Love isn’t enough. At least not according to those of us living in healthy relationships. I’ve spent the past year looking for love and wondering why everyone keeps saying it isn’t enough. Two of the most commonly used words to describe successful relationships were not four letter words starting with “L” … they were “compromise” and “sacrifice.” Yet, according to Relationships Australia, over 90 percent of us still say we marry for love.
Do Happiness and Love Go Hand in Hand?
Love is a powerful emotion; it can be both inspiring and it can also drive us mad. Still, most of us want to feel love, even with its exciting unpredictability and lack of a guarantee, but is it enough? Do you need more than love to make you happy?
Can Happiness Live or Last on Love Alone?
Falling in love may be enough to start a relationship, but it’s not all we need to make us happy in a relationship and it’s certainly not enough to sustain it. You can be happy because of love, but you can’t be in love when you’re not happy—not if you expect it to last. So what do you need to make you happy? Is it respect, trust, compatibility or maybe commitment? Could you be truly happy if your relationship didn’t have any of those qualities?
Cause and Effect
Love is an emotion and a powerful motivator. It can make us overlook the absence of a lot of things we want or need in a relationship. That’s called “sacrifice,” and it’s a choice we make. We choose what we will and will not accept in love. However, if someone is continually asking you to sacrifice or to forgive them in the name of love, then that’s not a choice. And there’s no way that’s making you happy.
The Foundation of Love and Happiness
How many of us have experienced being in love with someone who was all wrong for us? That can easily happen when we jump into a relationship based on raw emotion with no foundation to back it up. Although the emotional, lusty part of love is hot, it sometimes gets put to the back burner when the inevitable, practical side of life demands attention. That’s when you’ll need more than love to make you happy. Your happiness, the long-lasting kind, also depends on having a partner who is supportive, reliable, respectful and who has similar values to your own.
Betting on the Future
You may indeed fall in love with someone who is not right for you—it happens. But if you fall for someone who you already know is not compatible with you or someone whose values aren’t aligned with yours, in the hopes that things will change—they probably won’t. You can’t make someone follow your dreams or align with your values or be someone they’re not. If you think you can, you’ll be betting on your future happiness and the odds aren’t in your favor. Find someone who realizes that you both need more than love to make you happy.