April 22, 2012

Real love

We have been sold a line of crap, y'all.

I blame fairy tales. Girls grow up believing that love is all sunshine and flowers and happy forest critters at our feet, which does less than nothing to prepare us for real relationships with our own (ahem!) princes. I say less than nothing because believing in fairy tales creates unrealistic expectations which we spend so much time and energy trying to get met, that we don't get to experience the real love we have.

We grow up thinking that happy, loving feelings are the most important factors in romantic relationships, despite the fact that we fight with our frenemies, have mama drama, and alternately adore and hate our siblings—all while continuing to love them.

In no other relationship in our lives do we expect to feel loving and happy all the time.

How many times have you heard a girlfriend say, “I love him, but I'm not in love with him”? Maybe you feel that way yourself. The thrill is gone. It's all work and no play. There's no connection, no passion. You're more like roommates than lovers.

That sucks, no doubt. But before throwing in the towel, especially when a marriage is at stake, take a look at the big picture. There are many facets to a healthy relationship: friendship, companionship, partnership, co-parenting, mutual financial advising, co-dreaming, sex, affection, fun, learning together, laughing together. How are the other aspects of your relationship going? Do you have fun together? Have you talked about future plans you can both get excited about? Do you have each other's backs when the going gets tough?

There's nothing wrong with valuing passion and excitement. They have their place. But they aren't enough by themselves to sustain a relationship. So get real.

Sometimes the change that is most needed in a ho-hum relationship is the one we make in our heads.


  1. I know this isn't in the Big Picture of this post. But I'd just like to say that the "i've got your back" stick people has made me laugh out loud twice today when it popped into my brain unaware. Thanks (:

  2. Thanks, gals. I wish I would've learned this love lesson in my 20s! Our first years of marriage would have been much happier. :D

    Mama, I'd love to take credit for the back-having stick people idea, but the truth is that I got the idea from a cartoon I found online! I just created my own version as a stick figure couple for the purposes of this post. :P

    Shhh, don't tell the Creativity Police!