Is romantic love a lie?

3 myths about romantic love

Last update: August 21, 2020

These three myths about romantic love are some of the greatest lies known to man. They arise from the tendency to idealize the “perfect couple”. That means we draw each other in the most beautiful colors, to cover up the other's shortcomings. We can still find these ideas everywhere today: Even animated films show children that the recipe for overcoming adversity is perfect love.

The main problem with these ideas of romantic love is that, as a rule, men become protagonists and women become prizes, but in each case both become unreal heroes. We may not have paid attention to this yet, but love is just as misrepresented in many movies, TV shows, and other media outlets.

Myths about romantic love

The following three myths about romantic love negatively affect our relationships. They can lead to the fact that we have unrealistic and therefore harmful expectations of our partner.

1. Soul mate

As soon as we saw our first Disney film, we were confronted with the idea that somewhere in the world there had to be the one person for us. Such films, but also society in general, make us believe that we are meant for this person. So if we see her we would fall in love instantly. Such films trick us into thinking that our relationship would be perfect, that we would always get along well, and that this person would share our plans in every detail. Society makes us believe that love must be faithful and exclusive and that it is best not to enter into other relationships until we find our soulmate.

But isn't experience in relationships a good thing? Numerous studies affirm this. In different relationships we can find out what we want and where our limits are. We can also determine for ourselves which compromises we are willing to make. That doesn't mean that we have to have countless partners. But it means that it is not absolutely necessary to have only one in a lifetime.

2. Love moves mountains

Most stories, films, and other media paint us a picture of love that is all powerful. They make us believe that love could overcome any obstacle and that we would become infinitely strong and resilient if we only had the right partner. The problem with this myth is that many people enter into relationships in which their partner tramples on their dignity, but they still stay in these relationships because they are convinced that their love would fix everything.

But love can't do everything. In fact, it is nothing more than a social construct that we tend to reject when it is not in line with our interests. Not everyone is prepared for a lasting relationship. Also, not everyone is ready or willing to have just one relationship.

There are couples who live together. Others want more space, so they live in different apartments. Some couples decide to overcome an obstacle together and others decide to break up. All of these options are equally respectable. The most important thing is that both partners are happy - together or separately.

3. Opposites attract

We often tell children that a classmate teases them for liking them. This is a myth and goes hand in hand with the idea that opposites would attract. This myth can affect relationships in two different ways: On the one hand, it relates to the omnipotence of love and the concept of soulmate, as we have explained in the previous points. Here both partners accept their differences and believe that their love will overcome all obstacles all by itself.

The sad truth is that couples with very different beliefs argue all the time. Debate is a very important aspect of a relationship, but constant conflict negatively affects unity and wellbeing.

The second point is often presented in literature, film, and television. It's the idea that love could change a person. We know the story: someone meets someone who is actually not the right person for them. However, instead of looking for someone who is a better fit, he does everything in his power to put the other on the "right path" and develop a relationship with them.

The truth is, people don't change just like that. The mistake we often make about this is imagining a partner that we will want to love in the future. But this has little to do with the partner of the here and now.

Compatibility, tolerance, respect, and healthy attraction are important and can lead to a strong, lasting relationship, if that's what we want. If we try to copy other people's relationships, we will develop unrealistic expectations in the long run that will only lead to frustration.

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