Love is important, there is no question. If we ask the Beatles, then it’s all we need. If we ask the Bible, then it is patient, kind and never failing. But sometimes that love does end. The problem, occasionally, is that we invest so much into how we describe our love that it leaves us no outs when it ends.
Specifically, we box ourselves in when we speak in superlatives about feelings, relationships or problems and they quickly become things that they are not. Love becomes perfect, problems become insurmountable, and feelings become terrible. For better or for worse, this is not reality. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying suck out the romance, but emphasize that how we frame love in our minds is important.
We get into trouble because our love, no matter our commitment to it cannot be perfect. When we come into contact with this fact our relationships can crumble under its weight. I say relationships crumble because that is what disintegrates – not the people in it. This is important because oftentimes we put so much into the relationship that it feels like it is us. I’m sure you’ve heard the familiar line, “I’ve got to find myself after breaking up with so and so.”
I encourage you to love someone in such a way that you have a grasp on who you are in and out of the relationship. So if it ends, the relationship can die without it taking you down with it. Broaden your perspective and hold both ideas to be true: Love is important and Love is mutable. Coming from this angle, you can keep your love fresh for the person that you are with because you see it as something that can change and is thus worth improving upon. If you have lost love, then it is not because you have died, but because the relationship has died and it is time to start anew.
-Logan Williamson, LPC