Fact Check: 6 Common Misconceptions About Being In Love
Butterflies. Daydreaming. Doodling their name on scratch-paper. Think you’re in love? You might be…and you might worry about what to expect and what’s true. Here are 6 Common Misconceptions About Being In Love…
1: Love Means Never Having To Say You’re “Sorry.”
Anyone who’s been in a real relationship can tell you, the above statement is a bunch of crap. We can thank 70’s Ryan O’Neil movies for this terrible myth.
While one can overlook a lot of things, being in love also means taking accountability. It means caring when you’ve done something wrong, and working to make things right again. This translates to being an adult, taking ownership when there are problems. And, while admitting fault-apologizing for it.
Not saying “Sorry” when you’ve screwed up, hurt someone’s feelings, or crossed a line, does have another consequence. It can make your partner question their commitment if this becomes a habit.
Own Up And Move Forward
Instead of listening to Hollywood, work on your communication. There’s nothing wrong with saying sorry; there is something wrong with avoiding the issue. The line should be, “Love Means Never Being Afraid To Apologize.”
2: Being In Love Cures Being Lonely
You can be in a relationship, and still, feel alone. One could also be single, and find themselves surrounded by an amazing support system, and never feel lonely…
Isolation can often stem from internal issues. Simply receiving the company of another person doesn’t always solve this problem. Remember, you can not pour from an empty cup. To truly care for another, one must be able to care for themselves.
Communication is another key element within this myth.
We want to believe once we find our “other half” all problems just melt away, but this isn’t true…
Again, talk with your partner if you feel that something is off. Maybe the feelings of solitude are just within yourself-maybe it’s really from the relationship. You won’t know until you talk it out, identify the issue, and work on solving it.
3: The Honeymoon Phase Will Last Forever When You’re Really In Love
Again, this is just romantic Hollywood propaganda…real couples have challenges.
Relationships are hard. Marriage is hard. It won’t be Nirvana all the time.
But occasional struggles and pitfalls don’t mean the relationship itself is on the verge of disaster, any more than it means you don’t love each other. It does mean if both parties don’t work together, with an equal amount of effort, there will only continue to be more problems.
Accept that no relationship is perfect…
You’re going to have disagreements. As a couple, you’ll face conflict. And, not everyone is going to get their way.
With open communication, willingness to compromise, and some honesty, you’ll have a better chance of working out the issues at hand. Just remember every relationship takes work and not throw everything out the window over problems that can be solved.
It’s not the movies, it’s real life.
4: Being In Love Means Being Selfless
While it sounds good on paper, being truly altruistic isn’t great in reality.
While solid relationships and marriage need a certain level of compromise, there is nothing wrong with having limits. But often, we fall into a trap of “if this is true love, you’ll do anything for the other person.”
Again, it sounds good until you find yourself making sacrifices that you deep down, aren’t comfortable with.
This is the secret behind “compromise,” which is that sometimes you just can’t…
To maintain a relationship, everyone involved needs to be willing to meet somewhere in the middle on issues. But this shouldn’t be detrimental to your health and safety. Remember how you can’t pour from an empty cup? Well, the same can be said for being selfless.
You have to be able to take care of yourself, to take care of others. Some things might be easy to agree on, like chore-swapping with your spouse. Some, like major life changes such as moving cross-country, can be harder. It doesn’t mean there is any less Love if a hard decision cannot be made. It just means communication needs to be launched into overdrive so a mutual solution can be found.
Just don’t be surprised if some solutions aren’t mutually beneficial, and one person just can’t bring themselves to make that kind of sacrifice. Life doesn’t always work out perfectly, like in the movies. There just needs to be an equal effort made to make the choices everyone can be comfortable with.
5: Being In Love Means Being Together Forever…
It’s a nice sentiment, but Life is about so much more than that…like harsh realities.
You can be in love with someone, and know they aren’t right for you. Or, maybe you’re afraid of committing to something as extreme as marriage and ruin the relationship dynamic you already have. Maybe it’s something as simple as forgoing a long-term relationship because you have different plans, like college or a major career opportunity in another state.
It doesn’t mean the breakdown of the relationship is from lack of feelings; but logistical factors that can’t be worked out for a mutual benefit.
There may even be a situation where the root issue isn’t about living situations or commitment; but that there are other interpersonal problems that prevent the relationship from continuing indefinitely. Maybe someone is a great person, but they have some personal things you’d feel better about if those issues were worked on. Maybe emotional maturity is an issue, and you just don’t feel right now is a great time to take further steps in the relationship.
Or, you may have realized that your partner has traits that cause a lot of conflict outside the relationship, that just don’t align with your values and morals.
It doesn’t mean it’s over either…
For whatever reason the relationship has ended or might end, it’s not necessarily a bad thing…
Timing can be everything, and it’s ok to break things off until timing is better for both parties. This can mean location-wise, career-path, or when you’re both ready for strong commitments.
Time apart can also give both partners time to work on their personal development goals and figure out exactly what they want out of any relationship.
The point is, you should want a stable relationship that benefits both people, and just because it may not happen exactly when you want it to, doesn’t mean circumstances won’t change later down the road. Being in love means loving someone, even when you can’t be together right now.
6: Your Love Will Be Reciprocated
That’s right – just being in love with someone, isn’t a guarantee they’ll love you back. They also shouldn’t be obligated to either.
Romance novels and movies can make us think once we declare our undying love, all is well. You’ll ride off into the sunset, have a country wedding, and make babies with no thought or regard for anything less. This simply isn’t true.
You can admit feelings – and your prospective partner just may not feel the same way you do. It’s unfortunate, but it happens.
“How is that possible? How can they not feel the same way?”
Everyone is different. We usually hope for the best when expressing our feelings for someone, and often hope they’ll feel the same way. But, it doesn’t always happen.
It sucks, but it’s the truth. You can’t force a person to love you, any more than you can feel forced yourself. True Love can develop over time, but this isn’t something that can be demanded. Love will either blossom and grow, or it won’t.
From the alternative perspective; just because someone is in love with you, don’t feel pressured to reciprocate. You can’t fake feelings (and be honest with yourself simultaneously). It’s a disservice to pretend to love someone when you don’t. Not to mention, it’s very manipulative to coerce someone into a relationship based on “Well, I love you, so you have to love me back.”
This is where honest, open communication is key – when a person is brave enough to express their feelings. You should be just as brave, even when the feelings aren’t mutual. It doesn’t do either partner any benefit to enter into relationships half-heartedly, especially when it isn’t wanted.
While there are many more myths about love, these just scratch the surface. Hopefully, what you can take away from these common misconceptions, help provide a greater understanding.
Being in Love isn’t always easy, without strife, and long-lasting. It just takes some effort, honesty, and (sometimes) knowing when it isn’t right, to make the most of your relationship.