“The one” doesn’t exist, so let’s shatter that little romantic quip right now. There are a lot of people, some you will get along with more than others. Shared interests, similar personalities, same humor, agreed-upon values, similar visions for your futures… these are recipes for compatibility. Still, no matter who you chose to be with, it will be work. You will never find “the right one” who you always agree with, who you never fight with, who can read your mind and tend to your every need happily ever after. If you think you’ve found this person, brace yourself. You’re in love, and eventually, you’re going to crash back down to reality. Your first fight is going to shatter your heart and if you’re fully invested in this “the one” mentality, you’ll break up, search for the real “the one” and repeat the cycle.
“In love” is when the emotionally roller coaster is moving up to its peak. The roller coaster eventually plummets down. Love is when you stay on the ride, through all the peaks and plummets.
Our society worships “in love”. It’s consider a great feat when a couple married for 10 years or longer states that they still feel butterflies when their partner walks in the room. People love to hear when long-term couples don’t fight and still feel lusty. It gives people hope that the feelings they had in the very beginning of their relationships, the feelings of newness and excitement, can remain captured and strong, effortless. There is a large emphasis on feeling, and when that feeling finds itself sharing space with other, lesser feelings, we’re told that something is wrong. They’re not “right”, “it wasn’t meant to be”, it’s not perfect so lets move on.
If we start fighting, if we no longer care to spend every single moment awake and asleep glued together, if we fall out of love, then we’ll just get a divorce. No big deal. A lot of people don’t realize that “in love” is not love and that no matter what, relationships require work. When “in love” fails, and they have to start working on the relationship, they’d rather run.
That’s not what marriage is supposed to be. If you are engaged or dating and you aren’t willing to work on your relationship, you should not get married. If you are married and you aren’t working on your relationship, you better start.
Marriage is a commitment to choose to love your partner and do the necessary work, to go above and and beyond to stay happy. It’s a commitment to communicate when you are and are not happy, and an agreement that you both will do what you can do as a result of this communication. That’s just good advice for any type of relationship though.
If you’re not in love, good. Move on from that naive way of thinking and start seeing love as a choice and an action.