Love is not the only answer

As you go through life, everyone seems to think that all you need is love in order to complete a relationship. But, is love really all you need?

This four-letter word is expressed by many, as something that is indescribable – something that you just know. But relationships are much more complex than merely a strong feeling.

A study done by psychologist Susan Sprecher, Ph.D. of Illinois State University concluded that “couples break up because of decreased levels of satisfaction in the relationship, not because they stop-loving each other.”

Her study was done on 101 heterosexual couples at Midwestern University. By the end of her study, 59 percent ended their relationships due to decreased levels of satisfaction and commitment before the relationship actually ended, but said their love remained unchanged.

Webster’s Dictionary defines love as an intense affection for another person based on personal or familial ties.

After talking to random individuals and listening to their responses, I have come to the conclusion that love is not the only thing that is needed to make a relationship work.

Relationships need trust, commitment, communication, mutual respect and money in order for them to be successful.

The first issue at hand is trust. Trust is the foundation of any relationship and without this important entity the relationship will fall apart. You should not have to play Inspector Gadget.

“If trusting relationships are cultivated and maintained, the ability to try new adventures and take new risks are enhanced,” writes Bill Malone, director of Malone Counseling & Consulting Service, on the site,

Commitment is the next big thing. You must have strong feelings and be true to your partner. When one feels that he or she is being treated well, he or she will reciprocate. No one wants to feel they are not sharing their love.

Communication then follows. You have to be able to talk to your partner. When issues come up and need to be confronted, you ought to know how to converse. You want everything on the table. You should know what your partner likes or dislikes, what he or she wants in life or what he or she does not want. To make it simple, you need to know and understand your partner’s needs. Nobody wants to be with a mute.

The next necessity in a relationship is mutual respect. Mutual respect consists of taking both you and your partner’s feelings into consideration. There should be no need to cuss or put the other person down. To respect means to value the other person, so how can you respect someone you do not value? You must know your partner’s true worth, and they must know yours.

Finally, the money issue. Now I am not saying lots of money is a necessity. What I am saying is that if neither of you have any money, this will begin to spark unhealthy arguments. The issue of money is a sensitive subject that can even break-up some of the longest relationships – just ask some of your broke friends.

As made painfully obvious, love is not only thing that is needed to make a relationship work. A relationship requires trust, communication, commitment, mutual respect and money. Many people who want to live in a Disney fantasy that says love is all you need, must abandon that falsehood. One must realize that love is a part of the relationship, not the whole.

Katrelle Simmons is a freshman magazine production from Orlando. She is The Famuan’s Assistant Sports Editor. Contact her at