For a long time, I was under the illusion that love is enough.
People who didn’t agree with me were obviously not REALLY in love!
Turns out … I was wrong.
I think most of us who have been in a long-term relationship have realized this at one point or another. Love isn’t enough, at least not for us romantics who crave passion and don’t want to get stuck in routine.
“Love is enough” is a beautiful idea. Believe me, I had a hard time letting go of it. Admitting that my relationship might possibly need something more was hard for me to accept.
However, once my partner and I finally surrendered to the fact that loving each other wasn’t going to be enough, we discovered something amazing…
We were able to take our relationship and our love to a completely different level.
This missing piece was our purpose.
Why Love Fades
Love is enough in the beginning because we’re completely in it. It’s our top priority. Nothing is more exciting, interesting or fueling than our love.
But that feeling easily fades if we don’t design it to stay.
You are in charge of your relationship. If you want your relationship to stay passionate and exciting, then it’s up to you to make it so.
But that feeling of being completely in love won’t stay unless you stay with it.
Or, as I like to say, the feeling doesn’t leave … YOU do.
It’s not that you don’t love each other anymore. Rather, the in-love feeling is replaced with feeling more or less normal.
For most of us, “normal” does not ignite any heightened feelings.
When your relationship is just a normal part of your life, it’s no longer your #1 priority. It’s on the same level as all the other normal things in your life: job, friends, hobbies, and so forth.
When the feeling of being passionately in love has been forgotten for too long, things get boring. You start asking yourself if you’re in the right place. Am I with the right person? Is this it? What now?
Don’t get on this downward spiral. Set your relationship up to win by discovering its purpose.
Discovering Your Purpose
When you’re ready to move to the next level, ask each other:
“What’s the purpose of our relationship?”
That’s not a question that always makes sense in the beginning, when you’re madly in love and the only thing that makes any sense is to be with each other.
The longer you’re together, the more you need a deeper reason for being together.
What do you want out of it? What is it all about? What do you want it to feel like? What role do you want to play in your partner’s life?
Having this conversation will open your eyes to so much more.
I remember being nervous when my partner and I decided to have this talk for the first time.
Our relationship was stable, we were really in love, and we’d just come home from a fantastic vacation … but still I worried. What if we’re not on the same page? What if he doesn’t feel the same? What will happen? What if this conversation leads us to breaking up?
You might not get the answers you thought or hoped you’d get, but either way – wouldn’t you rather know now?
If you both have completely different ideas of what you want your relationship to be, it might be time to let each other go. Honor yourself and your partner enough to walk away from anything that’s not aligned with what you really want. Otherwise, you’re only wasting time.
What Your Purpose Might Look Like
Your purpose should be something that feels exciting to you.
To help you get started, let me share part of our purpose:
My partner and I want to see how far we can take it.
To us, that means: how deep our connection can get? How much we can learn from each other? How can we help each other grow?
Another part of our purpose is simply having fun. We want our shared life to be joyful and full of laughter.
These things are super-exciting to us, and we actively seek ways to fuel our purpose.
Before having this conversation, our relationship was fine, but it lacked direction.
Getting our shared purpose clear gave us an incredible team feeling. It was thrilling to see ourselves taking on the world together. We began to think less about what we wanted for ourselves and more about what we wanted as a team.
This conversation really is a game changer. It’s so much fun and so much easier to live around your bigger purpose.
Design Your Relationship around Your Purpose
When you have your purpose clear, it becomes a whole lot easier to design your relationship.
You know what you’re after, and you can set your love up to grow into exactly what you want it to be.
Love is not enough, but you can design your relationship for love. Only you set the limits.
It’s like a fun game you’re playing together, or a super cool project that you get to see grow and evolve.
The process of designing your relationship comes down to your habits.
How can you start living more aligned with your purpose? What needs to change in your daily life? What can you do right now?
Your purpose may guide you to do more of certain things and let go of other things. It’s a lot easier to get rid of unnecessary behaviors or feelings like jealousy, the need to win an argument, criticism or not telling the truth, when you see how those habits work against your purpose.
In the case of my partner and me, we’ve made our purpose a priority. We tend to it daily.
We help each other grow by supporting, pushing and encouraging each other. We share ideas and help each other figure things out. We explore together by trying new things, being open-minded, and staying curious about each other and the world.
To deepen our love, we express it often in various ways. We practice always having each other’s best interest at heart. We don’t see each other as a possession.
We are grateful for what we have. We take time to be together. We try to solve any issues we might have from a team perspective.
We have fun in day-to-day life by simply being playful and not taking anything too seriously. We try to cheer each other up and not do the same thing or be the same way every single day.
Once you discover your purpose, you’ll find it fuels your love. It helps you stay engaged and keeps the relationship interesting.
That’s not to say you’ll never feel stuck again. If your old habits kick in, you might find yourself down the same old road as before. But this time, you don’t have to stay down there.
Write down your purpose and read it when you feel you’re moving in the wrong direction. Read it when you’re in doubt, when you’ve been fighting, if you feel stuck and confused, if you’re angry or sad, or you just need a little reminder of what it’s actually all about.