Is there a lesson for us in Tom and Katie’s (Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes) relationship failure?

Why Didn't It Work?

Why weren't their extravagant dates in helicopters, a marriage proposal on the Eiffel Tower, a wedding in an Italian Castle, traveling the world, having a daughter who wears designer labels and lots of money enough to sustain their relationship?

Could it be that the foundation of their relationship was built on external things and not on a foundation of unconditional love? Could it be that romance, passion and excitement prevented them from connecting to the real ingredients of lasting love?

Red Flags Ignored...

Some reports say that Tom’s commitment to Scientology caused a widening gap in their relationship. Funny thing is, that Katie knew about his dedication to Scientology when she married him, but seemingly ignored the red flags.

Odds are they did what most of us do at least once in our lives - they “fell” in love with who they thought the other person could be, rather than what the person really was. Perhaps Katie thought Tom would change his feelings about Scientology or Tom thought that he could indoctrinate Katie into Scientology. We may never know all the things that went wrong. The lesson that can help us is to realize that a lasting relationship is formed by connecting on a heart-to-heart level first and then growing in love so we can really get to know and understand the other person. If the heart connection isn't present, then the reality of our daily lives will be a threat to the relationship.

Romance and Passion...

Lots of us measure love in terms of romance and passion. The truth is, romance and passion can be part of a relationship, but these things aren’t love. They create a feeling of “falling in love” that actually gets in the way of unconditional love because falling in love creates a “high” based on hormones and sexual attraction and can cause us to ignore red flags. There’s nothing wrong with romance and passion so long as we know that a relationship takes continued effort and a commitment to self-development. Biologically, our ancestors needed sexual attraction in order to procreate so it’s in our genes. However, beyond procreation, if we want to have a lasting and fulfilling relationship, we need a lot more than romance and passion.

Romance is the act of bestowing gifts, flattery, and attention on someone to gain their affection. When romance wanes and day-to-day life happens we often feel confused and resentful because we aren’t getting the attention we were used to getting from our partner. If unconsciously we depended on our partners to help us feel better about ourselves, we may feel depressed or angry. If we don’t get to the root of the matter which is how well we love and care for ourselves, we’ll repeat this cycle with someone new.

Passion is a wonderful distraction from our day-to-day life and our endless thoughts. In truth, when the ardent fervor of passion wears off, if we did not establish a genuine heart connection with our partner, more than just the physical connection, the relationship is in jeopardy of collapsing.

Ingredients for a Successful Relationship...

How do you have a successful, lasting relationship? The ingredients are unconditional love, commitment to growth and change, heart-based communication, and authentic enjoyment of another person’s company (without having to do something dramatic). But many of us never received guidance on what a healthy relationship is so we do the best we can until we can learn how to do things differently.

We sometimes fear uncovering what our part was in the demise of a relationship and instead we think we’ll feel better by jumping into another relationship. The truth is, we will, but only if it’s deeper relationship with ourselves! When we become more self-aware (and it doesn’t have to be scary) we can heal whatever is stopping us from finding and receiving unconditional love.

Author's Bio: 

Elizabeth Golembiewski is a professional Relationship and Dating Coach, founder of, and the creator of the Five-Step Soul Mate Attraction Plan and the True Love Toolkit. Elizabeth’s proven approach to dating and relationships was shaped by overcoming her own relationship challenges. The tools she used grow her current relationship are the same tools she teaches in her workshops, tele-classes and with individual clients around the world.