Compatibility is greater than love

Love Isn't Enough - 3 Harsh Truths About Relationships

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Text by: Romy Hausmann

He and she. That kiss. Either in the rain or in front of a sunset. Matching music, maybe a string orchestra. And then: the credits. Hollywood has told a fairy tale again, with the typical message: love is everything. Doesn't need anything else. Is the answer. The solution. Save us all. Amen. And we love to believe in it.

Only: Hollywood is lying (oh, no !?). The books lie, the advertisements lie, the music and even your best friend who is freshly in love. Not maliciously, no. It seems part of our human nature to idealize love. But that is exactly where the danger lies: we create unrealistic expectations of what love actually is and what it can do for us. That in turn often makes it difficult for us in our relationships.

The truth is, love is not enough.

Love itself is a pretty annoying party guest if it doesn't have a few buddies with you: respect. Humility. Trust. Dedication. Understanding. Friendship.

Now you might say: yes, but for me it all belongs together. True, real love automatically brings that along. Honest? Ask a woman who loves a man who treats her badly. Ask why she won't leave him. Because she loves him. Pretty bad, this love, isn't it? Pretty nasty bitch, sometimes.

Here are three hard truths about love and relationships, inspired by a text by Mark Manson.

1. Love doesn't necessarily mean that you also go together

Falling in love is purely emotional. The heart and hormones paralyze the brain - and we are powerless. But then everyday life comes and it doesn't like emotional at all. It (also) demands logic and rationality.

There are the sports cracks and the girl who only associates sports with her friends on Saturday shopping marathons. He likes to eat low-fat quark in the evening (because of muscle building and such), she would rather go out for a romantic dinner. With champagne to toast love. Doesn't work, he's in training. She is annoyed. He as well. After a while, she accuses him of his sport being more important to him than her, and maybe she is right about that.

There is the young tax advisor, a very accurate guy, and the bon vivant, the crazy chicken with an asymmetrical hairstyle. She works as a freelance theater actress, lives for the moment and often from hand to mouth. Your finances drive him crazy. She should look for a permanent job and think about the future. In that, he imagines, the two of them have a house with a white garden fence around it, two quota children and a dog. On the other hand, she dreams of living in Bali one day, dog: okay, children: yuck!

And there I am, at 17, falling madly in love with the boy from the German LK. We dance closely to the Backstreet Boys at a school party (sorry, that was the nineties). We are a couple now. I feel great. But then this boy secretly meets up with his ex-girlfriend again. Then he lies to me. Then he steals money from my wallet to invite his ex to the cinema. And me? I still love him. Even if this love hurts me. First in my heart, then in my face. He blacked me out when I made a scene for him. It's over now. Finally I am thinking clearly again. "Quit playing games with my heart". As if the Backstreet Boys had already known. We split up after about a year.

The problem is: love doesn't ask. Love doesn't care if we get into someone who doesn't appreciate us at all or whose lifestyle just doesn't suit ours. The other has goals, ideas or views. Love doesn't care if we get into someone who doesn't reciprocate our love at all or even gives a shit completely on us. Love itself is blind, yes, and quite ignorant.

Love is nothing without the head.

"How to let go of worries, stress and self-doubt"

2. Love doesn't solve relationship problems

Ms. Merkel would say: We can do it. Because love overcomes all obstacles. Because we can do anything as long as we stick together. Correct? Oh well…

Let me tell you about my last relationship. I'm not 17 anymore, but in my early 30s. We get to know each other at a party. The sparks fly up, fireworks, instantly. Only: I live in Munich, he in Kiel. Stupid. Anyway, we can do it. So we have a long-distance relationship. Because we're both busy at work, we only see each other once a month at most. Never mind, we still love each other.

Over time, however, it becomes more and more difficult to find appointments. (How ugly, actually, to speak of "appointments" in connection with a relationship, right?) Well, it doesn't matter, that's how it is, we can do it. Maybe one day he'll move south. But he would have to give up his business in Kiel. All right, then different. Maybe one day I'll move to Kiel. Just: What should I do there? Without my job and without my friends? We realize that in the long run one of us will have to back off, because in the last six months we have just seen each other four times. We write a lot of messages to each other: I love you. - I also you. But at some point it just feels empty. We argue violently. The safeword: love. Immediately we are reconciled. Until we argue again. So we go around in circles for three years. And then it's over.

Love is a lousy kit when the relationship is cracked for other reasons. They can come from a lack of time and distance, or, for example, from a lack of trust. Think of the jealous woman who secretly searches her boyfriend's cell phone all the time.

3. Love is not worth every sacrifice

If you love someone, you would die for them. Right? That's how it has to be, true love. When you love someone, you accept their whims. “In good times as well as in bad” it is finally said. When you love someone, you put your own needs aside.

Yes and no.

Of course, in your relationship you will have to jump over your shadow and find compromises more often - and that's a good thing. That's what makes a relationship.

But there are things that you should never sacrifice: your dignity. Your self esteem. Your physical and mental health. Your dreams. A relationship should enrich you, it shouldn't take anything away from you that is really important to you. You are important and still a person of your own. You have the right and the duty to be good to yourself. And anyone who doesn't do you good doesn't deserve your love. Yes, I know that sounds so simple and that is exactly what love is not. I've found out enough myself.

Fortunately, love is not a once-and-never-again event in life either. You can fall in love when you are young. You can fall in love when you are old. You will meet many people in the course of your life and you will start making sparks again. Certainly.

So is love really just crap?

Do not get me wrong. I have nothing against love, on the contrary. The world is beautiful in pink, for a while. Ultimately, however, a lasting relationship doesn't work in just one color.

Love alone is not enough, no.

She's a good start, the best, absolutely.

But what comes next?


A friend once said that she was testing her relationships for friendship qualities. At first I thought it was kind of silly, that “my partner should be my best friend” stuff. Then I had to agree with her. In the case of a friend, I would not tolerate lying to me all the time. I would end the friendship. So why should my partner be allowed to lie to me? A friend I can't talk to doesn't give me anything. Why should it be different with my partner?

Of course, this tip is no guarantee for the great, lifelong romance à la Hollywood, but maybe it is worth considering for you too. After all, we all wish that our luck extends beyond the credits.

Read more about this under 10 Signs You Should End Your Relationship and 10 Reasons Why People Stay in Broken Relationships.

Photo: Christian Gonzalez

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