Love Is Not Enough - I wish Tecra read this b4 she met Omar Lali


6 years ago
In 1967, John Lennon wrote a song called, “All You Need is Love.” He also beat both of his wives, abandoned one of his children, verbally abused his gay Jewish manager with homophobic and anti-semitic slurs, and once had a camera crew film him lying naked in his bed for an entire day.
Thirty-five years later, Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails wrote a song called “Love is Not Enough.” Reznor, despite being famous for his shocking stage performances and his grotesque and disturbing videos, got clean from all drugs and alcohol, married one woman, had two children with her, and then canceled entire albums and tours so that he could stay home and be a good husband and father.
One of these two men had a clear and realistic understanding of love. One of them did not. One of these men idealized love as the solution to all of his problems. One of them did not. One of these men was probably a narcissistic asshole. One of them was not.
In our culture, many of us idealize love. We see it as some lofty cure-all for all of life’s problems. Our movies and our stories and our history all celebrate it as life’s ultimate goal, the final solution for all of our pain and struggle. And because we idealize love, we overestimate it. As a result, our relationships pay a price.
When we believe that “all we need is love,” then like Lennon, we’re more likely to ignore fundamental values such as respect, humility and commitment towards the people we care about. After all, if love solves everything, then why bother with all the other stuff — all of the hardstuff?
But if, like Reznor, we believe that “love is not enough,” then we understand that healthy relationships require more than pure emotion or lofty passions. We understand that there are things more important in our lives and our relationships than simply being in love. And the success of our relationships hinges on these deeper and more important values.
The problem with idealizing love is that it causes us to develop unrealistic expectations about what love actually is and what it can do for us. These unrealistic expectations then sabotage the very relationships we hold dear in the first place. Allow me to illustrate:
1. Love does not equal compatibility. Just because you fall in love with someone doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good partner for you to be with over the long term. Love is an emotional process; compatibility is a logical process. And the two don’t bleed into one another very well.
It’s possible to fall in love with somebody who doesn’t treat us well, who makes us feel worse about ourselves, who doesn’t hold the same respect for us as we do for them, or who has such a dysfunctional life themselves that they threaten to bring us down with them.
It’s possible to fall in love with somebody who has different ambitions or life goals that are contradictory to our own, who holds different philosophical beliefs or worldviews that clash with our own sense of reality.
It’s possible to fall in love with somebody who sucks for us and our happiness.
That may sound paradoxical, but it’s true.
When I think of all of the disastrous relationships I’ve seen or people have emailed me about, many (or most) of them were entered into on the basis of emotion — they felt that “spark” and so they just dove in head first. Forget that he was a born-again Christian alcoholic and she was an acid-dropping bisexual necrophiliac. It just felt right.
And then six months later, when she’s throwing his shit out onto the lawn and he’s praying to Jesus twelve times a day for her salvation, they look around and wonder, “Gee, where did it go wrong?”
The truth is, it went wrong before it even began.
When dating and looking for a partner, you must use not only your heart, but your mind. Yes, you want to find someone who makes your heart flutter and your farts smell like cherry popsicles. But you alsoneed to evaluate a person’s values, how they treat themselves, how they treat those close to them, their ambitions and their worldviews in general. Because if you fall in love with someone who is incompatible with you…well, as the ski instructor from South Park once said, you’re going to have a bad time.
2. Love does not solve your relationship problems. My first girlfriend and I were madly in love with each other. We also lived in different cities, had no money to see each other, had families who hated each other, and went through weekly bouts of meaningless drama and fighting.
And every time we fought, we’d come back to each other the next day and make up and remind each other how crazy we were about one another and that none of those little things matter because we’re omg sooooooo in love and we’ll find a way to work it out and everything will be great, just you wait and see. Our love made us feel like we were overcoming our issues, when on a practical level, absolutely nothing had changed.
As you can imagine, none of our problems got resolved. The fights repeated themselves. The arguments got worse. Our inability to ever see each other hung around our necks like an albatross. We were both self-absorbed to the point where we couldn’t even communicate that effectively. Hours and hours talking on the phone with nothing actually said. Looking back, there was no hope that it was going to last. Yet we kept it up for three fucking years!
After all, love conquers all, right?
Unsurprisingly, that relationship burst into flames and crashed like the Hindenburg into an oil patch. The break up was ugly. And the big lesson I took away from it was this: while love may make you feel better about your relationship problems, it doesn’t actually solve any of your relationship problems.
