Sometimes love is not enough to make a relationship last. Despite being bound by a deep love, two partners can turn toxic for one another if they fail to cultivate respect, trust, understanding and healthy interdependence. Now, you may be tempted to dismiss us as a bunch of cynics who don’t know the power of real love. After all, didn’t John Lennon, the legend himself, tell us ‘All you need is love’.
Well, hear us out. Lennon was also an abusive husband, who beat both his wives and abandoned his child. Thirty-five years later, Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails wrote a song called ‘Love is not enough’. He has been married to one woman and has two children with her. Despite being known for his shocking stage performances, he canceled the entire album and all his tours amid COVID-19 fears to stay at home and be with his family.
The reason for mentioning these two starkly opposing views on love is that one of these two men has a clear and realistic understanding of love. And the other idealized love as a solution to all his problems. Similarly, in every culture around the world, most of us idealize love.
Like Lennon, we overestimate love and ignore fundamental values that contribute to building a healthy relationship. Hence, our relationships pay a huge price. But when you think like Reznor, you realize ‘love is not enough’, not always. Love may bring two people together but it’s not enough to sustain a long, enduring bond between them.
When sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough, you need to walk away to protect yourself. Together, let’s explore a few such scenarios where love alone is not a reason good enough to stay together.
What Does It Mean When Love Is Not Enough?
We all wonder, is love enough in a relationship? The simple answer is No! People say sometimes love is not enough simply because more often than not it is conditional. Like every other thing in life, love comes with conditions. When the conditions propelling love change, it may no longer be enough to keep two people together. That’s precisely why sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough.
The research done by Robert Sternberg explains sometimes love is not enough because it is not a single element. It is more of a composite of various other elements. If you dissect Robert’s Triangular Theory of Love, you will understand that sometimes love is not enough meaning in true earnest.
The idea that sweep-you-off-your-feet kind of love is all you need to find your happily ever after with some has been fed to us for far too long through fairy tales, movies and pop culture. Over time, so many of us have internalized this idea and set unrealistic expectations about what love is meant to do for us. However, love is no magic potion that once devoured will transport you into a fantastical land of happiness and eternal togetherness.
When we dwell on such thoughts, we risk sabotaging our relationships. A successful relationship entails a lot more than just euphoric love. It requires you to choose the same person, warts and all, day after day, and stick together through thick and thin. It also requires you to change your definition of what it means to be in love and find new ways to connect with your significant other.
The long and short of the sometimes love is not enough meaning is that while this emotion may be an integral component of a happy relationship equation, it is still just a component and not the entire formula.
7 Reasons You Should Breakup Because Sometimes Love Is Not Enough
Is love enough in a relationship? If you’ve found yourself asking this question, there is a good chance that you’ve had your moments of doubt about whether you have what it takes to build a strong relationship with your significant other.
This niggling doubt can be scary because there are few things as painful as walking away from someone you love. However, sometimes love is not enough. For all the love you may have in your heart for your partner, you could still end up like a square peg in a round hole.
If you’re not a good fit for each other, no amount of wishful thinking or eulogized notions of love is going to change that. When sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough, it’s best to walk away and turn over a fresh leaf. Here are 7 such scenarios where you need to come to terms with the fact that sometimes love is not enough and rethink your future:
1. You want different things
You might have been happy at the beginning of your relationship, but after a couple of years, you drift away. Your priorities, goals and worldview may change, leaving you wondering, “Is love enough in a relationship ?” For instance, you might want to marry and settle down but your partner may want to go abroad for better work opportunities. Or maybe, one of you wants kids and the other one just doesn’t see themselves as being a parent. In such a scenario, neither of you is wrong, it’s just that the future you envision for yourself doesn’t align.
If you can’t give each other what you need in a relationship and you realize that the desires aren’t going to change, then you should break up. It is incredibly mature to realize and acknowledge that sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough and move on with your individual lives. Breaking up with someone you love and adore can be devastating, but sometimes it is the right thing to do.
2. The distance is too much
Let’s say you might meet your soulmate on a trip and love blooms to its fullest. You’re smitten, can’t get enough of each other and spend every moment together. Then, reality hits. You both live on opposite ends of the globe and neither is in the position to relocate.
