“Do you believe love is enough in marriage?”
“HELL NO,” I screamed at the TV while cringe-watching another microwave romance on Love Is Blind for the umpteenth time in a row. Though I’ve never exchanged vows and said “I do” before, I can confidently say that love is not enough to make me choose someone.
Now don’t get me wrong, love is an important & beautiful thing. It makes us all smile a little bigger. It makes our food taste better. Our hugs feel tighter. It makes the sun shine brighter and songs sound a little sweeter. We can’t quite explain it, but we know when it’s there.
Some people have this idea in their heads that love is the end-all-be-all to finding “the one” but, the thing is, it takes way more than love to have and sustain a successful relationship.
A common thread I noticed on the show and IRL is that people rely on their love for their partner to overlook some serious red flags. In these cases, love becomes more of a burden than an enhancement to the lives of everyone involved.
Let’s get into three of the most glaring red flags that, if left unchecked, can destroy any fighting chance for a healthy and lasting relationship with someone you love:
You had us in the first half, Jackie, not gonna lie! But congratulations: you now lead the league in horrible human beings cast on LIB.
From her fear of “legal marriage” (but clearly not engagement rings) to the constant cries for her man to be more aggressive, Jackie puts the ‘hel(l)’ in unhealed.
She was a gaslighter.
A terrible communicator.
Disrespected the relationship.
Wanted a big man with big arguments to match.
She’s never experienced a healthy relationship, and it showed. Too many times. Not saying her fiancé didn’t have any flaws (more on this soon), or that she’s “wrong” for falling out of love, but she handled it all very poorly.
As she tanked her relationship to date the cauliflower-eared f*ckboy–a glaring red flag, might I add– I knew she was a lost cause as far as the show was concerned; she shouldn’t have been there in the first place. I’ll give her some credit for recognizing that she has some inner work to do, though.
Word of advice: Don’t be like Jackie. And if you ever find yourself being like Jackie then you’re not interested in having a healthy relationship.
Being “Mr. Fix It”
Not so fast, Marshall. We know Jackie did you dirty, but you didn’t come up squeaky clean!
Before I get into the red flags, let’s call out some green ones. I like that Marshall embraces his sensitive side. I’ll be the first to admit that he showed some of the most emotional intelligence we’ve seen in this experiment…but, with the bar already set in the lowest pits of hell, I’m not sure if that’s saying too much.
In my [very non-professional] opinion, I think he has a savior complex; he jumped into Mr. Fix It mode as soon as the relationship graduated from the pods, openly admitting she’s “used to that toxic sh*t” to some of his cast mates. Instead of running away from those red flags, he used them as fuel. Fuel to save her.
While, at first glance, it can be seen as a good thing to want to save someone from themselves, it can turn into something more manipulative and condescending. Once it reaches that point then the days may be numbered for your relationship.
A perfect example of this is when Marshall referred to his fiancée as a “project” in the heat of an argument. Or when he admitted to suggesting that she looks like a man when she implied that he was too soft. Though he corrected himself and apologized, the damage had already been done; Jackie checked out of the relationship and reverted back to what she knew.
Though Jackie made some missteps, so did he. And I’d think we’d be doing them (and ourselves, if we’re familiar with this behavior) a disservice to ignore that.
You can’t treat people as things that need to be fixed. The sooner we take heed of that, the better.
Irina and Micah–classic case of mean girls will never win.
We meet Irina as the girl who’s anxious about her acne scars and hopes she’ll find a husband who is willing to look past them. “Who I am on the inside matters most,” she insisted in episode one.
Ironically, her house bestie Micah was uneasy about not leading with her physical appearance, admitting that it “made [her] nervous having to rely on what’s inside” in the very same episode.
We soon found out that they were two
ugly peas in a pod, bonded by one thing & one thing only: their insecurities.
They were nasty bullies & patronized everyone. Whenever they weren’t laughing at another girl’s heartbreak, they were manipulating men into choosing them (thus causing said heartbreaks). To be blunt, neither of them was moving like a good person would.
But the thing about those tables: they always turn. In more ways than one.
Mean girls always find a way to turn on each other, and Micah & Irina were no different. Their friendship came to a halt when Irina was trying to manipulate her way to getting Micah’s man (but came up short). Fast forward to when Paul said no at the altar & Micah went crying back up the aisle, with her friends giggling at her misfortune from the audience. Fast even more forward to the live reunion episode, when people in the audience laughed at Irina’s tears.
Both of them played dirty & ended up without their LIB “happy ending”. If that isn’t a prime example of clownery coming back to bite, then I don’t know what is.
My point? Don’t let your insecurities make you a shitty person–to yourself or others. If you feel the need to “eliminate threats” or manipulate situations to get your way then you’re not ready or equipped for a healthy relationship.
Do you agree that love is not enough to have a healthy long-term relationship? Share why or why not in the comments, or the 20 Something Saga Twitter or Instagram!