checklist AND made her feel the right way. Now they are happily together with a beautiful daughter.

    If she’d stayed with me? I have no doubt our love was and is real. I know it because we wanted the best for each other and still do. But as of today, I still wouldn’t have given her the fulfillment that she’s found. So I think love is key, but no, it’s not enough.

    • I February 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

      Rita, I enjoyed the food for thought.

      Paul, Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • spicy44 February 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

      I’m with someone who definitely does not suit my checklist but he loves me dearly and I thought that was enough. For 4yrs I kept looking at him and thinking something is missing, but I wouldn’t allow myself to want more because love is suppose to be enough. Recently, I’ve admitted to myself that love is not enough. If your ex has found “the” guy, love and checklist, then why can’t I? By the way, if you weren’t ready to marry and have kids than something was missing. Good luck in love!

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