13 Times When Love Is Not Enough To Save A Relationship

Regular clashes or distrust may indicate that this boat needs more than love to stay afloat.

Reviewed by Katharyn Engers, MA, LMFT
Written by Sneha Tete, Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach
Edited by Subhrojyoti Mukherjee, MA (English)
Fact-checked by Gazala Firdos Ansari, Integrated MA (English)  • 

You dwell in a euphoric state when you are in love, and everything seems better. But for maintaining a healthy relationship, only love is not enough. Because relationships are built on various values, including compatibility, compassion, loyalty, understanding, cooperation, and trust. Also, even if you have these qualities, your relationship can get difficult because of your goals or different priorities in life.

Sarah James, a nail artist, shared the emotions she felt when she realized love was not enough to sustain her relationship. She said, “I had so much hurt and confusion bottled up in me for a long time. I learnt that love isn’t a good enough reason for you to marry a person because love alone doesn’t keep a marriage together. A successful marriage is based on the application of knowledge, knowing and understanding God’s principles (i).”

Long-term intimate relationships need more than love to sustain. This article explores what else your relationship needs more than love. Scroll down for more information.

When Love Is Not Enough To Save A Relationship

Love is usually defined as the constant affection for someone. It is a beautiful emotion that brings euphoria to our lives when we are in its embrace. But certain things can alter this constant affection and change the meaning of love. Given below are certain major scenarios where love alone is not enough to save the relationship.

1. When There Is A Lack Of Compatibility

Love is not enough when you often fight due to lack of compatibility
Image: IStock

Those in a compatible relationship with their partner will work together at every level in life. Compatibility is sharing the same interests and goals and handling each other’s differences, resolving conflicts, and planning the future while staying on the same page and maintaining control of your life. It also means that each partner is able to engage in their own hobbies and interests and invest in their friendships outside the relationship. However, if there’s a lack of compatibility and if the timings are off, it can still lead to challenges.

But certain relationships are not compatible. While one is willing to put all the effort into the relationship, the other may not. This indicates an imbalance and starts to take away from the word ‘partnership.’ At times, you may love your partner, but you may not be able to accept their differences. These are signs of a lack of compatibility in the relationship.

2. When Things Beyond Your Control Happen

Life can get hard sometimes. Stressful episodes in your life, like discovering a severe illness, the death of a loved one, or something else beyond your control, can happen. Such instances can change your life forever. In such cases, even a healthy relationship can crumble if it has been built on the foundation of love alone.

3. When You Are Mature But Your Partner Is Not (Or Vice Versa)

Many people have immature partners who refuse to grow up and do not show any change in behavior. Ambitious women or men, who have a definite life goal, often face issues when dealing with immature partners who lack the drive and ambition. The relationship grows apart in such cases. This is because most people’s hearts, thought processes, needs, emotions, and interests change over time. A relationship in your life can suffer if all it has is mere love.

4. When There Are Ego Issues

Ego issues are common in every relationship. They can be difficult to navigate especially for ambitious women and men involved in a relationship with less or not-so-ambitious partners. Ambitious people may have higher expectations from their partners and consider their laid-back attitude as a negative attribute. Ego clashes arise when you, your significant other, or both are unwilling to confront the honest truth and make up or resolve the conflicts in your relationship.

Such problems generally occur due to fear of loss of control over the situation or other insecurities. Imagine a scenario when you are not willing to apologize to your partner even when you know you were wrong. Such ego issues can take a toll on the loving relationship.

5. When Toxicity Has Developed In Your Relationship

Love is not enough if there is a constant ego clash
Image: Shutterstock

While you were having a blissful streak of good days in your loving relationship earlier, your partner may start displaying patterns of abusive behavior over time. It may start with subtle signs of blaming, and shaming and may worsen eventually. People in toxic relationships usually do not give up. They hope that their partner will change one day, probably stop the abuse, or believe their happiness solely depends on their relationship. However, abusive behavior in toxic relationships worsens with time. Lack of mutual respect is often a cause for a toxic relationship, leading to abuse and stifling any chance for innovative behavior and personal growth. Abuse always has to do with power and control and has many faces including emotional, physical, sexual, financial, and verbal.

