Love Is Not Enough

Whoever said love is all we need was a liar. Sorry to rain on anyone’s parade but it simply isn’t true.

Love is not enough when one person loves and the other doesn’t. Love isn’t enough when one person is giving of themselves and the other only takes. Love isn’t enough when one person loves and the other is only there to fill the time or so they don’t have to be lonely.

Love is wonderful and important. However, love alone is not enough to sustain a relationship. Relationships also need trust, respect, honesty, vulnerability, communication, consideration and compromise to survive.

I’ve known so many people who stay in relationships because they love the person they are with but the relationship is missing everything else. They say “but I love them” or “but they say they love me”. They are miserable and lonely and they can’t figure out why.

Love is not enough. It’s not enough to sustain a relationship. No amount of love will ever be enough to make someone change. Love cannot make a person happy if they are not happy inside themselves.

You can love someone more than anything in the world. You can give them everything you have. You can do everything you know to show them how much they mean to you…and they can still choose to treat you badly. You can tell yourself “if I just love them enough they will change”. You would be wrong. You cannot love someone into loving you. You cannot love someone into changing.

People have to want to love you. They have to know how to love. They have to choose you. They have to choose to change. They have to choose respect and communication and compromise and honesty and vulnerability. They have to choose because they want to. No amount of suffering or being a doormat or sacrificing your own needs and wants will change that. No matter what you do or how much you love, a person will only return that love or change their behavior if they want to.

Sometimes we love people who are incapable of loving us back. Sometimes we love someone and we want to save them from themselves and we can’t. People can only save themselves. Sometimes we love and love and love and all it does is damage us. Sometimes, we love other people desperately because we don’t know how to love ourselves.

I know all of this because I’ve done all of it. I thought my love could save my husband. I thought that if I loved him enough, he would choose to get help. I thought if I loved him enough, he would learn to love himself. I thought he would change. I thought he would get better if I put myself last.

He died. Despite the unfathomable depth of my love for him, he took his own life. I loved him more than most people ever are and he still chose to die.

Don’t spend your life throwing your love at people who can’t feel it. Don’t beg people to love you. Don’t beg people to change. If you aren’t being respected and valued and if there isn’t compromise and communication and vulnerability on both sides, it doesn’t matter how much you love them…it’s time to move on.

Love is not enough. Take that love you are throwing at the wrong person and give it to yourself. Walk away. Wait for someone who loves you back without you having to suffer for it. Wait for someone who celebrates you as you are. Wait for someone who freely and happily loved you without you asking for it. Wait for someone who you don’t need to save. Wait for someone you don’t want to change.

Save yourself. Love yourself. Work on yourself. Love your friends. Work on healing whatever is in you that makes you feel unworthy of being loved. Cultivate a life that makes you happy. Become happy and healed on the inside. Then, you won’t settle for begging for whatever scraps of love someone throws at you because you are starving for it. When you love yourself, you will be full. The love others offer you will only be like a wonderful dessert that makes life more enjoyable when you’re already satisfied.

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