I often hear women asking whether or not their relationship is the real thing. Wondering if the guy they’re with is the right one for them. Wondering what they should do. And in most cases, as soon as they start describing their situation, it becomes pretty clear that there’s a lot more going on in their situation than love. If there’s one mantra to make your own, it’s one that states it clearly and simply: real love is never complicated. Ever.
If, right now, you’re in a situation where there’s a long, drawn out, dramatic story about your relationship, then it’s complicated. If you’re telling your friends about how he sometimes acts like he’s interested, sometimes not; he’s giving you mixed signals; he's becoming emotionally distant; you’re feel as though you should say something about some question mark in your mind, but you’re on the fence as to whether you want to be direct or not; you’re often not sure what he’s really thinking; he’s got an old girlfriend who keeps coming in and out of the picture; he says one thing but his actions are indicating something else; he’s telling you to just give him some time to get his head together; he’s got some stranger than fiction story about how everything fits into his life (including you); he’s got an excuse or an explanation for everything that you question him about that just doesn’t seem quite right; well, you get the picture – it’s complicated.
The point is, if the situation is complicated, your description of it takes more than a couple sentences to explain, and you find yourself making excuses or justifying why the relationship is not exactly your ideal, then this is not love you’re talking about. I know, we’ve all been in or heard about the high drama relationships of so-called love where there’s all the angst, passion, high strung emotions and everything else that makes it fell like the real thing, but the reality is that those kind of relationships, while they may be exciting at first, quickly begin to feel like anything but love. I know. I’ve been there too. The bottom line is, anytime you’ve got that much going on in a relationship, it’s not love. Because love is just not that. Real love is simple.
When you’ve only had that complicated kind of love, when that’s the only kind of relationship you’ve ever known, you won’t know the difference until you’ve experienced a different kind of love - the real kind. So until you do, just know that anytime you’re trying to explain, to others or to yourself, why the relationship you’re in really is love, stop right there. Because if it really is love, there would be no explaining needed. You’ll know. In your heart. Love really is simple. It follows a simple formula: he’s available + you’re available + he wants to be with you + you want to be with him + you’re both open to a relationship with each other and seeing where it takes you. That’s it. There are no games, no drama, no tension. I told you it was simple.
Note that I said it was simple, I didn’t say it was easy. If you don’t get it right away, it’s OK. Be gentle with yourself here. If you’re used to seeing complicated as the norm for love, it will take some time before you can see how simple it really is. And it will take some real soul-searching to understand why you continue to find yourself in these dramatic relationships, and why you continue to hang on to them. Talking it over with a trusted friend or family member or a good relationship counselor, or just writing out your thoughts on paper, is a great way to gain clarity, and is the first step to break us free of the cycle of these toxic relationships that masquerade as love.
So next time you’re asking yourself the question, is it love? Use the simple/complicated litmus test and I think you’ll find it clear. Love is never complicated. Ever.