WOW | Life Inspiration
Love Is NOT Enough
I am no expert in love. And, by “love” I am referring to the romantic kind. Certainly I have had experiences in this department, one of the longest being an 11-year committed partnership. Through these experiences, and through my work as a counselling therapist, I have come to learn and understand a few things about the connection of romantic love and committed partnership. Following are a few important points I have learned along the way about building and sustaining a loving partnership:
Love is not enough
Sorry my hopeless romantics, this is probably not what you wished to hear. But let’s face it, the woo-woo-wah-wah butterflies-in-my-belly feelings do dim with time. If you make it beyond the honeymoon phase and are still with one another, you will find that the path has its challenges. You may indeed deeply love the other, but doing so alone does not make a relationship sustainable.
Shared values, friendship, good conversations, intellectual compatibility, sexual compatibility, healthy fighting skills, trust and respect, are some key ingredients that will carry a partnership through. Because, after all, a relationship is not stagnant; it is a coming together of two individuals who are bound to change, and hopefully, support one another in their growth as individuals and as a team.
Respect is the “IT” factor
Bottom line. More than love, respect for one another is what holds a connection together, particularly through the rough patches. Two people who are able to hold one another in high esteem and to admire one another, even when they disagree or are at the worst, have one of the most invaluable assets of any relationship.
How do you do this? Two simple hints…
a. Speak to one another with respect, even when fighting: avoid using derogatory language and/or name calling
b. Avoid complaining about your partner to others. Tell your partner directly what is bothering you and work it out together. It is, after all, about you two and no one else.
Know what love means to you, and to your partner
I often hear people say: “I just want him/her to love me. That’s all. I’m not asking that much!”. Sounds simple enough. The catch, however, is this: what “love” looks like to one, is different than what “love” looks like to the other. For example, I might need a lot of alone time and need a partner who is willing to create space for this. My partner, on the other hand, may associate an expression of love as spending a lot of time together. Understanding this makes living together, and loving together, much easier. Once there is clarity, solutions can be found.
One of the biggest mistakes we make in loving relationships is to treat the other how we want to be treated with specific gestures. Know what the symbols of love are for your partner, and share yours with him/her. Be clear and ask for what you need/want. This is the only way the other has a remote chance of meeting your requests and for each of you to find the boundaries where you meet in peace.
LISA GAUTSCHI (Yogatara) is a Yoga Therapist and Spiritual Psychologist, and the Director of Isha Institute, Jhamsikhel – a centre for holistic learning and conscious living.