Love Isn’t Going To Save Your Life

Love Isn’t Going To Save Your Life

By Heidi Priebe

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Listen, I’m not here to knock love.

Love is a… many splendid thing? (That’s what I’m meant to say, right?) It’s a delightful shot of dopamine. It’s an enduring form of emotional support. It’s a profoundly important layer of our lives that can provide us with a deep sense of companionship and intimacy, when we manage to get it right.

There are a wide range of benefits we can reap from romantic love – as it emerges, as it deepens, as it pervades. Love is a lot of splendid things.

But there’s one thing it’s not, and never will be.

Love is not the thing that’s going to save you from yourself.

Not from your shitty job, not from your painful insecurities, not from your deeply-held sense of inadequacy, not even from your fear of being alone.

Love won’t save you from chronic boredom. It won’t relieve you of your ongoing cynicism. It won’t cut out your codependency issues and it definitely won’t cure your misery.

In North America, love is bought and sold like the next hot-button item on a list.

First, acquire all its accessories: Perfect hair, flawless skin, an interesting hobby, six pack abs. Next, pour all your spare time and your income into searching for it: download dating apps, meet up at bars, drop your money on drinks to loosen up, start thinking of gifts to buy for your anniversary.

Romantic love is built up all around us, because it’s the thing we’ve been conditioned to crave. It’s the thing we have been told we’re not worthy of. And so, it’s the stealthiest part of our psyche to subliminally market to (Not happy? Go on a diet! When you lose 20 pounds, your prize will be love!) Love is presented as the ultimate cure-all – the perfect solution we should be striving for.

Of course, finding it isn’t enough.

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Recognize these titles? Of course you do. Some variation of this theme – don’t trust love – is poured into every aspect of the mainstream media. You can’t sell love to people who already have it. So instead, you sell doubt. You sell drama. You sell someone’s own insecurities right back to them, so that the whole cycle starts again from square one.

Left your man or woman? No problem. Time to get a gym membership! Cut your hair! Go out to the bars! Enjoy your liberation!

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Are you starting to recognize a theme here? We aren’t selling people love. Not really. That’s an impossible product to deliver.

We’re selling people the idea that love will relieve them of their deepest insecurities.

We’re implying that love is all it takes to be happy. That happiness means never doubting, never wondering, never feeling alone or unsure or insecure ever again.

We’re selling the idea that if your relationship doesn’t make you feel perfectly at peace with every aspect of your life – if it doesn’t make you feel loved enough and fulfilled enough and secure enough and successful enough and peaceful enough – then it’s not the right relationship.

And that idea is, quite frankly, insane.

Love is not supposed to save your life.

It is not a solution to psychological issues. It is not a balm for insecurities and loneliness. It is not a magical potion you can swallow that will instantly cure you of your struggles, your imbalances, your challenges and your insecurities.

Love is supposed to be the pleasant company in the front seat of your car, not the destination you’re desperately barreling towards.   

Love is nice, but it’s not everything. It’s not a replacement for dealing with past traumas, a solution for pervasive feelings of emptiness, an alternative option to cultivating meaning and purpose in your personal life.

Love will not save you from any of that.

If you enter a romantic relationship feeling insecure, unstable, lost and directionless, those feelings will only grow stronger inside your relationship.

Those feelings, left unchecked, will only give way to dependency, to conflict, to desperation or to obsessiveness. Your insecurities will not die once you enter into a relationship with someone else, they will just take on a different form. They will just begin wearing on two people instead of one.

Here’s the thing: It’s okay to not have it all figured out.

Most people don’t.

It’s okay to be insecure. It’s okay to be lost. It’s okay to be lonely or working through trauma.

Those things don’t make you undeserving of love.

But if you expect love to save you from those things, you’re dooming both yourself and any potential romantic relationship you enter into.

Because love isn’t a cure-all. It isn’t the ultimate answer. It isn’t the thing that’s going to rescue you from loneliness or inadequacy or pain.

You have to be the one who does that.

Romantic love isn’t going to save you.

And the sooner you come to accept that, the sooner you can get to work saving yourself.

Heidi Priebe

Author: Heidi Priebe

Author. Blogger. Speaker. Founder. Person.