If you or someone you love is in danger, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or text START to 88788.

6. When Trust Is Broken

Your partner lied to you or cheated on you. But you forgave them and your relationship appears normal now. Although cheating may not mean the end of a relationship, rarely can trust be re-established. There are also chances that your partner may break your trust again. When you lose trust in someone, it is hard to confide in them again or keep the relationship going just for the sake of sentiment.

7. When Differences Exist Between You And Your In-laws

In-laws' interference may affect the relationship between a couple
Image: Shutterstock

A relationship like marriage always happens between two families. But such a relationship may not work if the parents do not approve of it. Societal issues, a partner’s socioeconomic status, career, and lifestyle choices are some reasons the older members of a family may not approve of a relationship.

8. When There Is No Communication

Non-violent communication is the key to a healthy relationship. If you do not communicate with your partner effectively, they will not understand your needs, thoughts, and other things that matter to you. The same goes for them too. Lack of proper non-violent communication can shake the foundation of a relationship, even if there is love between the partners. This may turn into a toxic relationship.

9. When You Are In A Long-Distance Relationship

Long-distance relationships are hard, and they get harder when the distance between the couple is prolonged. Most long-distance relationships do not tend to last forever. Long-distance relationships require devotion, dedication, and complete commitment to making it work. Being in a long-distance relationship with someone who is geographically separated from you and has a lower probability of relocating can take a serious toll on your relationship.

10. When Your Physical Needs Are Vastly Different

Disparity in physical needs can create a rift between a couple
Image: Shutterstock

Everyone has different wants and desires when it comes to a physical relationship. You may want more frequent sex than your partner or vice-versa. You may be willing to compromise as long as you know you are with the right person. However, this is not always the case with everyone in a long-term relationship. A lack of romance, passion, or intimacy can kill an intimate relationship.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Keeping a personal gratitude journal helps you focus on the positive side of life. Also, acknowledging and appreciating your partner is important for a strong relationship.

Some couples have different needs surrounding physical intimacy and sex. Lack of sexual compatibility and satisfaction may cause problems in an intimate relationship even when there is love.

11. When You Disagree On Your Finances

Finances are one of the biggest stressors in a personal relationship and one of the top reasons for a breakup. Couples who don’t share the same financial beliefs and goals, argue about spending, have different income levels, are in financial difficulties, or lack open communication can experience a significant source of stress and friction in their romance. If these problems are not addressed and fixed, they may eventually cause the relationship to fall apart.

12. Cultural Differences In Relationship

People from varying cultural backgrounds can have contrasting perspectives on life, family, relationships, and societal norms, which can sometimes serve as obstacles. It requires a greater level of understanding, compassion, and effective communication to ensure that these difficult times can be managed. Factors like trust and respect, being open-minded, and showing a willingness to learn and adapt help bridge the gap and overcome misunderstandings.

13. Constant Arguing In Relationship

Disagreements are a natural part of any relationship; however, recurring fights are indicative of a serious relationship issue and can have a negative impact on both parties’ mental well-being. It is essential to recognize the triggers that lead to disagreements and to discuss these issues in a constructive, calm manner in order to reduce the frequency of arguing. Factors like lack of respect, ego issues, and recurring conflicts are examples of why love alone is insufficient to maintain a relationship.

Signs Something Is Missing In Your Relationship

Is love all you need to sustain a happy and healthy relationship? In reality, you can love your partner deeply and still feel your relationship is missing something. No amount of adoration, attachment, care, tenderness, or dedication can fulfill that missing void. Certain elements complete a relationship, and the relationship may not seem enough even if one of those elements is missing. Following are certain signs that tell you that something is amiss in your long-term relationship. These can help you make the necessary adjustments to make your relationship work.

