When I broke up with my first boyfriend, whom I loved dearly, I remember sitting across the table from my dad, crying to him about all the reasons I needed to let that boyfriend go. He was, in many ways, a great match for me, but as college came to an end, I realized that we were headed in different directions, had opposite goals for our futures, and his struggle with addiction was something that I just couldn’t handle. But how do you know if you should break up with someone? Through my tears, adamant about just how much I loved him, my father told me, “Sometimes love isn’t enough.” At 22, it’s a hard concept to wrap your brain around, especially when talking about your first love. But I added it to my collection of quotes from dad and assumed that it would make more sense later on in life. And it did.
Since then, the idea that love is not always enough has come up time and time again. I have been in love only a few times in my life, and with each ending of these relationships, it wasn’t about a lack of love, but simply the fact that sometimes you’re just not right for someone. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you’re a match made in heaven. In fact, in some of these cases, it’s better to end it and move on, no matter how much it hurts. Because as Dad said that day, "Sometimes love isn't enough."
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Here are six signs that you shouldn’t be with someone, no matter how crazy mad in love with them you just might be.
1. You Have Different Ideas For The Future
If you want to travel the world and skip the whole motherhood thing, but your partner wants to be a parent within the next couple of years, then you need to say goodbye. When it comes to the future — kids especially — no matter how much you love your partner, it’s not something on which someone's mind can easily be changed.
2. You Have No Sexual Chemistry
I once loved someone so much that even the mention of his name would have my heart pounding out of my chest, and I’d begin to tremble. But as much as I did love him, our sex life was just, oh, how do I put this nicely … horrendous. But in loving him so much, I was willing to overlook it for far longer than I should have.
Study after study has proven that sex is a necessary component in a healthy relationship. I’m not saying that it has to be great all the time, but you and your partner should at least have a decent amount of chemistry between you. Sure, you can have a loving relationship without sex, but as sexual creatures, why would you want to?
3. You’re Constantly Sacrificing Yourself For Them
Relationships are a partnership. Or at least, they should be. If one partner is giving more than the other — whether it be financially, emotionally, mentally, or even around the house with chores — and no amount of communication has remedied the situation, then love can’t save it either. You can’t spend the rest of you life picking up the slack of someone else, no matter how much you love them. You’re supposed to be their partner, not their mother.
4. You Can’t Function Without Them
Yes, when you love someone, you want to insert them into every aspect of your life. But there’s a fine line between "want" and "need," and when the "need" outweighs the "want," you have a codependent situation. Codependency is a major sign of an "unhealthy clinginess," in which you just can’t live your life without your partner. If you’ve found that, despite your love for them, you’re actually living for them and you’re unable to think of anything else, then it’s a sign that you’re not meant to be. Healthy relationships wouldn't spark such obsession in someone.
5. Neither One Of You Is Willing To Compromise
Relationships are about meeting each other halfway. Like maybe your partner likes pepperoni pizza and you like mushroom, so you either suck it up and get both on the whole pizza or do half pepperoni and half mushroom. That’s just how things roll in a relationship. But if you find that your partner doesn’t want to compromise, or that you're feeling forced to compromise too much, to the point where it’s making things unbearable, then love can't beat pigheadedness.
6. You Feel Like You’re Not Going Anywhere
This isn’t just about your future, but also your day-to-day together. Relationships are supposed to be supportive, to allow for evolution, change, and ups and downs, and to cause both you and your partner to grow as people. If you feel like you and your partner have just become a stagnant swamp that doesn’t do anything but collect algae and drown dead bugs, then it’s sign that you’re just not right for each other. You can't fix a stagnant swamp with love.
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