Thursday, July 16, 2009

When Love Isn't Enough

Living happily ever after needn't only be for fairy tales. Australian researchers have identified what it takes to keep a couple together, and it's a lot more than just being in love. A couple's age, previous relationships and even whether they smoke or not are factors that influence whether their marriage is going to last, according to a study by researchers from the Australian National University.

The study, entitled "What's Love Got to Do With It," tracked nearly 2,500 couples -- married or living together -- from 2001 to 2007 to identify factors associated with those who remained together compared with those who divorced or separated. It found that a husband who is nine or more years older than his wife is twice as likely to get divorced, as are husbands who get married before they turn 25.

Children also influence the longevity of a marriage or relationship, with one-fifth of couples who have kids before marriage -- either from a previous relationship or in the same relationship -- having separated compared to just nine percent of couples without children born before marriage.


This article didn't provide me with any mind boggling statistics, but it did reaffirm a few of my beliefs. I'm not even close to being a love expert, but I do have a solid understanding of what it takes to make a relationship work. Love, trust, and a shared value system are at the foundation of almost every healthy relationship. Relationships that are not built on the aforementioned entities are destined to fail. It saddens me to see couples stay together because of "convenience" or because the two people involved don't want to go through the "hassle" of meeting someone new. I understand that dating can be frustrating, but true love is one of the greatest things in the world. I think the journey one has to take to attain it is well worth the trouble.

I have only been in one long term relationship and I have never been married. I have broken my fair share of hearts and Karma has returned the favor more times than I care to admit. Nevertheless, I still believe in the enigmatic entity we call love. This belief, however, does not compel me to view the women I date with rose-tinted glasses. I am too much of a realest to stay with someone for cosmetic reasons. Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me" is one of the most well-written love songs of all time. It really captures the sentiments of people who feel that love is slipping away.

Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't