Relationships Don’t Last Based on Feelings, But Choices

Credit tumblr source: x

“A lot of people ask me what my biggest fear is, or what scares me most. And I know they expect an answer like heights, or closed spaces, or people dressed like animals, but how do I tell them that when I was 17 I took a class called Relationships For Life and I learned that most people fall out of love for the same reasons they fell in it.

That their lover’s once endearing stubbornness has now become refusal to compromise and their one track mind is now immaturity and their bad habits that you once adored is now money down the drain. Their spontaneity becomes reckless and irresponsible and their feet up on your dash is no longer sexy, just another distraction in your busy life. Nothing saddens and scares me like the thought that I can become ugly to someone who once thought all the stars were in my eyes.

After my teacher introduced us to this theory, she asked us, “is love a feeling? Or is it a choice?” We were all a bunch of teenagers. Naturally we said it was a feeling. She said that if we clung to that belief, we’d never have a lasting relationship of any sort.

She made us interview a dozen adults who were or had been married and we asked them about their marriages and why it lasted or why it failed. At the end, I asked every single person if love was an emotion or a choice.

Everybody said that it was a choice. It was a conscious commitment. It was something you choose to make work every day with a person who has chosen the same thing. They all said that at one point in their marriage, the “feeling of love” had vanished or faded and they weren’t happy. They said feelings are always changing and you cannot build something that will last on such a shaky foundation.

The married ones said that when things were bad, they chose to open the communication, chose to identify what broke and how to fix it, and chose to recreate something worth falling in love with.

The divorced ones said they chose to walk away.

Ever since that class, since that project, I never looked at relationships the same way. I understood why arranged marriages were successful. I discovered the difference in feelings and commitments. I’ve never gone for the person who makes my heart flutter or my head spin. I’ve chosen the people who were committed to choosing me, dedicated to finding something to adore even on the ugliest days.

I no longer fear the day someone who swore I was their universe can no longer see the stars in my eyes as long as they still choose to look until they find them again.”

39 Comments

  1. i agree with much of this post, but the truth is that, in the absence of genuine psychological issues, ugly days are a choice as well. one chooses to be ugly on bad days, to lash out or be cold. just because you know you can get your way doesn’t mean you always need to. i have observed this is to be more common in insecure and needy individuals. in a relationship where one is always trying to be the winner, both lose. invariably when too many spiteful things are uttered and things are over, there is nothing but overwhelming regret at what has been thrown away. if you know you have such tendencies, learning to be less self-centered and more independent is not a contradiction. it will probably make your relationship last.

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    1. I agree. COMPLETELY! Relationships are supposed to make you happy and not miserable. Choose to be happy above all else. With or without a relationship. 🙂

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    2. Insightful! Do you mean a person choose to be ugly, spiteful or cold to get what they want? But, isn’t that counter intuitive? It will damage the relationship.

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  2. somehow, I don’t agree entirely. especially close to the end of your article. choosing someone because of their commitment to choose you inevitably–isnt that itself based on feelings?

    or was it a comparison chart against what one could offer and how they made you feel?

    couldn’t a choice be part of the feelings we’d?

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  3. This is brilliant. More people should go for Relationship classes because relationships are so vital to life, and people invest 100% more in their careers and neglect to invest in understanding the essence of healthy lasting relationships.

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    1. Wow, how blind. Can you see the credits and inverted commas in the FIRST line. I’m really too busy to answer all comments but yours is too dumb to miss.

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  4. What if someone makes a choice based on their feelings? It’s like saying “The spark/passion is gone. So I won’t choose you anymore”. So in the end, are the choices made based on feelings?

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    1. I personally feel the choice to be with someone can be made based on feelings; But the relationship itself, and what flourishes later on, should be built based off commitment.
      You meet someone, you both like each other then choose to be together. The moment you choose to be together, you should be committed to each other, through best times and worst times.. You choose to work it out and cherish that choice you have made.

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    2. I personally feel the choice to be with someone can be made based on feelings; But the relationship itself, and what flourishes later on, should be built based off commitment.
      You meet someone, you both like each other then choose to be together. The moment you choose to be together, you should be committed to each other, through best times and worst times.. You choose to work it out and cherish that choice you have made.

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  5. I no longer fear the day someone who swore I was their universe can no longer see the stars in my eyes as long as they still choose to look until they find them again.

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  6. While I agree that people change and so do our preferences, I also feel that most of us have love figured out the wrong way. We don’t go into a relationship to get something out of it. This is why a lot of relationships fail. Because when we stop getting what we want, then here comes the expectations and the disappointments. But if you think about it the other way round, it makes better sense. You enter a relationship because you have love to give. You don’t care anymore whether you get something back or not. You just want to give and give because it feels right. If you want something back, then you aren’t ready for a relationship then. You aren’t whole enough to give. A relationship should be about individuals who want to be together. If you keep thinking that it’s some choice you have to make… then you simply aren’t being true to yourself.

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  7. Agree. A relationship lasts because it’s a choice. Two people are looking towards the same direction and NOT merely looking at each other.

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  8. Agree but not entirely. It is both a choice and emotion. You mus at least feel something towards the person you are involved with.

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  9. I agree with you. On the end of things, it will always be a matter of choice. Leaving or staying. Fixing things or getting a new one. I am have gotten myself into few failed relationships but I cannot tamper them are failed because it was my choice. I’ve done my best in all aspects of loving, yet seems not complete or compromise with the person.

    Now, I have committed myself, again, into loving someone. And both of our choices in life are consulted with each other; which should be a good start in any kind of relationship.

    Thus is every stories, have its different endings. But there will always be two, the ones with an ending and the ones with happy endings.

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  10. so true! thanks for posting this up.. would love to see more beauty posts and outfits of the day posts from you too! keep it up 🙂

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  11. I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!! I absolutely
    enjoyed every little bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to check out new things you

    Like

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