Five Reasons We Fail at Love
Time was, a few generations ago, that people got married and stayed married. They were solid. Committed. They made a vow and they kept it. It seems like they knew how to love or at least stay together. And now days it seems like people break up at the drop of the hat. What’s going on?
- We don’t have experience in sacrifice. We haven’t lived through world wars, when everyone gave up their own lives to pitch in and help win the war effort. And we haven’t lived through the depression when everyone scrimped on food and saved string. We don’t know what it means to put someone else before ourselves—we’ve never had to. We’ve never had to make sacrifices in our own lives for the greater good. So we don’t know how to put our partner first long enough to develop a strong relationship.
- We’re too busy living life too fast. Most of us live in cities where the pace of life is at warp speed. We’re goal oriented, chasing after that next promotion or that fancier condo. And we’re in such a hurry that we have no patience for the slow and steady nurturing that loving relationships require. There is no time to hold hands, sit on the front porch and watch the sun set. There is no time to spend quietly together to allow love to flourish.
- We expect gratification to be a click away. We are used to getting what we want instantaneously, and the faster we’re satiated, the more we want what we want even faster. We seldom have to put much time and energy into achieving and acquiring things. But a strong emotional connection with another person takes time to evolve. So while there may be love at first sight, the maturity of a lasting relationship cannot be had when you’ve just met. It takes time and patience to grow together as a couple.
- We’re not willing to invest in fixer-uppers. Nobody’s perfect. But we sometimes think it’s easier to meet someone new than to stick around and try to make a go of it with someone who’s not exactly perfect. We don’t give them a chance because we’re on to the next person, who won’t be perfect either. After all, it’s easy to meet new people—just enter your profile on any one of dozens of websites. But it’s not so easy to get to know someone well. To work at bringing out the best in another person. That takes a willingness to invest in a relationship.
- We’re risk averse. It takes courage to let ourselves fall in love. To risk being hurt. To put ourselves out there on a limb and bare our souls. To be vulnerable enough to get close to someone else. To be so invested in another human being that that person has the power to break our hearts. We have never had to make these kinds of gut wrenching leaps and we aren’t prepared to do it, even for love.
But the thing is, if you find someone who might be your mate for life, it is worth the sacrifice. It is worth taking time and effort to allow love to flourish. It is worth taking the risk. Because the reward is nothing less than lasting love.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: http://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact-us