In 2018, Justin Beiber, the teenage sensation who at one point drove a significant chunk of millennials and Gen Z crazy married Hailey Beiber. Of course, this was much to the dismay of diehards and fanatics of Selena Gomez, a one-time on-off old flame of Justin Beiber. Okay, that’s the much I know. Yes, I silently followed this soap opera. Don’t judge me. Later, Selena released a song that perfectly captures what most of us endure at one point. She sings, beautifully.
‘There’s a million reasons why I should give you up but the heart wants what it wants.’Selena Gomez
I need a minute.
Dear reader, the world is brutal. Don’t let it drive you to the depths of desolation and self-pity. Love is not all we need. Values such as humility, dignity, respect, and growth are vital. These are the hard truths love masks, if you allow it.
Love can break you
Heartbreaks are real. At times, I look at my daughter and wish I could shield her from the harsh realities of life. Well, I hope the world will be gentle with my bright butterfly. I wish the same for all of you. I’ve seen firsthand how falling in love with someone who constantly makes us question our self-worth, exploits our weaknesses, and betrays our trust breaks someone. Even the strongest weep.
Sometimes, we fall in love with selfish, egoistic narcissists out to use and dump us to further their interests and ambitions. Love sucks, at times. Yet there are good souls, compatible souls who come into our lives at the wrong time. Under better circumstances, such people could become life partners. Paradoxical.
In all these things, it all starts wrong. The end doesn’t justify the means. In matters of love, be conscious of whatever your decisions.
In the name of love …
Innocent souls die in the name of love. This is an unending cycle. I’m not a big fan of love, to be honest. How can something so beautiful turn into something so deadly? Each day, we see people die in the name of love. The World Health Organization estimates out of the annual 5000 femicide cases, 35% are committed by intimate partners.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Love can make you do things you never thought you were capable of doing. Sometimes, it’s not enough. Be careful. Be cautious. Love wisely. Remember it’s better to be alone than be in a toxic relationship. You are enough.
Love is often inadequate
No matter how much we try to sugarcoat it, love falls short of our expectations and goals. It’s not all we need. There are times when even when happy, love remains inadequate. It doesn’t always cure human ills as people idealize it. It’s common to hear statements such as “Do it with more love” yet time and again, love is not all you need.
Love is beautiful, no doubt. But it falls short in many situations. Let’s explore some of these
1. When you’re caught in a toxic cycle of abuse
2. When your partner isn’t growing with you
3. When love becomes an obsession
Toxic cycles of abuse can leave individuals feeling trapped and worthless. When people idealize love, they overestimate its power. With all its alluring pull and addictive emotions, walking away from love is an everyday reality and objective choice people often ignore. In fact, some researchers believe that we are wired for disappointment when it comes to love.
Love conquers, right?
One study found that people in long-term relationships rated their satisfaction as lower than those who were single or newly in love. The study also found that people in relationships were more likely to report feeling anxious, depressed, and stressed.
It’s not just that love doesn’t live up to our expectations; it’s that love can actually be bad for us. A study of married couples found that those who reported being in love were more likely to experience negative health effects, such as high blood pressure and anxiety. Hello, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get married. The benefits of marriage are immense including longer lives and a better sense of achievement.
So what if love is not enough? What if it falls short of our expectations? Is there anything we can do about it?
Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re feeling let down by love:
Don’t expect too much from love
It’s important to have realistic expectations for what love can and cannot do. Love is a wonderful thing, but it’s not a cure-all. Pinning all your vulnerabilities on your partner is unjust and precedes failure. Crazy in love blurs room for much-needed sobriety and objectivity. In as much as you want to love; use your head!
Don’t forget about self-love
In order to have a healthy relationship with someone else, you need to have a healthy relationship with yourself first. Make sure to take care of your own needs and wants. Sacrificing your dignity, purpose, goals and even physical body to be with someone is wrong. Love should empower; not replace or eliminate our personality.
Be honest with yourself
If you’re not happy with the way things are going in your relationship, speak up. Don’t stay in a situation that isn’t working for you. I tell my daughter how much I’ll be there to wipe her tears and listen to her mopping when the worst happens. Eventually, we all get over it, albeit scarred.
Seek professional help
If you’re finding it difficult to cope with the challenges in your relationship, it may be helpful to talk to a therapist or counselor. They can provide support and guidance on how to work through difficulties in a healthy way.
Acknowledge the red flags
A colleague mentioned how while dating her now estranged husband, he would disappear for days without calling or checking on her. Upon return, he would not explain his whereabouts, and his mother often covered for his philandering ways. Then a baby came along and my colleague realized how toxic the environment was for the kid. She walked away and is thriving. Her only regret is ignoring the red flags. I sympathize but often wonder how many wallow in such a cycle but lack the courage to do what’s necessary.
Enjoying love requires finding something more important to pursue other than love.
Love is not scarce. Love is not everything. Self-respect and dignity are everything. Control the heart, and unapologetically and selfishly choose you. Losing your identity over love isn’t a win!