This is how a toxic relationshipworks. The roller coaster of emotions are intoxicating, each high feeling even more important and more valid than the one before, but unless there’s a stable and practical foundation beneath your feet, that rising tide of emotion will eventually come and wash it all away.
3. Love is not always worth sacrificing yourself. One of the defining characteristics of loving someone is that you are able to think outside of yourself and your own needs to help care for another person and their needs as well.
But the question that doesn’t get asked often enough is exactly whatare you sacrificing, and is it worth it?
In loving relationships, it’s normal for both people to occasionally sacrifice their own desires, their own needs, and their own time for one another. I would argue that this is normal and healthy and a big part of what makes a relationship so great.
But when it comes to sacrificing one’s self-respect, one’s dignity, one’s physical body, one’s ambitions and life purpose, just to be with someone, then that same love becomes problematic. A loving relationship is supposed to supplement our individual identity, not damage it or replace it. If we find ourselves in situations where we’re tolerating disrespectful or abusive behavior, then that’s essentially what we’re doing: we’re allowing our love to consume us and negate us, and if we’re not careful, it will leave us as a shell of the person we once were.
One of the oldest pieces of relationship advice in the book is, “You and your partner should be best friends.” Most people look at that piece of advice in the positive: I should spend time with my partner like I do my best friend; I should communicate openly with my partner like I do with my best friend; I should have fun with my partner like I do with my best friend.
But people should also look at it in the negative: Would you tolerate your partner’s negative behaviors in your best friend?
Amazingly, when we ask ourselves this question honestly, in most unhealthy and codependentrelationships, the answer is “no.”
I know a young woman who just got married. She was madly in love with her husband. And despite the fact that he had been “between jobs” for more than a year, showed no interest in planning the wedding, often ditched her to take surfing trips with his friends, and her friends and family raised not-so-subtle concerns about him, she happily married him anyway.
But once the emotional high of the wedding wore off, reality set in. A year into their marriage, he’s still “between jobs,” he trashes the house while she’s at work, gets angry if she doesn’t cook dinner for him, and any time she complains he tells her that she’s “spoiled” and “arrogant.” Oh, and he still ditches her to take surfing trips with his friends.
And she got into this situation because she ignored all three of the harsh truths above. She idealized love. Despite being slapped in the face by all of the red flags he raised while dating him, she believed that their love signaled relationship compatibility. It didn’t. When her friends and family raised concerns leading up to the wedding, she believed that their love would solve their problems eventually. It didn’t. And now that everything had fallen into a steaming shit heap, she approached her friends for advice on how she could sacrifice herself even more to make it work.
And the truth is, it won’t.
Why do we tolerate behavior in our romantic relationships that we would never ever, ever tolerate in our friendships?
Imagine if your best friend moved in with you, trashed your place, refused to get a job or pay rent, demanded you cook dinner for them, and got angry and yelled at you any time you complained. That friendship would be over faster than Paris Hilton’s acting career.
Or another situation: a man’s girlfriend who was so jealous that she demanded passwords to all of his accounts and insisted on accompanying him on his business trips to make sure he wasn’t tempted by other women. This woman was like the NSA. His life was practically under 24/7 surveillance and you could see it wearing on his self-esteem. His self-worth dropped to nothing. She didn’t trust him to do anything. So he quit trusting himself to do anything.
Yet he stays with her! Why? Because he’s in love!
Remember this: The only way you can fully enjoy the love in your life is to choose to make something else more important in your life than love.
You can fall in love with a wide variety of people throughout the course of your life. You can fall in love with people who are good for you and people who are bad for you. You can fall in love in healthy ways and unhealthy ways. You can fall in love when you’re young and when you’re old. Love is not unique. Love is not special. Love is not scarce.
But your self-respect is. So is your dignity. So is your ability to trust. There can potentially be many loves throughout your life, but once you lose your self-respect, your dignity or your ability to trust, they are very hard to get back.
Love is a wonderful experience. It’s one of the greatest experiences life has to offer. And it is something everyone should aspire to feel and enjoy.
But like any other experience, it can be healthy or unhealthy. Like any other experience, it cannot be allowed to define us, our identities or our life purpose. We cannot let it consume us. We cannot sacrifice our identities and self-worth to it. Because the moment we do that, we lose love and we lose ourselves.
Because you need more in life than love. Love is great. Love is necessary. Love is beautiful. But love is not enough.
Relationships can be complicated and difficult. But few people know that there are some pretty clear signals to know if a relationship is going to work or not. Put your email in the form to receive my 29-page ebook on healthy relationships.
You’ll also receive updates on new articles, books and other things I’m working on. You can opt out at any time. See my privacy policy.

