All You Need Is Love?

Rabbi Aron Moss contributes regular Q&A commentaries to Gather the Jews.  Rabbi Moss is the proprietor of Nefesh and can be reached at rabbimoss@nefesh.com.au.  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rabbi Moss.

Question:

My relationship is moving ahead. We certainly love each other, and we have from the start, but we do have our differences. All my friends say the main thing is that you are in love, and everything else will fall into place. But is this true?

Answer:

All you need to know about relationships you can learn from making model airplanes.

A common mistake when making a model airplane is to start by putting glue all over the parts. That just creates a mess. The wrong bits get stuck together, wings get stuck to the floor, windows stuck on your fingers. It only complicates things when you introduce the glue too early.

The way to build a model airplane is to first organize the parts. Make sure the pieces fit together and nothing is missing. Then gradually apply the glue, and join the various parts, piece by piece, until it starts to take shape.

The parts may not fit perfectly at first. You may have to shave off some rough edges, or bend some parts into shape before they click. Minor imperfections can be overlooked – a dollop of glue can fix them up. With a bit of work it all comes together.

But if you find that there are parts missing, or they don’t fit, then you don’t have what it takes to make an airplane. You can’t use glue to join mismatched pieces, and certainly not to replace missing parts. Don’t even try, just look for a better model.

Your relationship is a model airplane. You and your partner are the pieces, and love is the glue that sticks you together. Without the binding power of love, two individuals could never become one. But that power, like glue, is indiscriminate. It must be applied carefully, because it could stick just about anything together; you can love someone who is simply not for you.

Before opening our hearts, we must ensure we have the right pieces to build a relationship. The building blocks of a solid relationship are shared values and common purpose. Our priorities in life, beliefs and visions for the future must fit together. We can have different opinions, different tastes and different ways of expressing ourselves; as long as we can share those differences respectfully, we can become one. But if our values are not in synch, then we simply have different futures – we are not going in the same direction.

This all may sound unromantic. The Beatles would never have made it big by singing:

“All you need is love, and shared values and commitment and a wholesome view of what a relationship really is – da dada dada.”

But they should have. Model airplanes are not exactly poetic. But what’s better – romantic dating that gets sticky, or a sticking together for a lifetime of romance?

All the best,

Rabbi Moss

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