By Brent Ramirez
Blog Content Contributor
Love is a messy word. Let me explain. Everyone defines love in their own unique way, which means there are probably a zillion different definitions of the word. One person could describe love as an emotional feeling that one has for another, while another person might describe it as the willingness to place someone else’s feelings before their own. Neither definition is necessarily right nor wrong and that’s because love is defined by you.
You have your own idea of love and the person next to you does as well. While some ideas may be similar, we really only have our own perception of love and everything it entails, and I think that personal definition of love is one of the things failed relationships can attribute their fall to.
I have been in my fair share of relationships and I have also seen my fair share of others’. More often than not, I have witnessed relationships fall apart and the common denominators that I have found are 1) both parties aren’t in a mutual understanding with what they want, and 2) there is not an equal amount of effort from both parties. This sounds like common sense, I know, but you’d be surprised at how many times I’ve been asked by others on how to make it all work out. Why people have come to me in the past, I don’t know. My longest relationship has lasted a little less than a year. Nonetheless, whenever someone asks me “How can I make it work?” I say the same thing every time.
Love needs to be mutual. It’s mutual understanding and mutual effort. No matter what, both parties need to invest an equal 50%. I genuinely believe that if the scale even tips 49/51, that has the potential to turn into something ugly and someone is bound to get heartbroken. Now I know realistically speaking, it’s extremely difficult to maintain a 50/50 relationship all the time, but the point is that you and your partner need to do your best to. Sure you will sway one way from time to time, but if you want things to work out then you need to find your way back to that equilibrium. Don’t take that sway for granted either. If you and your partner are fluctuating way too often, I think that can definitely take its toll in the long run.
When it comes to mutual understanding, you and your partner need to know what you want and expect from each other. Even in a friends with benefits (fwb) situation, this is still a type of relationship, and one that especially requires mutual understanding. In a fwb, there needs to be a mutual understanding that this is purely a physical connection. It should be known, that feelings are not to be caught. If you’re in an fwb and you start to catch feelings, you better let your partner know. If the feeling isn’t reciprocated, then it’s best to not continue things because that scale is already tipped one way. Both people need to know where each other stands in a relationship. If you want your expectations to be me met, be vocal about them.
Mutual effort is equally important. In a long distance relationship, it can get hard to maintain 50/50, but if both people want to make it work, then I think it’s possible. If all it takes is a phone call a day then so be it. If facetimes sessions and care packages are what are needed, then both people need to make it happen. No matter if you live down the street from your partner or 1000 miles away, that effort needs to be there. Relationships end when someone doesn’t want to try anymore. When you or the other person stops putting in the effort, that scale ends up tipped.
The key word here is “mutual.” Make sure your partner knows what you want, make sure you know what they want, then put in the effort. Keep in mind that these wants and expectations are definitely subject to change, so just make sure you’re keeping tabs on each other when they do.
In the end, I know love is much more complicated than 50% this, 50% that. Nonetheless, I hope this article can help you better traverse the rugged journey that is love.
Featured image by Brent Ramirez.