Actors Michelle Williams and Jason Segal recently announced their official break-up after spending much of the last year trying to make their bi-coastal romance work. She lives in New York City with her seven-year-old daughter, Matilda, and he lives in Los Angeles. The couple cited busy schedules and irreconcilable distance as the reason for the end of their partnership. It raises the question, when is love not enough?
Many people would like to think that finding love is the answer to most problems, and, in the name of it, one or both people in a relationship should be willing to uproot their lives or let go of important aspects of their individual routines. Jason made numerous cross-country trips over the course of their connection. Michelle’s waterfront loft in Brooklyn became his home away from home, and he could often be seen playing at a local playground with Matilda. But despite all of that, his life remained rooted in California, where his professional commitments run deep. If the reports are true, then in the end, the pull for each of them to hold onto their own lives won out over the desire to maintain their relationship. This may have surprised fans, and forces us to wonder, when is it time to make that hard call — to call things off?
Two people can be drawn to each other and still have strong personal or professional ties that don’t suit the other person. What if you’re committed to a neighborhood and everything that goes along with that, wanting to give your children stability? Or what if one person’s job can be found in only one part of the country and he or she must live there, no questions asked? Or you are dealing with two different religions that initially didn’t cause a problem, but as you begin to make a life together, you are looking to your partner to convert to your religion and they don’t want to?
When it becomes a matter of feeling that you are being asked to literally give up your identity, core values, and beliefs, so that the necessary change is equivalent to losing yourself, then that is the point when compromise can instead become too much of a sacrifice. And if one does give up their sense of self, then what is relinquished for love can really take a toll with the relationship crumbling under the pressure and resentment.
By Michelle and Jason taking responsibility for their respective individual needs, they prevented this from happening. For them, dropping everything for love was not a viable option. And in the end it seems that Michelle didn’t expect, or even want, Jason to leave his career to further immerse himself into her family. For them, sadly, love did not conquer the obstacles they faced.
Has distance ever ended a relationship for you?