I often hear people say they love someone but they are not in love with the person. Typically that means they’ve grown to care for someone deeply, but the romantic feelings that come with being in love have either faded, or they were never there to begin with.
I love my husband and thankfully, I am in love with him too. With time, our love has grown, and I am grateful that God brought us together. But sometimes I wonder if marriage can work for people who are not in love. I’ve heard stories of women who marry a “good guy” even though they don’t have deep romantic feelings for him because they want to start a family or they want the stability that comes with marriage.
Is that okay, though?
Is it okay to marry someone who’s just good enough?
Should people look for a partner they just care for very deeply without worrying if passion, desire, and romance are missing from the picture? Is it okay to say, “I do” to some who isn’t the love of your life, but definitely seems to be good enough? Does being in love even matter as much as we say it does?
I am sure most people would argue that marriage without being in love is just a bad idea. And although I am inclined to agree, I do wonder if that’s true. What if I was 45 and I just never fell in love with the right guy, would I want to stay alone or would I choose to marry a great guy who treats me like a queen even if the passion is missing—even if I know I am not in love with him?
It’s easy for me to say I wouldn’t tie the knot because doing so might be setting myself up for a failed marriage, but can I be sure of what I would do unless faced with the situation?
What are the consequences of getting married without being in love?
I am not suggesting that folks should forget about falling in love and just marry the first great guy or woman that comes along. I think that would be a bit crazy and lots of people would end up in marriages that can’t stand the test of time.
The distinction between loving someone and being in love with someone is one that shouldn’t be ignored. There are many people in my life that I love deeply. They make my world a better place without question. Yet, despite the strong feelings I have for those people, I am not in love with any of them. The only person I happen to be in love with is my husband.
So what happens when the feelings that come with being in love are missing in a marriage? I think it takes a toll over time. Sure, things may seem rosy in the beginning. He treats you like a queen, your family loves him, you live in a nice home, and the list goes on and on; but when it’s time to share a passionate moment, it doesn’t feel authentic. Instead you struggle with it. Sure, he may be attractive and all, but that spark just isn’t there. And when that spark isn’t there, faking it doesn’t mean that spark will show up.
So is being in love the only way to go?
I can’t say what I would do if my life had unfolded differently. All I can share is how incredible it feels to be with someone you are in love with. The feeling is unmatched by any other.
I think a marriage may very well survive without passion, desire and all the other things that make a romantic relationship unique. Does that mean, however, that both parties will be genuinely happy? I have my doubts.
You can marry someone you are not in love with and choose to keep the vows you made, while still feeling like something is missing. And in the end, I guess that is my biggest concern. To me it seems tragic to spend the rest of your years with someone, always wondering—always feeling like something was missing.
The most tragic part of it all is really the fact that in situations like this, sometimes only one person really knows the truth. The other is floating through life thinking that they married someone who was in love with them. Or maybe they feel like something is off but they just can’t put their finger on what it is.
It’s also quite possible that both parties are in on it and just agreed to make the most of the love they do have for each other. That doesn’t seem much better, though. Being married shouldn’t just be about surviving, it should be about thriving.
I think we are all in a agreement about how much loves matters, but for some it seems like there will always be a question about how much being in love matters?
BMWK family, do you think being in love is required to have a happy marriage or can loving someone be enough?