If you had to add “Right, brah?” to the end of that quote, don’t worry. You’re in good company.
Taking relationship advice from Keanu Reeves is a no brainer. His brilliant work on Point Break should be enough to give him all the credibility. Which means you won’t be surprised when I agree with him.
Being in love and being in a relationship ARE two different things.
They can coexist with the same person but they can also be mutually exclusive. I am in love with my husband most of the time. I am in relationship with him all of the time.
Calm down. I’ll explain.
Being in love is a feeling. An awesome feeling to be sure. All warm and squishy and sigh producing. However, as my husband is known for saying, “You know the thing about feelings? They’re not real.” Feelings ebb and flow. God knows some are more rational than others. But always…they end. Without exception. They may start back up again, they may not. They may go dormant, they may cease all together. It really doesn’t matter how they end, the important part is that they do. Know why? Because regardless of what kind of feeling it is, maintaining it at any level is exhausting. None of us have the energy to run on feelings all the time. Have you ever met someone who tries to do that?
Now before you tell me I’m wrong or have the emotional range of Bender from Futurama, let me tell you something. I was that person. And I was damned difficult to be around. I didn’t make a single decision that wasn’t emotionally based and it made life pretty awful for me. I had two speeds. All the feelings and unconscious.
I know. Ugh.
Being in love feels delicious but being in relationship is what’s going to see you through. Relationship is bred, nurtured and grown over time. It becomes the bedrock for success. It is so much harder to shake than feelings. There is more to lose because of what’s been invested.
Keanu, bless his heart, got it right.
Even in the low points of my marriage (Yes, Craig and I have them too. You should try being married to me.) there is relationship. There is that common denominator of “we’ll get through this” because we have come to understand what it means to actually love someone. It’s just…more. It’s something that translates into determination to do right by the other person. It’s love without the “being in”.
Do we still get those warm and squishy feelings about each other? Sure. Have you seen my husband? Yum.
But at the end of the day, at the end of a really shitty week or when we’re old and wrinkly, there is relationship. There is knowing what you have is lasting. It is active. It is real.
What say you?
P.S. Feel free to load up the comments section with Keanu quotes if you want. Party on.