Disney lied when they said “love conquers all.”
Perhaps the most brutal truth of romance is the fact that love alone doesn't make a relationship work. If love alone was enough to continue on a happy marriage, I would have been married to one of my exes from a long time ago.
Here's the real truth about what you need in order for a relationship to succeed, and why coasting on love alone can't make it work.
1. You need financial stability.
Here's the truth: love don't pay the bills. Loving your partner might make it easier to budget, assuming that they're willing to do so, but that doesn't solve everything. You still need to have similar financial goals. You still need to be able to put food on the table. And you still need to be able to reduce financial stress together. If you can't jive about money, it won't work.
2. You need the same views on kids.
One of the most devastating breakups I've ever endured was with a man who desperately wanted kids. I did not want kids, was then diagnosed as sterile, and am now surgically sterilized. He thought he could change my mind, and when it became clear that it wasn't going to happen, he dumped me.
Sure, I maybe could have made him stay if I agreed to have kids I didn't want, but I would have been miserable. All the love I could have provided for him wasn't enough to keep us together, because our life goals on kids were polar opposites.
3. You need to be able to communicate well.
I've witnessed plenty of relationships that had two partners that loved each other dissolve because they couldn't figure out how to talk things out or work on their relationship together. Love alone often can't give you the courage and level-headedness needed to tackle tough subjects. If you don't have the social skills necessary for a healthy relationship, you can't make it work, regardless of how much you love that person.
4. You need similar life goals.
Love isn't enough to keep you happy in a relationship where you would have to sacrifice your goals, dreams, and lifestyle for a man. If you're a city fashionista and he's a farmer boy, it's going to be very difficult to actually make it work.
5. You need to have similar social circles.
Ever have an awkward friend you can't really bring around other people, simply because of the fact that they'd embarrass you? Well, there's a reason that relationships involving "odd couples" tend to fare poorly. People from different social backgrounds don't always work well together and that can lead to partners feeling shame and embarrassment when going out with their date.
In many cases, life gets in the way of the feasibility of having a good relationship with someone you actually love. Life isn't a Disney movie where all our responsibilities vanish once we found true love; it's a saga that presents its own challenges and its own twists.
We also have the opportunity to make our own happy ending, with or without a prince. Thankfully, that means we have a lot more chances at love than we think, and that's a beautiful thing.