Fairytales and rom-coms lead us to believe that love is enough to sustain a relationship — and to live happily ever after, of course. But the reality is, it takes a whole lot more to make things work because relationships are complicated AF. Distance, misaligned goals, or conflicting values are all very valid reasons to end a relationship that seems happy. Sometimes, people split simply because something doesn’t feel quite right in their gut.
I should know — over the course of my adolescence into adulthood, I have observed with astonishment a number of relationships that I thought were rock solid crumbled before my eyes. I’ve seen friends’ parents who appeared to have the model marriage get divorced. And I’ve watched as girlfriends who gushed about their partners decided to call it quits seemingly out of nowhere. I even ended a healthy, basically happy relationship that seemed perfect on paper. Why? Because I simply had this nagging feeling that something was missing for me, and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was.