[OPINION] Love is not all you need
In the 1960s, John Lennon of the Beatles wrote a song called All You Need is Love.
Fast-forward 30 years later, and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails wrote a song called Love is Not Enough.
One of these two men had a realistic understanding of love. 'Yung isa peke. One of these men idolized love as the solution to all of his problems. 'Yung isa nagiging totoo lang. So, who is correct?
Aminin natin: many of us idolize love.
We see it as a solution sa mga problema sa buhay natin. Our movies and our stories all celebrate it as life’s ultimate goal. But because we idolize love, we also overestimate it. (READ: Things I've learned about love)
Nabibigla tayo, pero nagbabayad tayo sa dulo.
When we believe that “all we need is love,” we are more likely to ignore and discount values such as respect, humility, and commitment towards the people we care about. After all, if love solves everything, then why bother with all the other values, diba?
But if we believe that “love is not enough,” then we understand that relationships require more than shallow I-love-yous. We understand that there are things more important in our lives than simply being in love. And the success of our relationships hinge on these deeper values.
The problem with idolizing love is that it causes us to develop unrealistic expectations about what love actually is and what it can do for us. Etong mga unrealistic na expectations, 'yan ang makakapatay sa atin. (READ: Big majority of Filipinos believe in 'forever' – survey)
Just because you fall in love with someone doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good partner for you to be with over the long term. Love is an emotional process; compatibility is a logical process. The two don’t bleed nor blend into one another very well.
It’s possible to fall in love with a person who has different ambitions or goals that are contradictory to our own or who holds different beliefs that clash with our own sense of reality. It’s possible to fall in love with somebody who does not have anything in common with you.
When I think of all of the disastrous relationships I’ve witnessed over the years, one thing was constant — they felt that “spark,” and so they just dove in head first. It just felt right daw.
SPARK. Tsk. 'Yang spark na 'yan. Tapos magkakagulo. Saan ba kayo nagkamali?
The truth is, it went wrong before it even began. When looking for a partner, you must use not only your heart, but your mind.
You also need to evaluate a person’s values: how they treat themselves, how they treat those close to them, their ambitions, and their views in general. Because if you fall in love with someone who is incompatible with you, well, as the ski instructor from South Park once said:
“YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE A BAD TIME!”
You might think I am this bitter woman – because, after all, love conquers all, right?
But it doesn't. Love may make you feel better about your relationship problems, pero it doesn’t actually solve any of your relationship problems.
One of the defining characteristics of loving someone is that you are able to think outside of yourself and your own needs to help care for another person and their needs as well. But the question that doesn’t get asked often enough is exactly what it is that you are sacrificing, and whether it is worth it. (READ: [OPINION] Relationship status: Happily single)
Many people have loved us all throughout our lives. But can you ask yourself kung ilan lang rumespeto sa atin?
In loving relationships, it’s normal for both people to occasionally sacrifice their own desires and their own needs for one another. Pero this is normal, healthy, and a big part of what makes a relationship so great. However, when it comes to sacrificing one’s self-respect, one’s dignity, one’s ambitions, and one's life purpose just to be with someone, then that same love becomes problematic.
Diyan nangyayari lahat ng problema, kasi nakakalimutan mo kung sino ka.
A loving relationship is supposed to supplement our individuality, not to damage it nor replace it. If we find ourselves in situations where we’re tolerating disrespect, then we’re allowing our love to consume us, and if we’re not careful, it will leave us as a shell of the person we once were.
And we get into this situation because of one thing: we idolize love when we should not.
You can fall in love with a wide variety of people. You can fall in love with people who are good for you and people who are bad for you. You can fall in love in healthy ways and unhealthy ways. You can fall in love when you’re young and when you’re old. Love is not unique. Love is not special. Love is not scarce. (READ: What makes a 'healthy and happy relationship?')
But your self-respect is. Pati na dignity mo. Pati ang tiwala mo.
There can potentially be many loves throughout your life, but once you lose your self-respect, your dignity, or your ability to trust, they are very hard to get back.
Love is a wonderful experience. Pero hindi naman lahat ibibigay sa 'yo. Kasi it can still be healthy or unhealthy. Like any other experience, it cannot be allowed to define us, our identities, nor our life's purpose. We cannot let it negate us. We cannot sacrifice our self-worth to it, because the moment we do that, we lose love and we lose ourselves.
You need more in life than love.
Love is great. Love is necessary. Love is beautiful. But love is not enough. – Rappler.com
Atty. Maria Liavel Chua Badillo is a first-time mother who dotes on her adorable son Alonzo. She is also a corporate lawyer who advocates for tribal rights and their development in present society. Atty. Lia still considers herself as a hopeful romantic and will always stand up for what is right and just.