My partner and I loved each other deeply, and shared great friendship; however we couldn’t hit it off as a couple. We were fluent in love, but not in a romantic relationship.
We struggled to understand how two people who love each other could fail in making a relationship work, and we tried our best to make our relationship work. We compromised on our goals, communicated our needs, cleared the misunderstandings, and did all that we believed would help. But it was all in vain.
Though it was a challenging phase, it taught me many valuable lessons which I will always remain grateful for.
1. It takes much more than love to make a relationship work.
More often than not we get into a relationship based on our feelings – the sense of attraction, warmth and comfort – which we call love. However a relationship needs much more than love to function.
It requires conscious and constant effort, patience, commitment, courage to be honest, strength to be vulnerable, willingness to forgive, trust to walk into the unknown and a passion which never dies.
2. Love and relationships are not to be taken as the same.
Though they are very much interlinked, they have their subtle yet significant differences. While love can exist independent of relationship, no relationship can survive long without love being at the core.
While love likes to fly high and desires freedom, a relationship demands grounding. While love is universal, a relationship is personal. While love is intangible, a relationship brings tangibility.
3. Love or intimacy in a relationship can’t be judged by the length (duration) of a relationship.
When it comes to a relationship we often boast about the years spent together. It is believed to speak for the love and intimacy between the partners. Though it could be true in many cases, it is definitely not true in all.
I feel it is safe to say honesty and vulnerability contribute much more in nurturing love and intimacy than the number of days spent together. How would the number of years matter if we don’t feel safe to be honest and vulnerable with our partner?
4. Love is different from physical attraction or emotional dependence.
Love has a sense of freedom attached to its soul. To love means to trust: trust one’s self, trust one’s partner and trust life itself. If we don’t experience the sense of trust and freedom in our relationship, we might be confusing love with attachment, physical or emotional.
5. Not all relationships are meant to last forever.
Love at times means to let go—to set our loved ones free and allow them to walk their path as we walk ours. Not all relationships are meant to stay forever, but each has its beauty and lessons to teach.
6. Sometimes love is better nurtured within the arms of friendship.
We should not force every beautiful connection into a romantic relationship. Some are better off as friends.
7. There is wisdom in endings and closures.
Love is not to be made an excuse to hold onto a relationship which is not functional. We should show the courage to let go and surrender a relationship when we fail to honour ourselves or the other. We all deserve the best and shouldn’t compromise for anything less.