“I found myself in relationships that ended in hurt no matter how hard I tried. I was always focused on one thing. I always tried to be the perfect girlfriend, the perfect wife. I felt like I was doing my best, so why weren’t things working out?”
Does that sound familiar to you?
Do you work SO hard to be the perfect partner…
Only to find that things fall apart anyway?
It doesn’t seem to matter how much effort you put in.
He stops treating you well. He stops making any effort of his own.
He says he’s not happy. He’s not “in love” anymore.
It ends in hurt and betrayal and harsh words…
And you’ve got to pick up the pieces of your heart and find a reason for believing again.
You have a lot in common with celebrities, you know.
The world’s most beautiful women feel this way, too.
Beauty Doesn’t Make Love Easier
It’s easy to slip into the trap of believing “if only’s.”
If only you were drop-dead gorgeous…
If only you were drop-dead sexy…
If only you were rich and famous…
You could have any man you wanted.
This idea is quite easy to test.
Just look at the world’s most beautiful women. Do they find it easier than the average woman to find a true love partner for life?
The answer is no.
A study examined the relationship history of celebrities.
It found that the more physically attractive a celebrity was, the shorter their relationships AND the greater their risk of divorce.
Jennifer Lopez is no exception.
Love Lessons of the Rich and Famous
J.Lo wrote the quote that began this article.
She explored her own relationship patterns, sparked by the breakup of her marriage to Marc Anthony, in her book True Love.
Even though I don’t follow celebrity news, it’s hard to avoid seeing the media interest in her love life.
As a beautiful, rich, successful, good-hearted woman, she seems to epitomize the essence of what many women want for themselves.
Yet she, too, has had to do the work of figuring out why her relationships always crashed and burned.
Underneath it all, she says, she’s “just a girl.”
A girl in love with a boy, trying to make it work.
Here are 3 love lessons she learned that can help you, too.
Love Lesson #1. Value the love you give.
When you care about someone, you do so much for them.
You are generous and affectionate and thoughtful and appreciative.
Your only goal is to make them happy.
So why, when things get difficult in the relationship, do you feel like YOU are the one who’s failing?
Why are you the only one fighting for the relationship, at great cost to yourself?
All too often, women can find themselves valuing their partner more than they value themselves.
Even though their partner does much less for the relationship, they play up his contributions and downplay theirs.
Don’t do that.
Recognize the extraordinary value of the love you give.
Don’t settle for a partnership in which your gifts are not honored.
Love lesson #2. Your happiness matters as much as his.
What determines a relationship’s success?
- How happy he is, or
- How happy YOU are?
For Lopez, the answer used to be how happy her partner was.
As long as he was happy, she was happy.
But when her then-husband Marc said he wasn’t happy anymore, Lopez had a wake-up call.
Was it her fault that he wasn’t happy? Was she failing in her responsibility to make him happy?
Or was his happiness HIS responsibility?
And, if his happiness was his responsibility…
Then maybe her happiness was HER responsibility, rather than something that depended on how someone else felt.
When you take ownership of your happiness, you realize that you can’t outsource your happiness to others any longer. You have to create your own happiness by making choices that feed your soul.
As Lopez looked for other ways in which she had abandoned herself in love, she had another realization:
“I was so concentrated on doing everything in my power to make the other person happy, to make the other person love me, to make them believe that I was great because, deep down, I didn’t really believe that I was.”
Love Lesson #3. Give yourself the love you give others.
If your love is an incredibly generous gift with the power to make others happy, why wouldn’t you give it to yourself, too?
You don’t have to keep waiting for someone else to love you the way you deserve.
You can fill yourself up with love by allowing in the love that always surrounds you.
The love of your family and friends. Spiritual love. Pet love. The love already in your heart.
Then when a man comes along and he doesn’t treat you as well as those who love you, you can see the red flag before it’s too late.
When you love yourself, you can say no to love that costs too much.
 Jennifer Lopez, True Love (New York: Celebra, 2014) 64.
 Lopez 190