“If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”
These words have been used in a song.
They have been used in quotes, but most alarming to me is the fact these words have become a belief to some people!
Human nature, love, attraction, chemistry, and energy are all complicated and complex things.
There’s been much debate about the ability to love more than one person at the same time. The “against group” say absolutely not; if you love someone, it’s impossible to develop feelings for another. The “for group” say, yes you can but that love will be different and you never love two people in the same way.
They say love is a choice. For example, we choose who our friends are and whom we want to spend time with, so yes, in this regard love is a choice. What is not a choice is the chemistry, attraction, and energy we feel with another. So whilst we can “choose” to love someone, we cannot choose these other things—they are either there or they are not, or we lose them and it’s bloody hard to get them back.
This begs the question: if you love someone but lack attraction, energy, and chemistry, can you sustain a romantic relationship?
It depends on what you want and usually is driven by a whole host of external things such as finances, family pressure, and children.
The reality is, why would you stay in a relationship that lacks such a crucial ingredient? Particularly if you’re relatively young and healthy?
Simply put, love, sadly, is not enough to sustain a romantic relationship.
A companionship relationship definitely, housemates sharing children, of course, but a romantic relationship?
Without that spark, either one or both partners will eventually drift away. I know as I have been there.
So do we choose with our head, our heart, or our soul? Our head forever logical—concerned with the financial implications, family logistics, and fear. Our heart possibly torn, but our soul, deep down in the darkest recesses, if we choose to listen carefully, if we choose to pay close attention, will always know.
Most of us are far too scared to listen to our soul because sometimes the truth of what it is telling us scares the sh*t out of us.
“If you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with” is a recipe for bitterness and resentment. You should stay with someone for all the right reasons—not because you cannot be with another or you fear being alone.
This is so unfair to everyone, and it is the epitome of selfishness. If you love someone else—leave! If you don’t love the person you are with or don’t have all the ingredients including chemistry and energy—leave. If you are torn between two people, spend some time alone to sort yourself out, but be honest to all involved.
If I followed these words, I would still be in my long-term marriage, and I know people who stay in relationships simply because they are scared to be alone. They are scared of judgement. They are terrified of the financial implications. They are worried about what family and friends will say.
Understandably, children should always be a priority, but staying for the wrong reasons will ultimately affect everyone long term and in a far greater way, than leaving with dignity and respect.
I await the barrage of comments challenging this. “Marriage should be saved at all costs.” “Vows are sacred and should not be broken.” “People these days give up too quickly and don’t work hard enough on relationships.”
And I say your opinion is yours, and someone else’s relationship is absolutely none of your business.
I was married for almost 27 years and in the relationship for 30 years, so I think I gave it a fair chance. It was hard and painful to end, but it was also the right thing to do because I had emotionally left. My heart and soul were no longer there and staying for any other reason would have been wrong, unfair, and selfish.
Marriage should be two fully committed people, who haven’t held or are not currently holding love or feelings for another (unless they’ve been honest and have rebuilt trust). It should be love, trust, loyalty, and respect, and there should be undeniable energy and chemistry between the two people. Yes, this can wane at times but if it disappears there’s an issue to be addressed.
If you’re “loving” the one you are with because you cannot be with the one you love or are too afraid to be alone, perhaps it’s time to be honest with yourself and your partner. Perhaps it’s time to unchain yourself from your fence of fear and deceit because lying to yourself is lying to everyone. It’s hurting yourself and everyone you touch.
If you can’t be with the one you love, be alone! Nobody deserves to have half a person, half a love.