It was during the pandemic that I rediscovered my love for rom-coms and mushy romantic movies.
I fell in love with “The Kissing Booth” on Netflix (for some obvious and not so obvious reasons).
I was super excited when the third part came out, and without wasting much time, I watched it at the first opportunity I got.
While the movie had a lot happening in a short span of time, it did manage to bring home some crucial points about love, friendships, and relationships in general.
There was one dialogue that stood out that summarized the essence of relationships:
That love isn’t always enough.
And you know why? Because we often end up treating love or being in love as the final destination, whereas love is the journey itself.
Love is a verb—an action. Love creates relationships and sustains them.
Love isn’t just a feeling; it’s also about acting on that feeling each and every day.
While two people can have intensely strong feelings for each other, that feeling itself needs to be nurtured.
So in a relationship, love isn’t enough.
We also need to be able to communicate and build a shared sense of understanding and trust. Half of the chaos in the movie was because none of the characters were communicating their needs and desires with each other.
It was expected that the other will understand. Isn’t this an everyday story?
Along with this, there was also this unreasonable expectation that the other person—friend or partner—will be there for them whenever they want. Well, real life tends to be quite demanding, and it’s not always possible to be there for each and every person.
Elle tried so hard to be there for Lee (her best friend) and Noah (her boyfriend), and in the process, she forgot to be there for herself. That’s also something we end up doing more often than not. Don’t we?
We put others before us, trying to always live up to their expectations, base our decisions on them to make them happy, and get completely disconnected from ourselves.
It took Elle losing her best friend and boyfriend at the same time to realize that all this while, it was about keeping the two most important men in her life happy and that she hadn’t even paused to think about what she wanted.
In fact, what amused me the most was the fight between the two best friends—Elle and Lee. Elle spent all her summer trying to be there for her best friend who was about to go off to a different college. On one hand, she had her best friend and on the other, her boyfriend with whom she had just patched things up.
In a bid to manage both relationships while juggling other things, when she couldn’t be there for her best friend one day because she had broken up with her boy friend that very day, her childhood best friend was quick to comment that she didn’t care about him at all.
How heartbreaking it must have been for her.
How heartbreaking it is for all of us when we are told that we are selfish, don’t care, or don’t understand the ones we love the most—especially when we know we are going beyond our capacity to be there for them.
And it’s amusing because that’s perhaps how life is or relationships are.
Maybe we do get so preoccupied with our own selves that we fail to see the other person’s contribution to our lives.
Maybe others get so preoccupied with their own selves that they fail to see us for who we are and what we bring to the table.
Maybe we allow ourselves to be taken for granted in the name of love.
So yes, perhaps love isn’t enough in a relationship. Communication, understanding, trust, going beyond ourselves is.
These are what make love come alive and ensure that it stays that way.
Love is not just how you feel; it’s what you do and how you make the other feel as well.