Despite what the Beatles may tell you, love is not all you need.
When it comes to relationships, you need a whole lot more, like compatible beliefs, mutual respect, and communication.
Love and compatibility are often mistaken as the same. But they’re two very different things.
Circumstance matters a lot
You can wholeheartedly love something that isn’t good for you, like my corpulent friend who loves pastries.
While he can love it and enjoy indulging in it, he pays the price a few hours later (along with those unfortunate enough to be in their company when their bowels start aching) as he’s glued to the bathroom for the rest of the night.
It’s unfortunate that circumstance overrides emotion like this, but there is only so much that can be done about it.
My friend would like to enjoy pizza on the regular, every day if he could, but he knows the outcome would make him miserable.
And the same can be said about relationships. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you won’t be miserable as a result.
Love does not equal compatibility
If you’re a practising Muslim dating a born-again Catholic who just announced a campaign to retake Jerusalem but really want to make it work, you’re in for a bad time.
It might seem fine while you have a good time cruising around town in your SUV while drinking the communion wine she brought.
But what happens when she starts saying you engage in idolatry due to differing beliefs?
You’ll be in constant conflict, and at a certain point, you’ll need to get off the roller coaster or face a life of misery.
Love can’t conquer the toxic ones
My fat friend can love pizza or shawarma all he wants.
He can love it so much his heart bursts and can’t imagine a life without it. But that doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter how much he wants pizza to be compatible with his bowels because circumstance has deemed them incompatible.
And he’s not willing to be miserable for the sake of enjoying pizza once in a while.
And his love conquers nothing. It’s toxic for him and he knows it, so he stays away.
Now take a relationship.
Sure, it’s romantic to imagine yourselves as star-crossed lovers that defy the odds and love each other no matter what, but could you imagine if a compromise between you and your partner meant giving up a part of who you are?
You might say they don’t truly love you. But being stubborn doesn’t make love less valid.
Sometimes a compromise isn’t being true to yourself.
If you’re an anxious introvert and your partner wants you to keep up with their party animal lifestyle, you could put up with it for a while.
But if a central part of who your partner is makes you unhappy, and they want somebody to embrace that, then you will be in an unhappy relationship.
Sooner or later there will be a ride or die moment that love can’t conquer. And you’ll have to choose between staying in an unhappy relationship or making the painful decision to leave.
It doesn’t have to be someone’s fault, relationships can just fizz out.
There doesn’t have to be a toxic person in a relationship for it to turn sour.
Sometimes two people together make it toxic at no fault of their own by being incompatible. That doesn’t mean there is no love between you.
Love isn’t once in a lifetime
The fortunate thing about love is that it isn’t unique. The idea of one true love is a hopeless romantic myth.
Most people love multiple times before finding someone they really work with.
Sometimes you need a break after love, and that’s okay. But don’t fall into the mindset that you’ll never love again.
There are over 7 billion people on earth, and subtracting for the number of people eligible makes that pool smaller, but it’s still a significant amount of people.
For the sake of argument, say only 0.1% of the world is eligible, that’s still 7 million people. It’s ridiculous to think you will only love one of them.
Feel the pain that comes with losing a loved one, take a break if you need to. But at a certain point, there will be a tomorrow where you’ll love again.