Tough love for times when the going gets tough

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Love we believe, is all things rosy. We know love and romance to be that utterly, fluttery feeling of delightful connotations that has hearts dancing, eyes twinkling, beauties glistening and healths smiling in all such notions of the warm and the cosy, of the easy and the breezy, of the heavens and the haptics. From enthusing us with an anticipation of joys and smiles to greeting us with special moments of sweet nothings, we tend to associate love with the dreamy beckonings of it. And even when we know that love can be as strong as it is gentle and that it can really manifest at times also in stern assertion of its power, we generally are not willing to let go of the congenial awareness of it and decipher it instead in the other facet of its exploration, of which it is capable.

But love indeed is capable of a range of interpretations wider than what we have reduced it to and surprisingly not only in the very pleasant manifestations of it. But love also has that surreptitious ability of treading the confines of the easy and the tough simultaneously, revealing itself therefore as an emotion that is versatile enough to stand by you no matter where you stand in life. Coveted therefore to laugh in the joys and laugh away the sorrows is this dynamic exploration of love in life that once again dwell in the premises of a numerous needs. Love is everywhere to be found in the course of the blessed human life, between parents and their children, among friends and siblings, among family and dear ones, and of course scouting out forever the route of romantic relationships. So essential is the awareness of love in every sphere of life that we cannot necessarily do without it, even when love needs to be more tough than gentle and across the demands of which this pure feeling of the heart has so effectively adapted itself as.

Love in its vivacity is well celebrated, but what about a love that itself has to reside in the not equally appealing reaches of a reality not exactly remarkable the way the world expects it to be, just to deliver still the warmth of its reverie to hold the hearts it gladdens up in as much realisation as in rosy anticipation? What about love having to take upon itself the real responsibility of fostering its essence, perhaps even by forsaking its nature, in such manifestations that might rob it off its trance like allure only to hold the one it devotes itself to in all the overwhelming feels of the world in as great stead as they need to be? In such explorations of it, that is a wide diversion from the cheesy and shy, affable and boundless expressions of the good times attributed to love, this special strand of the emotional takes upon an identity that it otherwise keeps carefully folded under the wraps of the conviviality that it has the world basking under. It is in revelations like these, that emerge as contrary a notion of what the dreamy world of love must conjure up in all its kindness, that we discover a devotion to which love pledges its unwavering loyalty- of harbouring the good of the ones it connects through the paradigms of its awareness, even if it means putting up its own charm at stake. But that’s the way love always works, regardless of our appreciation or approval of its manner, solemnly and sternly without perhaps another care in the world, as it goes about loving truly and really, in the only way it has ever known.

Tough love might not sound like love, nor feel like it but in reality, this impression of love is what exemplifies the true nature of its heartfelt devotion. Indeed, in being a stark diversion from the expectations that accompany the very mention of the lovely sparks of love, tough love is difficult to accept. But perhaps even more difficult is the giving of it, in the apprehension that this lesser explored facet of love might reveal as something that is nowhere near to feeling like love at all. And specifically difficult is the need of it arising within the fore of a romance, that which is so susceptible in being misinterpreted, miscommunicated and misjudged that might even stall the pursuit of the relationship altogether. In the face of such vulnerability that tough love exposes itself to, the question might arise- is it worth going tough with love lurching in the palms of peril?

Important it would be indeed to dish out the tougher mode of love when the gentle pursuance of it does not further the ends on which love is supposed to float about in gaiety. If the well being of one’s partner is possible only in the evolution of love from the confines of the genial to the sprawl of the stern then toughness would be no less than a virtue for love to embody. And while tough love is not so much of an aberration within the dimension of other interpersonal relationships, the necessities of its working across the dynamics of a romantic relationship are rooted more in the perils of chaos and the unpredictabilities of sensitivity that which can make the decision to administer tough love a possible clash of the egos and the respects. But in such cases of the personal when the persuading powers of love fall flat in the pursuit of bringing in some much needed discipline in the relationship or in the person itself, romances should allow for the flexibility to work tough love into its concerns. Specifically because tough love is more rooted in honesty, it opens up such avenues in a relationship that an easy, always happy flow of the love feels would have otherwise limited the exploration of. Going tough with your love also allows for more efficient communication because you would be saying the things that matter beyond the lovey dovies and the coochie coos, helping therefore both you and your partner to develop an understanding of each other in a light undiscovered before.

But in being brutally honest to your partner and in exercising little restraint on practicing a love that might not conform to your partner’s desire for the kind of romance they covet, tough love can also potentially mark the end of your relationship, specially in such situations when the receiver is no ready to understand the nuances of it. But it is again within these explorations of vulnerability that tough love asserts as a stronger version of the love we fawn over. In loving to such extents of unconditionality that does not hinder your work in making your partner a better person even when confronted with the fear that you might lose them, loving tough can in fact be the best and the realest you can ever love someone. Sometimes though, the exercise of love in a not so gentle assertion can become crucial a pursuit in saving a relationship altogether as in cases when the not so acceptable behavior of a partner considerably strains the flow of the romance. But whatever might be the cause, tough love needs to be administered and dealt with in greater caution for it to be the saviour and not the shatterer of human relations.

Even the discussion of the concept of tough love within the ambits of a romantic relationship might come across as a farcical show of taking the liberty to exercise domination by one partner over the other since traditionally and even in continuing notions of it, tough love is an understanding most commonly encountered in the realms of having to deal with an addicted person. But tough love has also been often understood to relate to matters of lesser intensity that needs regulation, particularly in the parent- child association of disciplining the latter by the former. And by that extension, tough love also can conform to the norms of every other relationship bound by the ties of love and affection with ingrained elements of care and well being at the core of them. Romances therefore require no exemption to be made from being purviewed under considerations of being governed by tough love, that is ultimately all about setting boundaries and trying to disrupt destructive behaviours and ways of life. It becomes necessary as well for love to reveal itself as tough at times, as the laxity of it attributed to fondness or a general tendency to be delicate with the ones we love can sometimes prod them on such routes that hamper their well being.

Important however in this context is for tough love to be exercised and understood not as a form of diffident control and surely not as an infliction of punishment but in a manner that still adheres to the adages of respect that should be accorded to every human being. This maintenance of a certain set of relationship etiquette assumes even more significance when it comes to delivering love in the tough way in romances that are used otherwise to tender expressions of it so that the ensuing expression of feelings does not reveal as a dent to the partner’s self respect or does not feel like undermining their self worth and awareness. It indeed is tricky to finely attune oneself to this particular approach to love, both in receiving and giving because that isn’t the notion of love we harbour longings for through our life. Which is why even the slight workings of insensitivity can go a long way in making tough love do more harm than good to the relationship as well as the people involved in it. And not just interpretation, it indeed is possible to get a bit carried away by the preaching of tough love and take it therefore as an excuse to dictate the terms for your partner, evolving across time as a rather dominating aspect of the one who exerts the toughness of the love to be instead the one deserving the tough love in the relationship. It ultimately is a case of striking a balance between the too pleasurable and the too uncomfortable bearings that love can come to reside in, in the guise of an emotion that surely is one of the most perplexing in the world.


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