[li] Is Like Alcohol[/li][li] The Fall Comes[/li][li] Goes to the Movies: American Beauty[/li][li] in Vulnerability[/li][li] Things Sex Education Should Have Taught Us But Didn’t[/li][li] to Survive a Long Distance Relationship[/li][/ul]
Categories: Healthy Relationships
Back to top


The eerie similarities between romance and booze.
6 minute readby Mark Manson

00:00 / 00:00
Click play to listen to this article.
Romance is like alcohol. It can heal and it can hurt. It can create joy and it can create pain. It’s often responsible for some of the best and some of the worst moments of your life. It can obscure a terrible idea into a brilliant one; it can distort a terrible person into a fate-filled lover.
Romance is like alcohol. It invents emotions out of thin air. It can create a mirage of love; it can intoxicate us with an imagined happiness. It can generate anger and jealousy where none is deserved. It can bestow sadness and heartbreak when nothing is lost.
Romance is like alcohol. It feels really fucking good. Most of the time. But there’s usually a price to pay as soon as you sober up.
Romance is like alcohol in that it captivates us when we’re young. It intoxicates us and convinces us that what we’re experiencing is the only thing that is real, the only thing that matters. As we grow older and gain more experience, we learn to trust this feeling less and less, to understand that it comes and goes like anything else.
Romance is like alcohol — it can become an addiction, consuming us, destroying lives and ruining relationships with those closest to us. Some people can’t seem to get enough of it. They seek it out in the most unacceptable of places — their friend’s spouse, a young impressionable co-worker, or an ex that they can’t quite seem to let go of. They will lie, cheat, steal, and hurt others just to get one more fix of it, yet their behavior will always appear justified in their own mind.
Romance is like alcohol. Make sure you are using it and it’s not using you. Moderation is key. Sometimes you need to inject a little of it to add some zest back into your love life. Sometimes you need it to grease the wheels of a stale, old relationship. Sometimes you need it to help celebrate life’s important moments more intensely. But be sure to never lose yourself in it.
Romance is like alcohol. None is healthier than too much. And a little is healthier than none.
Romance is like alcohol. If you refuse to take part in it, you’re probably a real bore at parties.
Romance is like alcohol in that it distorts time. A few seconds can feel like an eternity, while an entire weekend can disappear without any sense of what happened.
Romance is like alcohol: it makes you really horny. Sometimes so horny that you end up sleeping with someone you probably shouldn’t sleep with.
Romance is like religion. It can lead you into believing in some greater force that is either trying to save you or destroy you, but you’re never sure which. It convinces you of childish superstitions for the simple sake of explaining what appears to be unexplainable on the surface.
Romance is like religion in that most people prefer to go through the motions and create the appearance of it rather than truly living it. Most people, when confronted with it, become shy or embarrassed and feel undeserving of the joys it can offer.
Romance is like religion in that others will make fun of you if you do it too much in public. “Get a room!” they’ll shout. As if praying at the altar of your lover’s lips in the clear of day were some public offense.
Romance is like religion in that it’s completely illogical, but that doesn’t stop people from giving their lives over to it.
Romance is like science in that you need to fuck up a few times before you know how to get it right. Failure is part of the process. Or rather, it’s the whole point.
Romance is like science in that no matter how many times you try to verify the experience, you can never be completely sure what exactly happened or what went wrong. You can know for certain either who you’re with or the emotion occurring between the two of you, but never both at the same time.
