"Do you think love is enough to make a relationship work? If two people are madly in love with each other and want to be together, is that enough? Even if they’re incompatible in a lot of ways and have really different thought processes about almost everything… I’m having a think about my relationship and deciding what I want for my future. You seem to have it SO together." - Isabella, Vancouver Canada
Oh wow, Isabella where do I begin?
Firstly I certainly do not have it all together. Not even close! I have spent an extraordinary amount of time with your very same question, and every time I find myself asking the question is love enough? I come to the same conclusion: it’s not.
People that enter arranged marriages are drastically less likely to divorce. It is worth noting that there are cultural elements at play in that statistic. The divorce rate here in U.S. has risen steadily over the last 50 years and continues to do so. The idea of "romantic" became prevalent in our parents generation, the reasons for that alone would require another post. The point is, as recently as our grandparents generation people would marry based on terms of friendship and monetary security (especially for women,) it was never about falling madly in love. Prior to the industrial revolution, marriage was used to keep wealth between two families and to disavow any illegitimate children. Now it's all, I am so in love! Bring on the fairys and unicorns! Easy now, romantic love is by far the most easily changed of all feelings. To say it's fleeting would be an understatement, and most often when two individuals are incompatible at their core it is extremely challenging to make work..As it seems like you yourself are noticing.
I can say from my own experience whenever I have been madly in love with partners to the point of being completely obsessed with each other.. you know the ones with the intense sexual chemistry? It doesn't last. You cannot build a relationship, or a life on a "feeling," or even an orgasm. As much as it pains me to say, you need more. You must have more similar than differing worldviews and I think it's total bullsh*t when people say "opposites attract." We are humans, we are not polarized magnets. I am in no way saying that any relationship will ever be "perfect," but I think you need more than just intense/overwhelming/out-of-this-world-feelings. Whatever that "more" is, is as unique as you are. Men and women fall in love with the wrong people everyday, they also fall out of it. This is a beautiful thing please realize not every relationship is meant to last forever. In fact, most of them are not and therefore the point is to learn from and enjoy them while they are here. Taking that perspective has helped me in my own loves, that and if you take the time to look deeply into your heart I am sure you will find all the answers are already there...