All You Need is Love … Right?

I have a dear, dear friend. Said friend is a hopeless romantic. Over the many years of our friendship, I’ve watched him fall for many a girl. I’ve watched many a girl stomp on his heart. I’ve been there to pick up the pieces, help him put himself back together, and sent him out for the cycle to start all over.

It must be said, there has never been anything romantic between us. At one point, for lack of anything better to do (don’t judge, we were 17 and stupid), we decided to make out. About a minute later we both realized this wasn’t working/felt slightly wrong (much like kissing a sibling would feel), and proceeded to choose a movie to watch instead. We STILL joke about this.

In a little over a week’s time, this lovely friend is getting married. As is true for most of us, this wedding has not come around without struggles. Relationship struggles, family struggles, work and money struggles. This week, while having one of our trademark 1.5 hour conversations (the boy lives 1,300 miles away … sadness), he told me he’d lost his job. Knowing how much the wedding was costing them, his fiancée’s family offered to postpone the wedding until they could figure out the job situation. After much thought, and knowing full well that this new situation was going to cause them to need to scrape and really test their baby family, this offer was declined. We talked for quite a while about what this will mean, and if his fiancée (who is … delicate, and used to being taken care of … to put it nicely) would be able to handle the time it would take for them to get back on their feet, out of wedding debt, and living as they’d hoped to live.

Then he said something extremely profound … and in my opinion, extremely sad:

“I truly believe that if we really love each other, it will work out. I know you’ve heard me say that before and then watched me get destroyed, but that doesn’t make me believe it any less.

Um … wow.

Does it make me a complete cynic that my first reaction was to feel heartbroken for him? I mean, I just don’t know if I can bring myself to really and truly agree. I’ve seen far too many examples of people loving each other but being completely unhealthy for each other, and far too many examples of relationships falling apart due to circumstances beyond either partner’s control to thing that just loving each other is enough.

It feels an awful lot like saying “don’t worry, God will take care of it.” In many situations, emotional ones for example, that can totally be true. But it irks me every time someone says it regarding a job situation. Yes, God can and will help you through the situation. But He’s not going to cause someone to randomly offer you a job when you’re just home sitting on your couch, not having applied anywhere. Those that believe this drive me up the wall with their sheer naivety.

I’m not sure I like what that says about me. Does it make me realistic? Or just cold?  Does it make my friend hopeful? Or delusional? Am I WAY over thinking this?

How do you guys stand on it?

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4 Comments to “All You Need is Love … Right?”

  1. Stephen nicknamed me “small wonder” because I’m so unemotional, so maybe I’m just cold too, but I totally agree with you. I have faith in our marriage for a lot of reasons and love is only 1 of many. I think its pretty easy to fall in love, actually, but very hard to find someone who is a good life partner. Love is amazing and I certainly love my husband more than anyone ever, but I dont depend on that alone to get us through. I hope things work out for your friend though.

  2. I am a bit of a cynic at times too. Those people who think God will take care of them, make me cringe. I do believe in God and that God gives you the support and the tools you need, but the point of the world is that we are co-creators and we need to make things happen for ourselves. God sets you up with what you need, but you have to do the work. And luck has a lot to do with how life happens to us. God doesn’t will for you to lose your job or grow up wherever you do. Those things are part of an unpredictable design. (Sorry for the dose of my own theology.)

    But regarding love, yeah sometimes love isn’t enough. Sometimes you need practical and realistic plans. Love waxes and wanes. The problem with love being enough is that it relies on two people to make it work. So no matter how much you love one person, you are vulnerable on the other person loving you consistently. And maybe for some people that is enough. But for most of us, I think we need something else to buoy the love when times are tough.

    • Don’t apologize … I’m happy to hear it. And I agree. He can give you what you need to make it through, and definitely support you while you’re on your way or going through a hard time. And yes, things can definitely have divine inspiration, but not every step of our lives is pre-ordained. I do not believe that God made me want to have that cupcake for breakfast today, or made me late for the train so I had to drive. Those were totally my doing.

  3. Oof, that’s rough. I don’t think you’re being overly-cynical at all. Love can work many wonders, but it won’t change a person who’s unwilling to change and it won’t smooth over difficult life events all by itself. Lack of love is not the reason why a lot of relationships end up not working out (though I can see how if you feel that your love is super-shiny and extra-special, how telling yourself that love is all you need can be a [falsely?] comforting thing…)

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