Maya Angelou said “love recognizes no barriers, jumps hurdles, leaps fences, and penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” Vincent Van Gogh said “there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” And the immortal Mr. Rogers said “the number 143 means ‘I love you.’” It takes one letter to say ‘I’ and four letters to say ‘love’ and three letters to say ‘you.’ One hundred and forty-three. ‘I love you.” Isn’t that wonderful?”
Well, far be it from me to go against anything that Mr. Rogers believed. The man was a saint — and he knew a good cardigan when he saw one (not necessarily a saintly trait, but the number of fashion crimes involving cardigans has reached epidemic proportions). However, just this once it might be worthwhile adding a disclaimer to all of this lofty stuff about love, because sometimes destiny has other plans in mind. Bad, scary, painful plans that involve angry emails, and in extreme cases, expensive family lawyers.
Your Dream Romance
Here’s the thing: if you’ve found your soulmate who “completes you,” then congratulations you have found your dream romance and more power to you. In today’s world, we need more people in love to do more loving things. But before you pack for a one-way journey to Blissful Relationship Island (population: 2), here are three things that might throw a wrench into your plans, and make you wonder if Cupid is a devious, misanthropic miscreant instead of a cute, cherubic winged infant (who happens to be armed with a deadly weapon — ever wonder about that?
1. Financial Disconnect
When it comes to money, the big problem that many ex-couples have isn’t necessarily that they didn’t have enough cash. Rather, it’s that one partner wanted to spend, spend, spend, and the other wanted to save, save, save. Being on the same page about money isn’t optional: it’s mandatory. After all, the number one reason that couples divorce isn’t infidelity. It’s fighting about money.
2. Refusing to Change
Legitimate, authentic relationships are inherently designed to change the people in them — because, well, that’s how relationships work. But if you or your partner is absolutely steadfast on being the same person you were when you met — or if you refuse to let your partner change and evolve — then guess what? You’ll be headed for conflict and, most likely, for a painful break-up (don’t forget to change your Netflix password on the way out)
3. In-Laws. (Enough said.)
Seriously — need we say more here? Pesky, nosy and invasive in-laws can be incredibly destructive for all kinds of reasons. Maybe they resent the fact that you’ve found someone you’re happy with, and they’re stuck with Mr. or Mrs. Wrong. Or perhaps they’re just bored, and it’s more fun watching your real-life drama than staring at a soap opera. The advice here isn’t to cease wall contact with your in-laws. Rather, it’s to set fair and firm boundaries, and most importantly, for both you and your partner to maintain a united front. In-laws are extremely good at divide and conquer. Don’t give them the chance.
The Bottom Line
Will steering clear of these pitfalls guarantee lasting love and happiness? Unfortunately, no. Even Cupid doesn’t offer that kind of informercial-style rock solid guarantee (not including shipping and handling fees).
But if you pay attention to the above warnings as if they were emblazoned on one of those giant LED electronic message signs that you see on the freeway, then you’ll give yourself more than a good chance to hold on to that dream romance feeling for a lot longer. And who knows, maybe even forever!