1. You Are Not Your Partner’s Priority

Although you may want your partner to spend time with their loved ones, you would not want them to prioritize their other relationships over yours, impacting the amazing life you both want to build together. Is your significant other making you feel less important?

2. Timings Are Off

You may want to settle down with the love of your life, but they may still need more time due to various commitments in their personal and professional lives. However, that does not mean you need to separate from them. Give them time and see what else they can offer you in the present. If nothing seems to progress, it could be a sign that something is amiss in your relationship.

3. You Are The Only One Putting In Any Effort

One-sided love is not sufficient for a healthy mutual relationship
Image: IStock

No relationship can last a lifetime if the effort does not come from both the people involved. A committed person will make an effort and engage in healthy communication to be in the relationship, creating the foundation for an amazing life together no matter how hard it gets. It’s time to rethink if you are the only one initiating conversations, taking care of your partner, and doing things that require mutual effort.

 4. Your Partner Does Not Show Accountability

A partner who is not accountable for their actions will only keep blaming you for all the conflicts in the relationship, which can erode the foundation of compatibility. This is not a sign of a healthy relationship. It may even result in sacrifices on one end if there is no proper communication. Is your partner always playing the blame-game? Do not ignore that sign.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Listen to your partner patiently. If you listen to them to respond rather than to understand, this will drain the feeling of love from your relationship.

Are you sure you are in the right relationship? Asking yourself a few important questions can help you understand.

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • How do I feel about myself when I am with my partner?
  • Is my life better with or without them?
  • Do they know the real me, or are they willing to know?
  • Are my core values aligned with their values?
  • Is my partner making me a better person?
  • How is compatibility in our long-distance relationship?
  • Are signs of physical abuse affecting us?

Key Takeaways

  • Cooperation, compatibility, and trust – and not just love – are important to make a romantic relationship last.
  • Ego issues, physical abuse, and a lack of compatibility and communication can negatively affect a relationship.
  • If you are not a priority in a relationship or you are the only one putting effort into the relationship, these are signs that something crucial is missing in your relationship.
  • Anytime there is a pattern of power and control within the relationship, it is an important indicator that the romantic relationship is not healthy and is likely to become more and more toxic as time goes on.

Infographic: How To Bring Back The Relationship Charm

Personal relationships may hit a rough patch sometimes due to lack of communication and several other reasons. But you must not allow this unfavorable situation to make you feel miserable. You have spent some beautiful memories with your partner, so can you ever let this bond lose its strength just like that? Certainly not. The power of communication and some efforts put in by the two of you can go a long way. And even if separation seems to be the ideal choice at the end of the day, you will at least be content about trying your best. So, check out the infographic below to learn how to save your relationship.

how to bring back the relationship charm (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

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Download Infographic in PDF version

Love is obviously the soul of a personal relationship, but love alone is not enough to keep a relationship healthy. Compatibility, communication, trust, physical compatibility, and maturity play a major role in a healthy relationship. Many a time, ego clashes and differences with the in-laws can lead to separation despite the couple sharing intense feelings of fondness, love, and affection for each other. It becomes all the more difficult for those in long-distance relationships to sustain their bond due to the absence of the factors listed above. This is, unfortunately, one of those situations when love is not enough.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you love one person your whole life?

Yes, you can love one person your whole life. But understand that a romantic relationship requires patience, effort, and contribution by both members, as do all relationships. You and your partner have to put in the work to keep the spark alive and the love burning for each other.

Can too much love be bad?

Love, in its true sense, is never bad. But sometimes, overpowering feelings about someone can be perceived as love and can result in unhealthy possessiveness, which can make life difficult for the partner. Love needs to be freeing and supportive.

How long does love last?

True love lasts forever. However, having unrealistic expectations and expecting the same kind of intense feelings all the time is not practical. Love evolves and takes different forms.

Love is an important part of any relationship, but it’s not enough. Watch this video and find out why love alone isn’t enough to sustain a healthy, lasting relationship.

Personal Experience: Source

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