Is Love Enough?

I was sitting on my friend’s bed one day venting about my newly ended relationship. I was at a loss. My heart hurt. She tried to be encouraging by emphasizing all the good things that were happening in my life, but all I could manage to choke out in response was, “but I love him.” Her response sent me through a loop, for she looked at me and asked, “Is love enough?”

I was at a loss for words. Why couldn’t I answer this question with confidence? Maybe because my breakup had made me realize love wasn’t enough and the thought of love not being enough truly broke my heart.

It was the beginning phase of my breakup, and it’s safe to say I was holding out hope we’d get back together. Love conquers all, at least that’s what I was told. So if that’s the case, loving him as hard as I did would mend this. It had to.

But days passed, then weeks, and finally months. The breakup went from amicable to messy, and in the midst of all that chaos, one little question rang through my head. Is love enough?

The simple answer, no. Love isn’t enough, and to be frank, I feel pretty foolish for thinking it was. I loved this person with my entire being. When we broke up, my heart hurt, my soul ached, and I felt a level of sadness I hadn’t felt in quite some time. So if love was enough, it should’ve worked out.

We tend to idealize love. Watch any romance movie, any TV show, listen to any love song, and you’ll see how much we place love on this imaginary pedestal, treating it like a cure for all of life’s problems. But love is not a cure-all.

That’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way because, in my head, love equaled happiness. If I found love, then I would finally be happy, but that wasn’t the case. Love doesn’t solve your problems; it just masks them until one day it doesn’t anymore.

The truth is, love is all-encompassing. It’s trust, compassion, respect, emotional safety, emotional intimacy, sexual attraction, and so much more. So when one of those things is missing, you can’t truly be in love. And to be honest, there were a few of those missing from my former relationship. This made me realize that love is built over time.

The simple feeling of love isn’t enough. It may make you feel good in the moment, but if there isn’t mutual respect and understanding for one another, that feeling alone will never be enough.

There are so many moving parts in a relationship. Things that will cause you to grow together or grow apart. And if you ended up growing apart like my ex and myself, you’ll start to realize that the love you had for that person isn’t enough to keep you together. Because as you grow apart, the respect, the trust, the safety, it all lessens.

I spiraled after my breakup. How could someone I love so much not love me back anymore? What did I do to deserve the sadness, devastation, and feelings of betrayal that came from the breakup?

This question lived rent-free in my brain for months until one day, I woke and realized that I did nothing. I loved viciously, and epically it just wasn’t enough at the end of the day, and that’s okay.

He’s moved on, and finally, I am starting to as well. And as I move forward and develop new relationships, this is a lesson I will never forget. Love isn’t enough but respect, trust, and safety always will be.

Moving Forward

I’m sad. I’ve tried starting this article in so many different ways. I tried to be philosophical even, talking about change and how hard it can be due to being a creature of habit myself. But at the end of the day, I’m just sad.

Change is hard, and when unexpected change happens, it can feel impossible to cope. My unexpected change is a breakup. He was my first love, my constant, and now that he’s gone, I have trouble managing my day-to-day. What do I do when some days are great and other days all I want to do is cry?

Things ended amicably, and for that, I am grateful. However, sometimes I wish I could hate him, just so moving on could be easier. But I don’t. I love him, and sometimes it feels like I’ll never be able to stop loving him.

My heart hurts, my soul feels crushed, and all in all, I am not coping well. I’m just so sad. So how do we move forward when feelings of self-doubt and loneliness surround us?

I’m not too sure. I know I have to but the ‘how’ is where I am struggling. It’s easy to want to hang onto the past. As I mentioned earlier, we are creatures of habit and comfort, and when we are kicked out of our comfort zone unexpectedly, it’s hard to figure out how to push forward.

I know that this feeling is temporary. With time and space, this all shall pass. One day I’ll wake up with a smile on my face. One day I’ll get through the day without crying. One day I will be happy.

But for now, I’m sad. And that’s okay too. It’s my job to realize these feelings and move past them. Time heals all, but it’s okay to sit in the moment. Moving forward doesn’t mean rushing forward. It means taking the time you need to heal and grow in the ways that satisfy you.

Today I will cry. Today my heart will hurt. But eventually, my light will shine again, and the work I’ve done to move past this will be worth it.

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