Listen to songs played on the radio about love. Watch some movies about love. Then read some romance novels. What sort of messages would you receive about love and relationships? There’s all sorts of fairy tale images that surface in pop culture.
There are lots of myths about love. Society and culture tend to reinforce these myths. This can make people doubt their real life relationships when love doesn’t feel like it’s full of rainbows and rose petals all the time. A reality check about love can help people keep a level-headed view of their real-life romance.
Myth #1 – Married people should love each other unconditionally.
As much as we’d like to think that unconditional love exists as part of romantic love, it doesn’t. Unconditional love would mean that there’s nothing you could do to make your partner love you any less. Of course, this isn’t the case.
If you treat your partner horribly all the time, your spouse isn’t going to love you in the same way if you treated her like a queen. It would be healthy for someone’s feelings to change if you treat them poorly. If you commit crimes, abuse the children, behave rudely toward friends and family, refuse to contribute to the household responsibilities, and take no accountability for your behaviors, it would be irresponsible of your spouse to keep on loving you the same.
True love should make us strive to be a better person. Love isn’t meant to give you a free pass to act however you want because your spouse will love you no matter what. There needs to be some accountability for your behaviors.
Myth #2 – You can fall out of love.
You can’t just fall out of love the same way you might slip and fall off a cliff. It doesn’t work like that. Marriage takes hard work. If you are not holding up your end of the bargain, you’ll likely find that you have marital problems. These problems won’t be because you accidentally “fell out of love.” The concept of falling out of love takes responsibility out of the equation. If you loved someone enough to get married, you won’t suddenly stop loving the person.
Myth #3 – When people love each other they understand the other person’s wants, needs, and emotions without the other person having to say a word.
It’s unlikely that a romantic relationship will give you telepathic gifts. However, sometimes people don’t want to tell their partner what they need or to ask for help because they assume “he should just know.” It’s unrealistic to expect your partner to be able to read your mind.
It’s also important to remember that you can’t read your partner’s mind. Don’t make assumptions about what you think your partner is thinking and feeling. You need to communicate your own needs and you should be asking for clarification about your spouse’s needs.
Direct, straightforward communication is essential to any healthy relationship. No matter how much you love one another, you’ll never be able to consistently guess what your partner is thinking and feeling. Sharing openly about these things is the key to a good relationship.
Myth #4 – The excitement you experience when falling in love should last throughout the relationship.
Sometimes people think that the relationship is over when their feelings start to change. They think that their partner isn’t exciting enough. They begin to find fault in the relationship and look for opportunities for a more exciting relationship.
Science shows that when people enter into a relationship, the pleasure centers in their brain become activated. It’s normal for these parts of the brain to become less active over time. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the relationship. Instead, it means that you are moving toward a more mature kind of love.
Myth #5 – If two people love each other enough, they can make their relationship work no matter what.
Contrary to pop culture, love doesn’t conquer all. There are real-life problems that can’t be solved just because you love each other. Love doesn’t mean two people are going to be compatible.
There are some things you just can’t compromise on. If you want to have six children and you meet someone who never wants to have any kids, having three isn’t a good solution. Instead, it means that it’s possible the two of you could never be happy together. Two people who love each other yet don’t know how communicate effectively aren’t going to “conquer all” with their love. Instead, they’re likely to argue frequently and feel unhappy together.
It’s important to examine any of the misconceptions about love that you might believe in. Adopting an unrealistic expectation about love and marriage can be bad for your relationship. A healthy, realistic view can give you more realistic about what true love is all about.