Why Love Is Not Enough
Friend 1: Jon cheated on me again.
Friend 2: Man! Why haven’t you left him already?!
Friend 1: Because I love him! (cue dramatic tears)
Friend 2: (Blank stare)
We don’t have to watch a cheesy talk show or soap opera to witness a couple that sticks together in the name of love that really should have parted ways a long time ago. Hell, many of us either are, or have been, that couple at some point. Love is a key component to a healthy, fulfilling relationship, but without respect, honesty, trust and a slew of other elements that are present when you value another human being, you’ll be miserable.
Love is simply NOT enough.
Unfortunately, there are people in the world who will take your love, dignity and respect for granted. Forgiveness is key, but at some point it turns into enabling, particularly when the same offenses are being made. For example, I was talking to an associate who is in a “situationship.” You know, a relationship where one person is pretty much committed and ready to take the next step, but the other person simply likes things the way that they are? Elements of a committed relationship are present, but they’re executed just enough to the point where the less satisfied person has hope that their beau will “come around one day.”
Anyway, she’s very unhappy because the person she is seeing has done just about everything under the sun to hurt and manipulate her, and multiple times at that. They agreed to sleep with each other exclusively. That was violated. Her mate brought someone else to a family function instead of her. She forgave that. She’s been lied to. REPEATEDLY. The list goes on and on, but yet and still she stays. Why? Because she “loves him.”
Granted, every couple will have their challenges. How you handle those challenges will determine if you are right for each other, but some things you just shouldn’t have to put up with. You should never accept behavior from your partner that violates the terms of your relationship, and you should never have to demand respect from the one who you’re meant to be with.
At some point, you have to look beyond what you feel for someone to really see how your significant other views you. I realize that finding out that you don’t matter as much to someone that you love can be a scary thing. A lot of us have such high hopes that we feel like we can love enough for the entire relationship. But that’s just inaccurate and unfair in the long-run. We owe it to ourselves to pay attention to signs that tell us it is simply time to let go. There is peace in that.
By taking a step back, you give your mate the chance to show you whether you matter or not. People have a funny way of revealing their true selves when you stop granting them the privilege to walk all over you. Find the courage to walk away when all of the signs point to “leave.”
Your turn: What’s a sign that love isn’t enough to keep a relationship together? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply comment in the section below! And don’t forget to join us on Twitter every Wednesday at 3PM CST for a live discussion on love and relationships. Keep up with the conversation via the #AskShanTellem hashtag.
Shantell E. Jamison is a Chicago-based writer, radio personality, and cultural critic. She’s also JET Magazine’s Digital Content Editor. She’s been featured on WBEZ 91.5FM, “The Monique Caradine Show,” Vocalo 91.1FM, KDKA Newsradio 1020AM, WBGX 1570AM, WYCA 102.3FM, Chicago Now, The Grio, The Black Youth Project, The Gate Newspaper and “Launching Chicago with Lenny McAllister.” Her debut book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self” is available now at Amazon.com.