Why Love Is Just Not Enough

Filed under: Romance |

Loving someone and being loved in return, along with good health and financial independence, are among the things that people most desire to have in their lives. Being in a loving relationship makes us feel happy, safe and secure.

Love gives us a sense of achievement and enables us to balance the stresses and strains in our lives with the knowledge that there’s someone there to offer support in times of crisis and share those moments of happiness.

Life couldn’t get any better…

….then things may start to get a little shaky.

If you’ve reached the stage of consulting a relationship coach or counsellor, you’re probably at the stage where reality has bitten!

Whether it’s just nipped at your ankles or laid into your thigh with a big, toothy munch, you are experiencing some sort of uncertainty, stress or crisis in your relationship.

You may have lost that loving feeling. You may have started to question what you see in your partner. You flit between loving them and loathing them. One minute you want to be with them, the next minute you wish you were miles apart. You’re confused and puzzled as to why suddenly, it all seems to have gone wrong.

The reason is because love is not enough.

That’s right. You read it correctly.


It doesn’t matter what the Beatles or thousands of other musicians have sung. The true facts of life is that, while love is a very important part of a relationship, without other things, all you’ll ever have is a dream which never quite comes true.

To help bolster and boost love, you need trust, respect, fidelity, passion and focus in your relationship. Without these, all you will ever have is a two-dimensional love affair.

Here’s another reason why love is not enough:

Back in 1943, US psychologist and academic Abraham Maslow wrote a paper entitled A Theory of Human Motivation, in which he outlined his now famous Hierarchy of Human Needs. These needs are normally represented as a pyramid. From the bottom up, they are:

-Physiological: the need for adequate food and drink, air in our lungs and a good night’s sleep.

-Safety: the need to feel secure in our homes and in our community.

-Love/Belonging: the need to have sexual and non-sexual relationships, to start a family or join clubs, gangs, religious or community groups,

-Esteem: the need for self-respect and to be recognized and respected by others.

-Self-Actualization: the need for human beings to make the most of their unique abilities, e.g. a journalist must write to be truly happy with himself.

Your physiological needs are the most important by a wide margin. They control your thoughts and behaviour and can trigger feelings of discomfort, pain and illness.

Let’s say your income doesn’t cover your mortgage payments. Because of this, you’re not eating well, you’re stressed out and are constantly tired.

The last thing on your mind would be to service the needs of your relationship – unless of course, your partner can help you get out of the situation. That said, although your partner’s support takes care of one of your needs, their assistance may clash with two of your other needs: the need for esteem and self-actualization.

This may explain why some people in relationships react badly when you offer them help. You believe you’re trying to help, while they’re too proud to accept what they believe is charity. They don’t want to diminish their standing in your eyes. But perhaps more importantly, they don’t want to diminish themselves in their own mind. Does this describe someone close to you. I mean really close?

In addition to getting affection from people close to us, we also crave acceptance from specific groups, including private members’ clubs, religious movements, campaigning organizations and amateur dramatics societies.

Without these things in our lives, we may become prone to social anxiety and feelings of loneliness.

We also feel the need to do something for ourselves. We may be teachers, lawyers, secretaries, doctors, social workers, accountants, administrative workers, bar tenders, company directors or secretaries who like restoring old cars, hill walking, pigeon fancying, body building, jogging, stamp collecting, micro-lighting or DIY.

Whatever we’re in to, we need to be given the space and support from our partners to do these things, even if this means excluding them from those activities. The things that we do in our ‘me time’ fulfill our need for esteem and self-actualization.

So, the message is, that it’s only after we’ve been fed and watered, that the need to feel loved and accepted by our partners and friends kicks in. From now on, make sure you eat healthily and sleep well. It may seriously affect your relationship!

It also puts into perspective the misconception that your lover, child or friend is the most important thing in your life.

You are!

About The Author
Seltzer Cole is the author of “I Love You, I Love You, I Hate You So Much! – How to mend or end a bad relationship. He runs a counselling service at www.relationshiprescue.co.uk.
Seltzer has worked as a writer, journalist, presenter, producer, editor and publisher in television, radio, print and the internet. His programmes, research, articles and editorial have covered everything from effective communication & careers to finance & relationships.