A friend of mine has been with his girlfriend for six years and I’ll be honest, she’s pretty hot. Problem is they argue constantly, and I’m not talking the casual bickering that most couples go through, I’m talking about weekly rows on an apocalyptic scale. Their relationship seems to have picked up a little recently but frankly that is because they stopped living together and simply don’t have the opportunity to fight as much. Poor logistics probably aren’t the basis of a solid relationship though and most of his friends have told him repeatedly over the past few years that he needs to give her the old heave ho. It’s likely that her friends have been saying the same thing but he insists that he loves her and can’t see himself with anyone else. So where did it all go wrong?
You’ll no doubt know people in similar situations and wonder why they stay together. Perhaps you’ve been dating recently and are wondering whether your new squeeze really is worth committing to. When it comes to relationships most people at some point have taken a moment to wonder whether the person on their arm is really right for them. Well ponder no more. My foolproof and frankly stupidly simple method will help you instantly get a grip on whether Mr Right is really Mr Wrong or whether you need to put a bit of distance between you and that perfect girl next door.
It’s a little system called the THREE Ls. Basically if you have all three Ls, your relationship will work. If you have less than Three, it’s doomed. Simple.
Number one; you need Lust. Fairly obvious but you need to fancy your partner. This is not normally an issue at the start of the relationship as typically what lead to you getting together was initially some form of mutual attraction. Add alcohol into the mix and hey presto you might have managed to pull that girl that was hitherto out of your league. Of course once she’s wiped last night mascara out of her eyes and seen that you are in fact a slightly overweight, balding man approaching middle age she is unlikely to stick around. Without Lust the relationship won’t get off the ground but for those lucky enough to have initial mutual attraction, Lust only becomes a problem further down the road.
The second L is ‘Like’. You have to actually like your partner. This normally comes after Lust. You fancy someone, you actually pull them and then spend a bit of time not drunk and wham, you either like them or you don’t. How many times have you heard a bloke say ‘she’s fit but really annoying!’?. These relationships usually have a shelf like of around 3 weeks, but if by some miracle you meet someone who you fancy and they fancy you, and you like them and they like you then wham, you’ve got a relationship. You’ve got ‘Lust’ and you’ve got ‘Like’ and that means you will probably give it a go and hey chances are it will work out ok for a while, maybe several years. But the third L is always the decisive factor eventually.
The third L is of course ‘Love’. After several years with someone you not only find attractive but get on really well with, the chances are you might fall in love. Bang. Scary times. But not as scary as when he or she doesn’t love you back. This can be a real relationship ender. You’re sat there one day thinking I lust after this girl, like her personality and frankly can’t see myself with anyone else. So you tell her you love here and she says she ‘likes you a lot’. It’s a cliché but also a classic example of misalignment of Three Ls. You love her but she only likes you. Bang. Relationship over.
So far it’s all quite simple but if this was the case then why do relationships go bad? One minute you’re all in lust with someone you really like who loves you back and next minute the relationship is just not working out. How is this possible when you had all Three Ls? Well you need to ask yourself if you still have them. Typically you start with Lust and Like then Love follows and yet we find ourselves in a situation, just like the friend mentioned at the beginning of this article, where we are in love with someone but can’t seem to make it work. The simple answer is to look again at the Three Ls. In the case mentioned, he Loves her. He Lusts after her but basically he hates her. Somewhere over the course of their relationship they just stopped liking each other but when people have had all Three Ls they find it hard to exit a relationship. In this case they need to really break up as they will only fuel each others anger. Worse though but potentially repairable is another example. A couple who once had the Three Ls are finding things tough. They look at their relationship and realize they still love each other deeply and still like each other but in this case the lust has gone. It’s easy to see why; a few pounds gained and a bit of hair lost all leads towards lethargy and a distinct lack of lust. This can sometimes be rectified with a gym membership, hair replacement or in drastic cases, cosmetic surgery but if you can’t get that missing L back then the relationship is doomed.
We’ve all been there in a relationship that’s on the rocks, wondering why it isn’t working but by applying the Three Ls you can quickly see where the cause of the trouble is. If the love is gone then chances are its over, but that will be obvious. If it’s that there is no lust then there’s a load of places you can go to try and sort that out but if you realize that actually you just don’t like you partner then maybe it’s time to call it a day. Try the Three Ls. It’s simple but I haven’t found a case yet where it doesn’t hold true, and you never know, it might just give you the confidence to start being true to yourself.
Guest post by @jamieoharvey