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Love Under Fire Bad Reason To MarryA new post making the rounds online from Psychology Today has stirred up quite a controversy. In “Three Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Marry For Love,” author Susan Pease Gadoua, L.C.S.W. and author of the books Contemplating Divorce and Stronger Day By Day, deconstructs the idea that “love is all we need,” as John Lennon sang.

Apparently when it comes to avoiding the divorce papers, love is not all you need. Gadoua explains: “You need mutual respect, shared goals and compatibility way more than you need love to have a sustainable, lasting relationship. People ‘fall in love with love’ just as Kim Kardashian showed us, because they think it will carry them the distance. We all want to be wanted and we love to love yet, if you had a recipe for a strong, healthy relationship, it might look like this: 1 Cup respect; 1 Cup shared goals; 3 Cups compatibility, 1 Tablespoon love, 1 teaspoon attraction (optional!).”

Gadoua also believes that love does not make a strong enough foundation for a lasting relationship because it’s a “changeable emotion.”

‘Is She Trolling Us?’ 

Comments didn’t take long to pile up. Thus far, there have been more than 50 with thousands more on Facebook and other social media networks. One commenter asked if the author was ‘trolling us’ as the disagreement poured in.

Another said, “if I have the respect and shared goals to sign a dozen binding, unbreakable contracts, but I have not love, then I am merely an honest business partner. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Still another: “i think when this article says love, it means ‘physical attraction’ … It’s unfair when one talks about ‘love’ like that … and not at all professional.”

The commenters make a great point about how partners define love. It’s not that Gadoua is wrong about the successful ingredients for avoiding the divorce forms, it’s just that she’s limiting the meaning of what love actually is. Love is, or should be, all the things she mentioned when she said, “1 Cup respect; 1 Cup shared goals; 3 Cups compatibility, 1 Tablespoon love, 1 teaspoon attraction (optional!).”

If love doesn’t have respect and attraction and shared goals and commitment, then it’s not really love at all. Most can probably agree on one thing, though:

If you marry for attraction alone, you’ll end up deciding to file for divorce eventually.

What do you think about Gadoua’s thoughts on the irrelevancy of love to a successful marriage?

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