We’ve seen plenty of images of love to know what it feels like when it’s good. Love is being able to talk for hours and never get bored. Love is spending all day in bed eating Chinese food and feeling like it was a day well-spent. Love is actually caring whether or not his parents and siblings approve of you.
But how do you know when it’s doomed? Or when being in love isn’t enough to keep you in the relationship?
Yes, he knows your favourite ice cream flavour and buys it for you without being asked, and maybe he is a perfect gentleman (or the opposite, in a good way) in the bedroom.
But is that enough?
I think it comes down to this: There’s being in love, and then there’s being in a happy relationship.
Falling in love is often portrayed as this rare, holy, profound experience. But it’s actually pretty common. People fall in love, or some form of it, all the time.
But being in a happy relationship is a much rarer experience.
You can be in love with someone and still see no future for the two of you.
Take just THREE examples:
1. You can be in love…and not respect his way of thinking, or his deepest beliefs.
2. You can be in love…and hate some of his most fundamental habits (be they emotional, sexual, or in terms of his ability to care for himself).
3. You can be in love…and think he lacks the capacity or readiness for a great, steady relationship.
And it doesn’t matter how much you talk it out, how much you both have the best intentions, or how much you both have wild, passionate romance, these gnawing annoyances will burrow into your soul and make you both miserable in the relationship.
These are the relationships that will confuse you and screw with your head the most. Because you’ll always be questioning whether it’s right or not, whether passion and love will get you through these conflicts.
I’m not saying situations or people don’t change over time. I guess I’m saying that love isn’t always the trump card it’s made out to be.
There’s still the need for RESPECT for someone else’s way of thinking about the world.
There’s still living with someone whose HABITS you approve of and admire.
There’s still being with someone who is READY for the same level of commitment you are.
What other qualities are as important as love for you? Let me know in the comments below!
Photo (Getty Images)
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Stephen Hussey helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.