Episode 79: Should I Just Give Up On Love?

by | Last updated: Jun 21, 2024 | Podcast

Love is pain… and if you don’t want to feel pain, you should just give up on love, right?

In this episode, I’ll explain where this line of thinking comes from and what happens when our expectations of love and marriage don’t match the reality.

I’ll walk you through the ways that I’ve learned to think about love and marriage relationships, answer the question, “Does the ‘perfect’ soulmate partner exist?” and tell you what to give up on – instead of love.

Listen to the Full Episode:

What You’ll Learn In This Episode:

0:55 – I’m never going to tell you to give up on love, BUT…
3:33 – Does the “perfect” partner exist?
5:10 – I think about love & marriage like this
7:39 – Instead of giving up on love, give up on this…
9:22 – The reality of loving someone well

Featured On Should I Just Give Up on Love?

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Struggling to decide whether to stay or go in your marriage and you’re serious about finding that answer?

Book a Truth & Clarity Session with a member of my team. We’ll discuss where you are in your marriage and explore if there’s a fit for you and I to work together so you can make – and execute – the RIGHT decision for YOU and your marriage.

Welcome to the Loving Truth podcast, where it's all about finding clarity, confidence, and peace in the face of marriage challenges. And now, your host, relationship expert and certified master life coach, Sharon Pope. Hello, loves. This is Sharon Pope, and this is the loving truth. Today, I want to talk to you about this question of should I give up on love? Now, I know where this comes from. It's this idea that love causes pain.

So I don't want to feel pain. So maybe I should just give up on feeling love altogether. Maybe I just shouldn't love so much, or I shouldn't love so big or love so hard because it can lead to pain. And of course, that's true. It can lead to pain. That is the. That's the big gamble. That's the risk with love and relationships. But of course, I'm never going to tell you to give up on love.

But what I will tell you is that we need to give up on the idealized version of love. This idea that there's this perfect person. And even if we say perfect for me, not even perfect in general, but perfect for me in the way that loving them will always be easy. And they will meet my needs, and they will satisfy every yearning that I have, any traumas or wounds or holes in my heart, they'll be able to plug right up.

We'll have common goals, shared values, shared interests, similar dreams and desires. We'll always be attracted to each other. I'll always be attracted to you. And you will always be attracted to me. They'll understand me at a really deep level, and I will understand them. Now, there are a million places where this idealized version of love comes from. We could look at songs. We can look at movies. We can look at books, every romance novel, right?

We come by this in so many different ways. Sometimes I listen to songs, and I'm like, well, clearly, that is a song that is written for people who are dating. That is not a song that is written for someone after they've been married for 20 years, right? And then, because we have this idealized version of love, what goes into our marriage vows? But things like, I will always love you.

You complete me. I will never, ever feel alone or lonely again. And neither will you. I'll never shed another tear. I mean, we just. We sort of go over the top with how we think it's going to be this dream world. And then, of course, we are crashed to the ground when we get into the reality of relationships, which is some work, and it's not all easy. And sunshine and roses of course, there are times that it is, but many times it's not.

And so I think we don't need to give up on love, but we need to redefine our idea what love is. So I love. Speaking of love, I love the work of a gentleman named Elaine debutant. And I'm going to read you two quotes from him because I just think his take on this is so direct that it makes you really think about it. It's very confronting. So let me read these to you.

He says the romantic vision of marriage stresses the importance of finding the right person, which is taken to mean someone in sympathy with the raft of our interests and values. There is no such person. Over the long term, we are too varied and peculiar. There cannot be lasting congruence. The partner truly best suited to us is not the one who miraculously happens to share every taste, but the one who can negotiate differences in taste with intelligence and good grace.

Right. It's about not the perfect person where it's always easy. It's about who's the person that's going to be willing to work through this with you without causing more hurt and harm to one another. And here's another one of his quotes that I love. He says, marriage, a hopeful, generous, infinitely kind gamble taken by two people who don't know yet who they are or who the other might be, binding themselves to a future they cannot conceive of and have carefully omitted to investigate.

See what I mean about confronting? It's like you don't really know them until you're married to them for many years, until you're living an intimate relationship with them for, I don't know, a decade or two. And then, by the way, as soon as you think you know your partner, they're changing. And they're evolving because life is changing them and they're. And life is changing you as well. And sometimes we're growing closer together and sometimes we're growing further apart.

