Why love isn’t enough to sustain a relationship

In the early 90s, singer Patty Smyth did one of her biggest hits which was a song about the dangers of loving somebody too much but the real clincher in terms of lyrics was the line ‘sometimes love just ain’t enough’.

Have you ever felt like that? Been in love but that love does not stop the arguing, the distrust, the pettiness, the hurt and issues that are more than the volumes published by Time Magazine. Love may be the ultimate binding agent but it alone cannot keep a relationship thriving. There are other elements at play including factors such as time, maturity level, outside situations, religion, social class, trauma and age to say the least and all of that can impact what you have going.

Furthermore, love does not trump compatibility. You can have deep feelings for someone but you are an unsuitable match from the get-go and no amount of expressions of love and devotion will change that. There is an old saying: a bird and a fish can fall in love but where will they live?

“Love may be the ultimate binding agent but it alone cannot keep a relationship thriving.”

This means that two people can be in a May-December romance but it leads nowhere in the long run if it has no solid foundation. After the initial butterflies and flurry of feelings, when you analyse it, the object of your affection does not work,  supports a different political party, is a chauvinistic pig,  has three baby mammas and 7 children—it will take an incredible amount of love to overcome all of those odds.

Emotional baggage can hurt a relationship

You can also love the wrong person or be in love at the wrong time. Additionally, if you came into the relationship with emotional baggage or psychological issues, love cannot fix that. This is not to say that your partner cannot offer unconditional love and support but realistically what is really needed is professional help in the form of therapy, sometimes coupled with medication. You cannot love all the hurt away.

“If you came into the relationship with emotional baggage or psychological issues, love cannot fix that…You cannot love all the hurt away.”

To put it all into perspective, love is like the pillar that you can build on but is not the fuel that will keep the fire burning. You need other elements for that namely trust, commitment, respect, compassion, empathy plus shared values and interests.