What My Break-Up Taught Me

By Sarah Aterrado - May 20, 2015

"All you need is love... love is all you need..."

I'm sorry to burst your bubble Mr. John Lennon, but I have to disagree with you on this. Love is not all you need. Love is not enough. Yep, I say that loud and clear.

When it comes to relationships, many of us overrate and oftentimes overestimate love. We rely too much on love that we'd think it is the answer to our struggles, the ultimate solution to our relationship goals, the one that conquers all. And while we believe and idealize this thought, little do we know that it is our relationships that pay the price. I believe in not relying our relationships on feelings of love alone because it might be too late to find ourselves drowning in a deep pile of shit when a problem occurs that love cannot solve. Trust me, I've been there and it was not pretty.

I once loved a boy who made me frown, made me mad, and made me cry more than he made me smile. He was far from everything I have ever dreamed of in a man but I loved every bit about him. And it was all that mattered to me. I fought for him because I thought it was worth fighting - taking the risk of breaking the relationship with my family. I was young and in love, so I dove into our relationship, head first.

But as time went by, going on and on in a cycle of being hurt, by hurt I mean, being disrespected, got taken for granted, and becoming his last option, made me realize that it wasn't worth the fight. I was unhappy. And the crazy thing is, it kept going on for years because I believed in our love. I loved him and I knew he loved me too despite how many times I have failed him too. We made it seem that our weekly, or worse, daily meaningless dramas and fights did not matter because there was love. It was all that mattered. After all, love conquers all, right?

Fast forward to more years and the cycle was already too much for me to bear that I came to a point that I got fed up and I feigned not to care until there was nothing left to care for. I loved him, but one day I just woke up and realized I couldn't do it anymore. After twelve long years, I let go of his hand. Just like that. It looks easy but it wasn't. Really. It was scary. I was terrified. I cried so much until my eyes could no longer shed a drop of tear. I left, moved on, and never looked back. I wasn't proud of what I did. But I knew right then and there, it was something that I will not ever regret.

Twelve years. Can you imagine that? Nobody will ever think anything can still trample that relationship. We loved each other. We almost tied the knot, but still, we lost everything. Where did we go wrong?

Love. Truth is, love went wrong. Love is so powerful it can blind you from seeing the other blocks that build a strong relationship such as respect, communication, and commitment (let me break this down into two: quality time and prioritization) - the seemingly very little things we lacked, or ignored, in our relationship. You see, when there is love, and there is just love alone, we tend to fail to exercise the other critical things in building a sturdy and healthy relationship. These are like a mortar that holds the bricks together. That's why even though we felt each other heart to heart, it is no surprise the relationship crumbled to its demise.

You see, love alone is definitely not enough. It takes a hell lot more than love to build a relationship that's worth keeping for a lifetime. It requires more than just that chemical reaction from your brain that triggers an intense romantic emotion to build a healthy relationship. It entails self and mutual respect, constant and open communication, and an uninhibited commitment.  I figured this one out the hard way after a terrible breakup. But this break up allowed me to unfold a new chapter of my life and have the way things were meant to be. It gave me the opportunity to grow and be a better person. It helped me learn and see the reality, bitter, and ugly truth about love.

Love is both a boon and a bane. It can be healthy and unhealthy. It is both beautiful and ugly. But it is a wonderful experience. And it is something that I would love to do, feel, and enjoy over and over and over again. Love is great. Love makes life beautiful. Love is important. We need love. But love is not all we need.

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  1. Thats a brave thing you did. And braver that you shared your experience to the world.

    1. Thanks Lauren! I was actually a bit hesitatnt in posting this. But I posted anyway. :)

  2. I really admire you for being a strong woman. I'm glad to see you move on, sar! Your boyfie is cute.


  3. I just want to say I'm really glad I stumbled upon this. Thank you.

    1. Hello. Thanks for dropping by. I hope this post helped you in one way or another. :)