You try to do the whole long-distance thing because you’re so in love but keep longing for each other, thinking about each other all the time. When the distance makes it impossible to cement commitment and take the relationship to the next level, you might realize that sometimes only love is not enough.
You might have heard from people that long distance can work. Well, it might but it’s not for everyone. If the long-distance relationship leaves you feeling lonely and worn, then it’s not worth it. Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough and you need to break up with your soulmate, especially when there is no alternative in sight.
3. They don’t give you the support you need
To build a healthy relationship, sometimes only love is not enough, you also need your partner to support you. Being with someone who supports your dreams, ambitions, decisions and is there when you need them the most is far more important than the makes-your-heart-race kind of love.
Your partner might love you deeply, spoil and pamper you with gifts but it amounts to nothing in the long run if they are unable to show support, the way you want. When you’re trying to take on the world, your boss, colleagues or even in-laws, it might drain all your energy and strength. Having a supportive partner will make that effort worthwhile and the going easier. The value of having that one person in your corner cannot be overstated.
4. When your partner is emotionally manipulative
Is love enough in a relationship? Well, certainly not when being in love equals emotional manipulation. Sure, it’s not unusual for people in relationships to start influencing each other’s thoughts, behaviors and habits. However, in a healthy and constructive equation, this influence is organic and not forced, mutual and not one-sided.
Emotional manipulation, on the other hand, is an abusive tool to exert control over someone’s thoughts, desires, and ultimately, their life. If that’s what you’re getting in the name of love, it’s time to accept that sometimes love is not enough and you deserve better.
If you have a partner who fluctuates from telling you they ‘can’t live without you’ to ‘it’s all your fault’, then it’s time to pack up. A controlling partner can bring down your self-worth and make you rely on them. A partner using techniques of psychological manipulation deliberately creates an imbalance of power. They exploit the victim, so they can control them to serve their agenda. Sometimes love is not enough meaning doesn’t get any clearer than that.
5. Your partner isn’t happy
A relationship devoid of happiness cannot be healthy and wholesome. This happiness must be mutual. It is entirely possible that you’re happy in the relationship but your partner might not be. Unfortunately, happiness is not always contagious.
We all have different definitions of what it means to be happy. Reasons for unhappiness in a relationship may vary from unmet needs to different expectations and separate ambitions. Staying in such a relationship would mean settling for something that’s not fulfilling, not just for the unhappy partner but for you as well. After all, an unhappy person cannot make a relationship happy.
If it comes to that, it’s best to break up. And after all, if you really love your partner, you would want them to be happy. Wise and intuitive individuals don’t shy away from accepting that sometimes love is not enough, conclude this is as good as it gets and part ways before they end up making each other more and more miserable.
6. Lack of compatibility
Just because you’re in love with someone doesn’t mean that they are a suitable partner for you. Sometimes love is not enough meaning is that love may be enough to bring two people together but not quite in carrying them through the journey of life. Love is an emotional process, compatibility a logical one. Both are needed in equal measure to build a balanced partnership.
If as a couple you two people don’t blend in together, then no amount of love can fix it. If you and your partner are as different as chalk and cheese, how will you find common ground to build a shared life on? Chemistry may be great to get those sparks flying, but it is compatibility in a relationship that turns into a slow-burning flame that doesn’t die out.
When you don’t find that with someone, it’s best to accept that sometimes only love is not enough and part ways rather than stay together in a dysfunctional relationship.
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7. The people you love disapprove
When you’re in love, you’re in la-la land with rainbows and sunshine. You tend to ignore all the negative traits of your partner and overlook all the red flags telling you to stop dead in your tracks. However, those close to you – your friends and family –might see these red flags long before you do.
When your friends and family disapprove of your relationship, you need to consider it. They might have legitimate concerns and might be seeing things you’re unable to. In such a situation, it is better to accept that sometimes only love is not enough and break up than continue a relationship that may have no future at all.
Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough for couples who’re not the right fit for each other. Don’t get swept up in the initial rush of emotions. That’s why it’s often said that rushing into a relationship doesn’t end well. So, make sure, you take things slow, test the waters, see how the relationship progresses beyond the honeymoon phase before planning a future with someone. Even if you’ve been with someone a long time and begin to realize sometimes only love is not enough to carry you through, remember it’s never too late to reclaim your happiness.