Just Because You Love Someone…

love

Sometimes love is not enough…

When we were on the lookout for a new dog this past winter, one thing became immediately clear – the shelters and the foster homes were filled with amazing dogs who had been surrendered by their original families. In most cases, these dogs were relinquished not because they weren’t loved or because they were “bad” dogs, but because they were not the right dog for the family. A painful choice, but sometimes the best one once a mismatch has been made.

Human relationships often fall into the same category. We choose poorly or the situation changes after we’ve made our choice. We struggle to admit that maybe we were wrong. We hold onto hope that maybe things will improve. We fear ending things because sometimes being with anybody is better than being alone. And we justify our inaction or our excuses by declaring our love.

 

When you say, “I love them, but…,” it’s the words that follow that are the most important to pay attention to.

 

Amazing things are accomplished in the name of love. People are nurtured and challenged, accepted and encouraged. Love gives us hope and purpose, bringing light into even the darkest corners.

Yet sometimes love is used as an excuse. A reason to avoid making those difficult choices that sometimes life brings our way.

 

Just because you love someone…

You do not have to maintain a relationship with them. Whether it be an abusive relationship with a partner or a toxic relationship with a parent, you can love someone and keep them at arm’s reach (or even further). This can be a decision made from a place of compassion, recognizing that continuing the relationship is harmful for one or both parties. Love means that you want the best for them, but this doesn’t have to be at the exclusion of your own well-being.

 

Just because you love someone…

You do not have to tolerate their abusive and cruel words or behaviors. It’s rare that abusive people are all-bad; there is often a soft and vulnerable and wonderful side as well. And you can love that part of them while at the same time, refusing to put yourself in the position of being subject to their bouts of anger or coercion. Maybe you limit your exposure or make a promise to yourself to walk away whenever things turn sour.

 

Just because you love someone…

You do not have to agree with their choices. You can love the person and hate the actions.    Furthermore, love does not preclude you from letting them experience the repercussions of their choices. Sometimes love means doing what is best for the person in the long run even though they may not be able to see it in the short term.

 

Just because you love someone…

You don’t have to like them. In this moment or in general. Everybody is worthy of love, but you have to really put effort into being liked. Here’s the hard part, though – when there is love without like, there is also great internal conflict as you wrestle with the often conflicting emotions.

 

Just because you love someone…

Doesn’t mean they are the right person for you. This can strangely be one of the harder positions to be in. When you love them, believe they are a good person and yet, for whatever reason, you’re unsure about the relationship. There are no easy answers here, no strong, solid reasons to leave that accompany the, “I love them, but…” It is possible to love someone. To like them and respect them. And also recognize that they are not what you’re looking for. A painful choice, but one that may allow both of you to move forward and find someone you love without the “but.”

 

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