“Everybody knows how to love but few people know how to stay in love.”
My partner Hubert turned to me one day and said, “If you don’t love me anymore you’d tell me right?”
It’s not that there was anything wrong in our relationship, it’s just we’re both such emotional people that sometimes we can be influenced by external factors. For example on this particular day, Hubert was watching daytime TV and an elderly couple were seeking divorce after many years of marriage because their kids had all grown up and were living their own lives, they realised they actually no longer loved one another and only stayed together as long as they did because of their children. Once their children had their own families, their differences and lack of love became really evident and they could no longer stand being around each other or carry on living a lie.
So Hubert turned to me looking quite distraught telling me how he would rather we broke up at the point of us realising we no longer loved each other than spending years feeling lonely and unloved. And my response to him?
“I’d rather kill myself than stay in a loveless relationship.”
But it’s the truth, we spend so much of our lives looking for our soul mate, and sometimes we get really lucky and find them when we’re young. But the problem with being a human being is we’re constantly changing, your soul mate when you’re 23 might not be the same person when they’re 43, you might outgrow each other, or decide you want different things. Because we’re ever changing in our needs and wants, we run a higher risk of drifting apart from our significant other. People like to think how wonderful and special a love that stands the test of time, and they’re right, those kinds of love are truly special, they’re an exception to the inevitable truth that 70% of the time, we simply outgrow our childhood loves, love is like a test, but failing doesn’t mean the end of life as we know it, luckily for us, we have an infinite number of retakes we can do, there is no limit to how many times we can fall in or out of love. That’s what makes the magic of romance truly wonderful.
Knowing that, doesn’t make me expect the dreaded end, it makes me appreciate my partner that much more, at the same time I don’t want us to be afraid that the relationship could end. We live by the belief that thinking and preparing for the end of our relationship is like planning and hoping for it to happen and we just don’t want to gamble like that. I know to some it may seem strange that we have both pre-accepted the fact that we may break up someday, but honestly, for us, the most important time is now, and worrying about what may or may not happen can only limit our current happiness.
I have been blessed to have been raised in such a loving home, surrounded by loving family members who thankfully had happy, healthy relationships, despite this I developed a very negative way of looking at love and to be honest with you, up until I met Hubert, I was happy to be in loveless relationships because as long as I was getting what I wanted, attention, then I was fine with whatever came along, negativity and all.
When I fell in love with Hubert, it was the first time I ever truly experienced what it was like to be afraid to lose somebody, to physically hurt at the thought of losing someone. I thought about how I had never experienced that feeling before and thought about how proud I was that emotionally I was growing, but actually, it was a very unhealthy way of looking at things. Hubert taught me that whilst it’s normal to be afraid to lose someone, it’s not good to have that in the forefront of your mind. That the best way to lose at a break up is to let it completely devastate you, and if I’m constantly preparing myself for the end, then I will miss the great stuff in the middle, but also I won’t be giving it my all to make our relationship work. Essentially he gave me another way of looking at things and it makes so much more sense to me now.
Some relationships will come to an end and instead of letting this break you down, you should embrace the lessons learned from the experience and the happiness you once felt with that person. Break ups happen, it’s all part of the human experience, but this shouldn’t stop you from letting yourself fall in love in 100 different ways with 100 different people just because society would have you believe you can only have one person. This just isn’t true, as you grow as an individual you’re going to find the way you think and act will change and it may mean bringing a new host of people into your life, you shouldn’t be afraid of falling in love because there’s a chance that it may end, just like you shouldn’t be afraid to end a bad relationship because you’re afraid that you’ll never find someone again.
The truth is as long as you’re happy in a relationship, no external factors should affect how you are as a couple. If you’re both willing to fight together through the tough times and celebrate the good times, there is no need to end a good thing.
Likewise, if there really is no love there anymore, regardless of how many kids you have and how many people you think you’re going to disappoint, you can’t make something bad work if your heart, soul and mind are no longer in it anymore.
Life is such a short and precious thing, there are no do-overs, so take the opportunity to find someone who you really feel in your body and soul is your soul mate, they are out there somewhere, you just have to pay attention and follow your heart.
So going back to that conversation, the reason I responded that way is because, in my 24 years of life, I have watched people try so hard to make a failing relationship work, I’ve watched people stripped of their very being, loose the sense of hope in the world, loose themselves and their happiness all because they wanted to pretend to the world that they were in a perfect relationship. They were so afraid of what people would think that they put their own happiness and each other’s happiness last, and that is what leads relationships to break down. Then by the time they realise they want to be happy and feel what true love is like again, they realise years has gone by and the fear of trying again overwhelms them.
I know that a long lasting relationship full of ups and downs is great, it makes for much better love stories than that of Romeo and Juliet, but the thing is with those relationships, love remains, both people want to be with their partner and even if the occasional hiccup and annoyance happens, they stay strong and stay together. Those kinds of relationships are the ones that are worth saving, however, if you find yourself giving much more than you’re receiving, if you feel like you’re not getting the love you desire and are willing to give, if you feel like you’ve exhausted every avenue to try to make it work, then why put yourself through years of pain and sadness when you’re new happy ending may be just around the corner?
No matter how hard it may be, no matter how scary it may seem, remember just how important it is that you put your love and happiness on your list of priorities, remember that you deserve to find love and be in the relationship that challenges and fulfils you. Love is about growing together, discovering new things and creating memories that one day in your old age, you can both share and reminisce about together.
So from this day forward tell yourself that you love yourself enough to know when you’re getting the kind of love you deserve, and in turn ask yourself whether you’re giving your partner the kind of love they also deserve?
Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday but most importantly, you proud every day!
Peace and Love