Romance is like alcohol in that we sometimes need it to get outside of ourselves, to feel and live and breathe and let ourselves simply be with others. It’s a chemical tool to surmount our own flawed psychology. An evolutionary trick to bind the cultures and societies that make us.
When I was young, I didn’t believe in romance. I treated it the same way I treated Santa Claus or the tooth fairy — sweet sentimentality overriding people’s otherwise right minds.
As you can probably guess, I was lonely and single. And ironically, despite all my musings about what romance was or wasn’t, my ignorance of the subject left me completely defenseless for the emotional shitshow that was my first serious relationship. Despite my ardent opposition to what romance was or wasn’t, I remained enslaved to it for years without ever realizing it.
Because this is the funny thing about romance: sometimes it hurts. This is by design. Sometimes all of the petty drama— the broken plates and slammed doors and tearful screams and shattered cell phone screens — is just as intoxicating to us as the most beautiful sunset, or the most heartfelt kisses.
As I grew older and more experienced, in the same way I learned to hold my liquor, I learned to hold my heart. I learned that just because it feels good doesn’t mean it is good. Just because I want something doesn’t mean I should have it. Just because we say we love each other doesn’t mean we entirely understand what that love is.
I came to understand the power of my emotions in the same way I had come to understand alcohol or religion or science: as a tool.
And as a tool, emotions are actually neutral. Emotions can hurt us, and they can help us. They can make us better people and they can make us worse people. They can be used for good and for evil. They are a supplement to who we are, they do not define who we are.
And once I understood this, I understood what love really was and what it could be. Some greater thing, unaffected by the day-to-day gusts of my internal weathervane. Something so sturdy that it didn’t even matter if it sometimes felt bad.
I understood that I can make my emotions work for me, that they are the servant and I am their master, not the other way around. That they are not commandments as much as powerful recommendations. That just because I feel it, does not mean that it must be so.
I understood that romance is like alcohol, something to be used and enjoyed responsibly (and preferably not while driving). That it is a tool designed to make my life better, even at the risk of making it worse.
Because romance is like alcohol: sometimes you just want to go out and get drunk for a while.
I’ve written a 21-page ebook about three ideas that heavily influenced my life, and that I believe can influence your life too. Put your email in the form and I’ll send it to you.
You’ll also receive updates on new articles, books and other things I’m working on. You can opt out at any time. See my privacy policy.



Stay Connected:

[li]Fuck Yes or No[/li][li]My Girlfriend Just Dumped Me[/li][li]How to Get Over Someone and Move On with Your Life[/li][li]Your Honest-to-God Guide to STDs[/li][li]Pornography Can Ruin Your Sex Life[/li][li]Change Your Mind About Dating[/li][/ul]
Hi there. This is the part of the website where I put a big toothy grin on my face and scream “BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!” at you in hopes to hold your attention for more than 30 milliseconds.
Because wait, there actually ismore. If you’d like to check out some online courses I’ve put together, if you’d like to get special subscribers-only articles and responses from me, and if you’re interested in hearing me answer reader questions like I’m Anne fucking Landers and talk a bit more about my own experiences, my business ventures, and what I eat for breakfast on Sundays, well, then there actually is more. A lot more.
Become a subscriber to the site and get all that extra cool stuff. Just click the pretty, pretty button below to get started.
© 2020 Infinity Squared Media LLC
[li]Terms and Conditions[/li][li]/Privacy Policy[/li][li]/Contact[/li][li]/Subscribe[/li][li]/Login[/li][/ul]
Join my newsletter and get a free ebook
“3 Ideas to Change Your Life”

Privacy Policy | Close: Don’t show this again