You Can’t Be Happy In Love If These 3 Things Are Missing

Stephen Hussey

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.

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48 Replies to “You Can’t Be Happy In Love If These 3 Things Are Missing”

    1. I could never be with an atheist and I don’t see myself in the long term with anyone who doesn’t have an open mind about the nature of religion. I also absolutely will not date guys who root for the Miami Heat. Huge deal breaker.

      First date, maybe. Just to investigate how fanatic is the fan.

  • You just showed me I made the right decision by breaking it off with my boyfriend of 2years. Ive ticked all the above, 1,2, and 3. Thanks for the heads up for future rships. Now I know what to look for.
    Great work guys

  • I love being challenged by you and being able to look at things from new perspectives. I actually needed this article after the cozy weekend :) Love that works is hard to recognize – appreciate your three points. I test my love by asking myself if I’d live with them in some type of hut with a dirt floor, and if I would, I love them :) I also think about the electricity going out. I have to be able to laugh and have fun with that person without tv, phone, heating, or any form of entertainment but just me and him. Nothing else in the world should really matter.

    I always feel very inspired too by poetry. If he doesn’t inspire me, or if the poetry makes me sad, it isn’t a good sign. The poem below is by Pablo Neruda. Do you know him? He’s my favorite. It’s translated from Spanish but he has English poems too. Thought you might like him. He’s lovely and inspiring – and actually erotic at times. I feel like reading him helps me understand love, or he’s articulating what’s in my heart at times. Thanks again, Stephen! Sending love, warmth and appreciation Xo


    I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
    Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
    Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
    I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

    I hunger for your sleek laugh,
    your hands the color of a savage harvest,
    hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
    I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

    I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
    the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
    I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

    and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
    hunting for you, for your hot heart,
    like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

  • I have been struggling with feelings for someone the past 3 years and New Years I had to make the decision of letting him go. This article really confirmed some issues I was faced with and you are right. Things were a little more complicated/messed up but I eventually realized and accepted that his respect/loyalty wasn’t there as well as the same level of commitment.

  • This article came at the right time.. So here is my story.. I have 1 year 1/2 with my boyfriend. We have know each other for about 8 years he is the brother of my bestfriend. The relationship is going well. He get along great however, I feel I am more into him then I am. For example: I live at home and he does too. He is 33 has one daughter and I am 26 and have a son. I always tell him that I have baby fever and would like another child. He always avoids the comments.. the other day we were talking about one of his friends having another baby and he thought it was silly. I said “why , just because you don’t want to have another baby doesn’t mean everyone thinks the same he said ” i already have a family” which bothered me a lot because he knows I have baby fever. We also always have these little conversations and the topic would come up where he think it’s ok for a couple to be together for 3, 4, 5, 6 or even 10 years and not be engaged, or married.. he says as long as they are happy. But I don’t think this way. I wouldn’t want to be in a relationship for 3,4,5,6 or 10 years and not be engaged with this person. All these little conversations have made me think.. am i wasting my time? He always says he wants to travel and enjoy life and I do too but I feel like now I have a son and I would like to travel and enjoy life with my family it’s not like we are 20 and no kids and can just pick up and go.. Do you guys think we are at different stages? How can I approach the topic? I sometimes feel insecure because I’m afraid I’m going to end up wasting my life in relationship that is not building a foundation for a future. Or should this be something that I just leave along and just go with the flow? HELP!!!

  • It is always amazing when good looking and loyal man can make me laugh, man with whom I can have a excellent conversation.

  • I am currently in a relationship when all of our beliefs and attitudes are very different and i am very confuses. But iv had experiences and moments which have been fueled and passionate which make me feel alive at the same time drains me completely and a week would feel like a year. Through this relationship. its resulted in disconnection from my family and fear of makin new friends. It does feel toxic and forced from my side .But making the split is a far deeper fear of”starting again” for both of us. (House. job. Move etc) i feel like the strong one alot of the time.

  • It’s exactly what i needed to read! I deeply loved my ex but i missed a lot of initiatve in the relationship : sexually, giving me compliments and he was always ‘ok’ with what we were going to do that day.. in the end the enthousiasm is killed and most of all it made me feel ugly and worthless.. so in conclusion i can say that i need that kind of ‘i want you’ attention and i didn’t realize how important that is for the selfesteem of someone!

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