Love is powerful..but is the power of love strong enough to save a relationship that is failing? It depends how you – and your boyfriend – harness that power to renew your love for one another.
The power of love is a learned skill, not something that comes from your feelings, hormones or even your hopes for a better relationship. Some psychologists call love an “act of willpower.” Not very romantic, but if you don’t deliberately learn and practice the skills of love, you can’t save your relationship.
Whether your relationship needs a tweak or complete makeover, reading books like Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married will help. The key is for you and your boyfriend to read books like this together. The power of love isn’t enough to save a failing relationship if one person is doing all the work! Both partners need to work toward seeing each other differently and communicate with more depth and meaning. The power of love can save a relationship that is failing — but both boyfriend and girlfriend have to harness it properly.
You are not alone. What to Do When Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Have Time for You has been one of my most popular articles since the day I wrote it. The good news is that it’s not too late to harness the power of love to save a failing relationship! Love can overcome relationship problems that might lead to a breakup.
The bad news is that even though the power of love is potentially strong enough to save a relationship that is failing, you (or your boyfriend) might not be willing or able do the work. In other words you might have the ability to harness the power of love to save your relationship, but you may lack the desire or willingness to work together as a couple.
Harnessing the Power of Love to Save a Failing Relationship
Every couple is different. Thus, there are no “one size fits all” tips for saving your relationship or even harnessing the power of love. These ideas may or may not work for you and your boyfriend, but they’re worth considering.
1. Define what “the power of love” means to you
When I think of love, I think of God. His powerful love, compassion, peace, joy, and grace is available all the time – no matter what mistakes or bad choices you made. God’s love is always there for you, a river of love and life that you can dip into anytime you want. Yet, God is mysterious and unknowable! I believe the power of love can save your failing relationship if you can tap into God’s eternal, abundant, rich love. Human love is weak and unstable. God’s love is ever-present and powerful enough to save even the most difficult relationship.
What does the power of love mean to you? Where would you find this power, and how might you harness it to save a failing relationship? These are difficult but important questions — and they do have the power it takes to save your relationship. Take time to explore your immediate thoughts and reactions to those questions. Knowing what you think and believe about the power of love will help you move forward.
Just as important, ask your boyfriend what he thinks of the idea of harnessing the power of love to save a relationship that is failing. This is an important first step toward growing closer as a couple.
2. Change how you see your relationship
Love isn’t about your feelings. Love is action. You can say “I love you” to your boyfriend all day long — and he can repeat the words back to you. Is this powerful love? Not really. If your words aren’t accompanied by actions (eg, committing to learning how to harness the power of love, talking about ways to save your failing relationship, taking time away from your responsibilities to simply be together, or being honest with your boyfriend about your fears and concerns), then your love isn’t powerful.
This is why learning about and actually experiencing the power of God’s love is crucial! There is nothing stronger than the love of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Experiencing the Father’s presence through Jesus and the Holy Spirit is an endless source of love. God is how you harness the power of love to save your relationship — you can’t do it alone. The beauty of experiencing God’s powerful love is that even if you don’t or can’t save a relationship that is failing, you can still be filled with the peace, joy, freedom, grace and love that surpasses all understanding.
3. Learn how others experience the power of God’s love
Here’s the question that changed my life and my relationship with my husband: “How does God see you? Take 10 minutes, and write down His perspective of you.”
I believe God sees me as a bouncy little girl with crazy curls, hair ribbons, and a pretty dress. In His eyes, I am sweet, innocent, vulnerable, joyful, curious, and o so excited about the possibilities of life! This image – and the accompanying powerful feeling of love I experience when I consider how God sees me – changes who I am. I’m less likely to be impatient, angry, or condescending to my husband. I judge less, accept more. I surrender to God’s will for our marriage and our life together.
How do you think God sees you? Take 10 minutes, and write down His perspective of you. You may or may not experience God’s love. In fact, you may first have to learn what it means to have a relationship with God before you can ask how He sees you.
4. Know that the power of love can save not just your relationship but you
Saving your failing relationship is important. You love your boyfriend and don’t want to break up! But it’s even more important to know that God’s love is the only power that can save your relationship. Why? Because the love of Jesus has the power to change you, and that changes everything – including a failing relationship. God’s love changes you by showing you how valuable, cherished, precious, unique, and loved you are. God’s love also shows you how unworthy and weak you are. Through Jesus, you see how deeply and dearly you are loved…and how desperately and deeply you need Him to save you.
Human love isn’t powerful enough to save any relationship or person. You aren’t strong enough to harness the power of love and save a relationship that is failing…and neither is your boyfriend. Even together, you are weak, vulnerable, and prone to disappointing one another. This isn’t because you’re bad…it’s because you’re human.
If you and your boyfriend aren’t interested in relationship counseling or even reading relationship books together, read Is it Time to Break Up With Your Boyfriend?
5. Learn the power of love languages
If you’re not thrilled by the idea of the power of God’s love, read The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman. Learning the five love languages will help you and your boyfriend literally harness the power of love by giving you practical actions.
This book’s chapters are categorized by love language for easy reference; each chapter ends with specific, simple steps to express a specific language to your boyfriend. You’ll save your relationship by moving in the right direction together. Bonus: a newly designed “love languages assessment” will help you understand and strengthen your relationship.
Love languages can strengthen “mostly healthy” relationships, but can’t fix abusive relationships or solve personal problems such as addictions or mental health issues. Saving your relationship depends on the reason it’s failing…which is why harnessing God’s powerful love is key.
If you’ve never heard of love languages, read Examples of Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages. Remember that love isn’t just a feeling, and it’s not just nightly or weekly sex. Love might be allowing your boyfriend space and time for work or friends, or accepting him for who he is instead of trying to make him be who you want him to be. You can learn how to harness the power of love, but actually putting the information to work and saving your relationship depends on you and your boyfriend.
6. Tips for harnessing the power of love
You may not like the idea of experiencing God’s love as a way to save your relationship. So, I brainstormed a few practical, non-spiritual things to remember about harnessing the power of love. Power comes in all sizes and shapes – and can even be enjoyed in bite-sized tips!
What to remember about saving a failing relationship:
- Love isn’t just a feeling. Love is the basis of powerful acts of grace, compassion, kindness and forgiveness. Love has the power to change your perspective and help you act in specific ways every day.
- The power of love can help you become more considerate and thoughtful in your daily actions and words.
- Love can show you how your own pride, selfishness and self-centeredness affects your words and actions.
- Harnessing the power of love can help you let go of your self-centeredness and pride, which can save your relationship.
- Learning love languages can help you see and treat your boyfriend with more compassion, kindness and respect.
- Reaching for and surrendering to God’s love will give you the strength, faith and hope you need to keep trying to save your relationship.
I welcome your thoughts — big or little, in agreement or not — below. Feel free to share your story. Writing is a great way to find clarity and insight, and help you work through your thoughts and emotions.
PS If your heart is broken because your boyfriend cheated on you, don’t give up hope in the power of love to save your relationship! Read Why Your Boyfriend Cheated: A Relationship Style That Leads to Affairs.