You hear a lot about tough love—love where you set boundaries and keep them rigidly, to encourage someone to take the desired path. And we hear a lot about “falling in love”; as if it was just that easy. And sometimes, it is—at first. Love can sneak up on you out of nowhere. But the reality is that love is tough.
Love is not for the weak. Most of the time, you have no control over the boundaries. They are set for you by the other party, whether it’s your parents, children, spouse, lover, friend, or whoever. People desire to be loved on THEIR terms, not yours. They expect you to love them when you don’t feel like it; when you’ve had a bad day; when you aren’t physically up to it; and when they just plain aren’t being lovable. That’s the part that’s tough.
I think many people are unprepared for love to be such hard work. They don’t think about it being tough. They don’t think about having to do it 24/7, 365. They want to throw out “I love you” as easily as they say “I’ll take a cheeseburger.” And they expect it to be served promptly. They don’t think about how it has to be prepared, and put together, using all the right ingredients for each person to get that satisfying taste.
I’ve learned a lot about love over the years. I’ve succeeded and I’ve failed. I’ve found love and lost it again. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you have to do the work. And it’s tough. But when you find someone who’s willing to work with you, it is SO worth it!