Is Love Enough?

“The beginning of Love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” ~Thomas Merton

“But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of Love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.” ~Khali Gibran

“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours, if they don’t they never were.” ~Richard Back

“Intense love does not measure, it just gives.” ~Mother Teresa

“The more connections you and your love make; not just between your bodies, but between your hearts, and your souls, the more you will strengthen the fabric of your relationship, and the more real moments you will experience together.” ~Barbara de Angelis

The greatest gift we can ever know is to love or to be loved. I remember this statement from one of my favorite movies, Moulin Rouge.

From our youth onward—from the time when our hormones start to kick in—it seems that we are searching for the special someone to love and who will love us back. We are looking for that feeling that will make us blissful and take us off into the sunset for a happily-ever-after ending.

Young people at home

Initially, that feeling of being in love is enough to sustain us and keep our relationships together. Eventually, however, those euphoric feelings simmer down, and the rose-colored glasses come off. Reality and the everyday trials of life and what it means to be human start to kick in.

The love that once seemed invincible may not be enough anymore to keep people together.

So what other things need to be there if love just doesn’t seem like enough? Here are a few ingredients that I have found necessary to sustain love.

Make your relationship a priority.
Let’s face it, life is busy and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. If you don’t make the conscious choice in your heart and mind to make your relationship a priority, then the busyness of life will soon consume all of your energy, thoughts and actions. This neglect will leave your relationship gasping for air and in danger of suffocation until it finally has no more breath.

This quality is one of the foundations for a strong relationship; it’s a key to keeping love alive. A lack of trust is like have a building with a weak foundation. When things get shaky, it is more likely to fall over.

Trust is a complicated matter with many couples because our trust issues can run deep and are not always about our current situation. It is important for us to heal our past so we can give our current or future relationships a fighting chance.

Recently on Facebook there was a video of a young dancer at a recital who as some people commented was an Aretha Franklin reincarnate. The video went viral, not only because it was so darn adorable and funny, but because of the song as well. You guessed it: “Respect”.

We all want it, but do we always give it? If you do not show respect to yourself or your partner, it will eat away at love until there are only crumbs left.

Allowing, Appreciation, Acceptance, Affection, Attention
I put these all together because they go together. They are what Author David Richo refers to as The Five A’s.

We all needed these things from our parents or the adults in our lives in order to grow up into healthy, well-adjusted adults. Our relationships need these attributes, too, in order to sustain love and health.

  • Allow your partner to be authentic without trying to change him or her. Growing is something altogether different but can effect change.
  • Appreciate each other. Acknowledge sincerely and often each other’s contributions. It is all too easy to take each other for granted.
  • Accept each other for the people you are: the good, bad and the ugly. (Note: this does not mean anyone has to accept abusive behavior.)
  • Give Affection often and freely. We all need to feel cherished.
  • Give your partner your attention so you can know this person on a deeper level.

Overall, sustaining love requires a strong commitment from both parties. Do all you can, keeping agreements, and staying together through the many stages and phases of relationship. (Again, the only exception to this is if there is abuse.)

So is love enough? Alone, maybe not. However, if it fuels the desire to achieve everything else, then there is hope for a relationship filled with love, growth, joy and laughter!

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