Updated: Mar 6
With Valentine's Day being less than 2 weeks away, I wanted to do us all a favor and debunk some of the popular myths about love. These things may sound cute and cuddly to say, but they often lead to us having unrealistic expectations.
Don't let popular cliches cause damage to your relationship. Learning the truth can be the difference between long-lasting love and a short-lived exchange.
1. Love is a feeling that "happens" to you
The Truth: Love is a daily decision.
The mistake that many of us are making is letting our feelings tell us if we're in love instead of deciding to be in love with the right person who is best suited for us.
Most people expect to feel sparks. They expect the world to come to a standstill when they lock eyes when the person they're supposed to be with. They expect that person to make them feel good every time they're around. And if the "sparks" dwindle over time they assume the love is gone.
The truth is that there will be days when the person you've chosen to love may get on your last nerve. They may not always act like that sweet, loving, attentive person you first met every second of every day. They will have days when they feel "off" and act out of character, and you will too. They will disagree with you and eventually hurt your feelings in some way or another.
That's just the nature of people and relationships. It doesn't mean that they aren't a good person to love. It just means that love won't always feel like "love" every day.
Some days, love doesn't come easily. Some days, love is deciding to be nice and helpful even though they're acting like a butt. Sometimes love is choosing to be understanding even if you're being misunderstood.
Love is a daily decision. It's not anything magical. And true love doesn't come and go like our feelings. It's a "no matter what" commitment.
2. All you need is love to make your relationship work.
The Truth: Love alone is not enough.
There are so many people who are no longer together but still love each other. That's because love alone isn't enough for a relationship to survive off of. And thinking that it is can cause a lot of confusion and heartbreak.
Most people think that "falling" in love with someone automatically means that they are the right person. But it is possible to fall in love with the wrong person as well.
Many factors play into having a healthy relationship. You need good communication, transparency, honesty, vulnerability, respect, similar morals and values, confidence, purpose, etc. Maintaining a healthy relationship takes knowledge, work, commitment, and persistence. Simply being "in love" isn't going to do it.
If you want your relationship to get better and stronger over time, make sure that you not only love them but you're compatible and suitable for each other when it comes to the other areas as well.
3. It's possible to fall out of love.
Truth: You choose to stop loving someone.
If you could simply fall out of love with someone, then break-ups wouldn't be hard.
Each and every person has a set of deal-breakers, whether they are aware of them or not. We all have those things that we are not willing to accept in our relationships no matter how much we like or love someone.
When those lines are crossed, either once or repeatedly, there isn't a switch that just turns off inside of us that tells us not to love them anymore. But we instead decide that whatever was done is something that shows us an unacceptable flaw in a person's character.
We don't fall out of love, as if it's something we can't control. We simply decide that we deserve better. But many times the love remains long after the relationship is over.
4. We all have a soul mate
The Truth: We have many soul mates.
It's extremely romantic to think that there is one perfect person out there just for you and fateful events of the universe will eventually bring the two of you together.
Romantic, yes. Realistic, no.
The truth is that we have many soul mates and some of them aren't actually meant for us to date.
Have you ever met someone and you just clicked almost instantly?
It was as if you've known each other forever. Some of those people probably became your friends, mentors, mentees, business partners, and spiritual accountability. Well, these are your soul mates too!
Here's the bottom line: You get to choose who you love.
This decision isn't already made for you. There isn't just one person that is well-suited for you, there are many! And thank God for it because if there was just one and only one, the odds would definitely be against us.
If God forbid, someone becomes a widow, it's reassuring to know that there is still hope in finding another great love again. It's not a one-and-done type of deal.
5. Opposites attract
The Truth: People in long-lasting relationships actually have more in common than differences.
I'm convinced that the "opposites attract" cliche is just an excuse to date someone you have nothing in common with. It works for magnets. Not relationships.
It's okay to be opposite in small ways, like favorite foods and movie genres. But couples who are similar in big things like traits, qualities, habits, religion, parenting style, ambition-level, etc. are proven to have longer, happier relationships.
6. Love at first sight
Truth: Lust at first sight
Loving someone should come from knowing a person in their totality.
At first sight, all you have to go off of is appearance. You don't know enough about them to love them.
Some people are blessed enough to see an attractive person who also thinks they are attractive and then end up finding out they are a great person to love once they learn more about them, but the love didn't happen at first glance.
Now, this is worth mentioning...
For those of us who often entertain fairytale fantasies in our minds about Prince Charming and that magical moment when you finally meet are at higher risk for "love at first sight." But that's only because you've been in love with your fantasies for years already.
This is even more dangerous because sooner or later you will realize that the man in front of you is not the Prince Charming you've mentally been in love with. And at the first sign of imperfection, you may be harder on him than you should be because you've placed him on a pedestal even before you met him.
It's fun to get swept up in the romance of love.
But if you want your relationship to be healthy and last, you need the correct knowledge about how love actually works. Keep the romance alive but balance the fairytale with a little realism. Because the person you're going to love is human. Not Prince Charming.