There is obviously more to life than love, and relationships are no different. If love was the only requirement for relationship survival, the national divorce rate would be near 0%. (Currently, it hovers around 47%, but this number also includes those who get married for convenience or by arrangement, in which case love doesn't even play a role).
In fact, if only love was needed to sustain a long-term relationship, couples would never have arguments about who should pickup the kids from school -- finances and bills wouldn't be an issue -- and all would be forgiven after someone cheated on the other in an adulterous affair. Since love would be the ultimate answer, such incidents don't really matter, right?
But we know from painful, firsthand experiences that relationships require a million other things - and most of them have nothing to do with love. Squeeze in the fact that the future is unpredictable, and none of us are mind-readers -- and this whole relationship love thing begins to look like a 20-year old college degree -- it's just something to fall back on when needed.
Sadly enough, 20-year old degrees won't get you much in today's world, and neither does a barrel full of outdated love. That 'kissy-face', 'lovey-dovey' attitude you possessed years ago requires an extreme makeover and not the kind that only fixes up the exterior. Relationships take work, effort, and action -- and it's the constant, sustained action that keeps the home fires burning.
Patience is a virtue worth having when you're in a relationship. The same could be said for compassion, generosity, and creativity. But a person doesn't simply develop those qualities because of their ties with a mate, and they certainly don't summon those qualities on demand. As a direct result of one person (or both) not possessing some of those qualities, you often find couples who love each other, but constantly battle over life's everyday issues. Sometimes the battles are so severe that the couple cannot stay together.
Ever hear a man say, "I love my wife, but she gets on all of my nerves!"? What about the famous line from women: "I love my husband, but I can't stand him sometimes!"?
The reason statements like this are made is because it takes more than love to survive in today's relationships. Couples need understanding, open communication, money, compromise, trust, patience, time, energy, respect, and a host of other things. When you're low in one area, you make up for it in another, and hopefully the relationship grows as a result. If not, you'll waste an enormous amount of time spinning your wheels in the wrong direction -- with the wrong person.
In essence, you should not only love the person you're with, but also be willing to meet them halfway on sacrifices and compromises, and all of those other things that are needed for optimal relationship survival.
Unfortunately, the world is filled with single, unattached folks who have already experienced the "love doesn't conquer all" scenario. They have probably loved their fair share of people, but couldn't stick out the long-term affairs for various reasons. Some of those reasons have to do with their inability to deal with relationship battles, but none of it has to do with their inability to love.
For the naysayers out there, it is safe to argue that although relationships require more than just love, it is love itself that keeps us from doing crazy things like using a Louisville Slugger to solve some of our battles. That -- and the fact that most of us have too much sanity and compassion to hurt the ones we care about.
So, whether you have a little love or a lot of it -- bring it to the proverbial relationship table and spread it out in nice, evenly spaced pieces.
Just be sure to leave room for the other gazillion things you'll need to bring to that table.
About The Author - Mybrotha.COM Staff Writer
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