Finding love is a special thing. Because vulnerability is involved! And that is no small thing. Timing and time (they are different) and chemistry are also involved to create this very special emotion with someone else.
But love is not enough for a relationship to be a good match and move into marriage.
I have been in love three times before John. Love that still makes me smile when I think of it. Love that is still triggered when I hear “our song.” But for valid reasons our love was not enough to be a good match.
Because these valid reasons really matter. Are we living in the same location or can we live in the same location? Are we too young? Do both of you recognize the call on your life? Is there a non-negotiable that you can’t grow to? (This one takes a daring deep look.) Is one of you a taker? (Now that this problem has been revealed to you, this one is easy to look over.) Is someone’s finances a mess and are the reasons a red light? What do both of you honestly think about children? About parenting roles? In my story up front I knew I wasn’t able to have children. That was a deal breaker for some guys right away. Are you able to share parenting of the other’s child with the other parent of that child? (No matter how much you love that child.)
These are hard questions. Questions you must face. Questions that will blow away half-thoughts and co-dependent fantasies. You want to relate emotionally, spiritually, physically, and intellectually. Dealing with these questions will actually allow yourself to truly be seen in this relationship. Yes, you can be in love and not truly be seen. You want to truly be seen in your marriage.
Invite your team into these hard questions. This is what they are there for. To help you grow you so you can find your love for a lifetime. Hear their brave responses back to you because they are for you.
We want to believe that being in love—with all that wonderful chemistry added to it—is enough. It’s not. You may have to be the one who sees this sad reality and be the one to make the ending. How hard that will be. How brave that is. How painfully hard that is. It is vulnerable enough to find someone whom you fall in love with. And yet as you vulnerably fell in love to find out it is not enough for a love for a lifetime…this is hard.
Yet the ending must be made. Because love is not enough.
Be brave. Grieve. Lament. Heal. Minimize romanticizing what you lost while cherishing the good of what you had. Then try again to find love. Because you will.
It would help if you would meet your love for a lifetime tomorrow but timing and time are both needed. Timing and time become frustratingly frustrating because time allows you to miss what you used to have. That missing of someone who was truly special hurts. Hearing “your song” again can actually send you into tears; into melancholy; into falsely recreating your relationship into something that isn’t real; to contorting your soul to try again; to keep you out of vulnerability to try again with someone new.
This reality is pain. This just is. But you must continue on bravely living til you do find your love for a lifetime. Because you will.
(photo credit: http://www.marvin.co.za/love-is-not-enough/)