Love, in its purest form, is selfless and perfect. Relationships, while frequently built on Love, don't always follow suit. And perhaps it is because so many relationships strive to match the perfection of their foundation that they fail - for there *is* no perfect relationship.
The religious sort would pause here to remind me that man instinctively strives for the perfection of his Creator, and, in so doing, he often falls short and/or makes himself unnecessarily ashamed of his own imperfection(s). Because man is not, nor will he ever be, perfect - that is the Creator's role, and the Creator alone personifies Pure Love. Accordingly, every relationship has its pitfalls, every man and woman their faults, every year its sad mornings and dreary afternoons.
Relationships are not meant to be perfect - that is Love's role.
Nonetheless, the best of relationships find a comfortable compromise between the beauty of imperfection and the glilded flawlessness of Love. After all, Love has been known to inspire even the weakest man to inhuman displays of strength, and not without some effort. Sometimes Love inspires us to do odd things; leave a country, a job, even a relationship. We fail to see each other's imperfections; we struggle to come to terms with difficult parts of our personalities, with those that have been with us even since birth. And some of us see the imperfections, but we choose to believe instead in the promise and potential with which a person can be filled by Love alone.
Simply: relationships are hard work. Even the most seasoned researcher will tell you that the number one variable in every experiment is the human variable, that there are no hard and fast ways to prove what a human being will do in a given situation. Many humans repeat patterns, but those patterns can be shifted, influenced, even erased - with little or no cause. And that's what makes a relationship difficult: a relationship is the blending of more than one human with the ideas, life, time and space of another human. The ultimate variable meets the ultimate variable, as it were. However, if both parties continually hold in mind their true position with regards to Love, the relationship can flourish. Because to say that a relationship cannot be as perfect and basic as Love is not to say that it should stray so far from its beginnings that it ceases to be a Loving relationship.
The religious sort would stop me again and tell me that the Lord works in mysterious ways, implying that the Creator is the ultimate variable, not humankind. But, if we are to believe that we are made in His image, is it not possible to surmise that we are only as unpredicatble and mysterious as our (efforts to mirror our) Maker?
Amazingly enough, I still believe: in the power of Love, in Love's existence, in all its promise and potential - belief I had long mistaken for dead. Perhaps this is because I can finally appreciate the imperfection of a relationship and its relationship to Love - and to understand that a good, working relationship (mother, child, husband, friend, partner, boss) is merely a shadow of Love, not a monument built in Love's name. What matters is not that we are perfect, or stable, or even together, but that we continue to fashion ourselves after the Creator.
Whether you are the religious sort or not.
However, upon one subject I do remain convinced: Love is a fleeting creature, perhaps mythical, certainly inconsistent, painfully unjust and strangely intangible.