I like to think of love as a big gamble, a risk that I'm willing to take because to me it's a calculated risk because I know I'm equipped to be able to do it well. It doesn't mean I do it perfectly, but it means I have some tools in my toolkit that when things get hard, that I'm going to have something to fall back on. I'm going to have some tools that are going to help guide me and direct me through the challenges of that relationship.

And I think that we, I look at marriage as two flawed people doing the best they can to love one another. And sometimes we screw it up and sometimes it's brilliant and that's the way of it, right? And when I think of it from that perspective, I can enter into love and marriage and relationship from a much more generous place. I can be more generous and forgiving with myself.

And as soon as I'm more generous and forgiving for myself, I'm automatically going to be more generous and forgiving of my partner. Because inevitably they're going to screw some things up too. We don't always show up as our best inside of our relationships. Quite the contrary. We will give our best to our kids all day long, won't we? We'll give our best at work. But will we consciously bring our best to our marriage?

The problem is most people don't, is that we take it for granted because we said till death do us part. So you're not going anywhere. So I can treat you as bad as I want so I don't have to show up with my best. Except that if we're going to create loving relationships that feel good most of the time, then at least some of the time, if not most of the time, we've got to be willing to bring our best into that relationship.

And if we don't know, we should get equipped. If we don't feel like we have enough relationship tools to help us navigate, then there's a way to learn that, right? Loving can be learned. We just learned what love looks like by people pleasing everyone else. And then we went right into the fairy tale land of what love is supposed to look like when no one's love has ever looked like that.

It might have felt like that in moments of time, but it never was sustained in that fairytale place into eternity. It just wasn't. So instead of giving up on love, let's give. Give up on the idea of this idealized version. Let's give up on this idea that there's this bar of perfection of how it is supposed to feel. And if it doesn't feel like that, then there's something broken about it.

Or that I need to go find someone new who will help me to feel that way. So love can be learned. I think learning to love is inner work. It's not so much about the other person, but because we've had such a hyper focus on I just need to find the one, or I need to find the person who will make all this easy for me, I would say, like, that's so far outside of your control and it's not even realistic.

That instead, why don't we focus on what we do have some control over? Which is how I'm showing up inside the relationship. Am I the person who can create and sustain the kind of relationship that I want? Because everyone wants their life to feel better, but nobody actually wants to be better. No one wants to become better. I want you to want to become better so that then you feel more empowered in your life and not such a victim inside of your relationship.

So we can create a new idea of love. You can create an idea of love that works for you and that resonates for you. Right? And maybe you can tag on to the idea that we are taught the two flawed human beings just doing the best we can to love one another. And some days we get it right and it feels really good. And some days we screw it up and it doesn't feel so good.

But we always have the opportunity to choose again and to show up differently again. Because the reality of relationships is, yes, there's days where it's going to be beautiful, and there's days where it's going to be painful, and there's days where it's going to be exciting, and there's days when it's going to be monotonous and boring. And then there's days where in moments where it's really passionate and alive, and other days where it feels tumultuous and stuck.

But that is the way of it. It's not. Love and relationships isn't about climbing some mountain, reaching that pinnacle and staying there forever. Our relationships are living, breathing things, being guided by two people who have varying degrees of tools in their navigation kit. Right? And so the more tools you have, the more confident you'll be in creating your own definition of love. But just because sometimes love hurts, and it does, right?

I have been hurt my deepest by people that I love. No doubt, as you probably have too. But a little heartbreak and a little hurt comes with the idea of trying for love. But we gotta stop trying for that perfection. We gotta stop trying for that romance novel, or that movie or that love song so much as what do I want love to be for me? Grounded in reality, of this world, in this life?

What would feel good for me most of the time? Right? I think that's a much more interesting question to explore than just this sort of lazy idea of, well, that hurts. So I'm never doing that again. Guess I won't. Love. That's too hard. Don't give up on love. Just come up with a new definition of what love can mean for you. That feels really good for you. All right, until next time, take really good care.

If you're listening to this podcast because you're struggling to decide whether to stay or go in your marriage and you're serious about finding that answer, it's time to book a truth and clarity session with a member of my team. On the call, we'll discuss where you are in your marriage and explore. Explore. If there's a fit for you and I to work together so you can make and execute the right decision for you and your marriage, go to clarityformymarriage.com

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