Remember those fascinating Mills and Boon love novels, the ones we hid under our school books to read at night and the romantic movies that literally swept us off our feet with their mushy love scenes? I don’t remember the names of those novels or the movies anymore but I sure remember how they made me feel till today.
This post was first published on Lifehack.com.
Somewhere in the back of my mind they made me build a wish list of the qualities I wanted to see in my better half, the way he should be, the way he should be not, the way our life will be together and the magical ways life will turn into a fairy-tale once we are together.
But real life was a complete eye opener. It is for a lot of us who unconsciously carry these ideals in head (even when they scoff at it) and get into relationships disillusioned by their own beliefs and expectations and face a fall in the real world.
It thus comes as no surprise that roughly 20 percent of individuals – that would be 60 million people in the U.S feel alone and credit this loneliness as a major source of unhappiness in their lives as per John Cacioppo , an expert on loneliness from the University of Chicago.
Time for a reality check and to bust those Love myths that have been deluding our senses and blocking us from having balanced, healthy relationships.
Myth 1: “Someone somewhere is made just for you and Love is about finding the missing half, the one person that will complete you.”
The Truth: This has to be the most distorted and yet the most widely followed description of love and relationships. In reality a healthy relationship constitutes of two wholesome people. They share and grow together with time and experiences and aid each other’s emotional and mental growth along the way.
But in no way are they dependent on each other to find fulfilment in their own life. And if you do feel the need for someone else to complete you, maybe its time to introspect and find the real reason behind that feeling, an insecurity, a dream you didn’t persuade, an unrewarding job or something else?
Myth 2: “Love at first Sight! I will see that person and knows it’s him/her. Some magical signs will alert me that he/she is the one I have been looking for all my life.”
The Truth: While people can be instantly attracted to each other, some scientists say that being in love means really getting to know someone over time. Since love is about finding your soul mate and a person you can connect to at a mind and soul level, it is impossible to fall in love at first sight because there is no way you can tell if a person’s values, beliefs , thoughts match that of your own just be looking at them.
For that you need to spend considerable amount of time together, meet often, do activities together.
Myth 3: “ Love means everlasting happiness. Couples in love, are always happy and sharing laughter and giggles all the time.”
The Truth: This is one of the deadliest myths because it makes people believe that relationships should bring them happiness and somehow evade their sorrows and transform their lives into one long romantic fairy tale.
The truth cannot be far from this. Finding the right partner is just the beginning of a relationship which brings with it its own responsibilities, the hard work that is required to understand the other person, his ways of doing things and mould yours so that you can somehow find a balance and create a zone of peaceful co-existence where differences can stay together without colliding.
Yes, it requires that much of thought process!
Myth 4: “If it is meant to happen, it will. If I am supposed to meet my soul mate one day, I will. I just have to wait for the D Day.”
The Truth: It’s funny how we leave the most important decision of our life in the hands of fate and literally sit with folded hands waiting for the perfect one to just one day appear out of the blue.
In reality, we have to just keep looking to find someone we are compatible with. Just like finding our dream job, finding love too takes a lot of preparation, thought, planning and action. The relationships need to be nurtured, strengthened and allowed to grow.
Myth 5: “Love is another name for sacrifice.”
The Truth: By dictionary meaning sacrifice refers to “giving up on something that is highly valued.” If you think from this perspective, love will never demand or create a situation where you have to give up on something you value most.
A loving partner will never demand you to give up on something you treasure for e.g. an old friendship, infact he will ensure that you will always get to keep this precious relationship in your life. Adjusting and compromising to make the relationship is acceptable but sacrifice is not.
Myth 6: “People in love never fight. They just live happily ever after.”
The Truth: Since no two people are 100% alike, it is natural that some friction will be created when they share the same space 24 hours in a day.
It is also impossible for them to be in the best of their moods all this while but the couples who survive these rough patches are the ones that create something meaningful and useful even from arguments and take a step forward in understanding each other better after a discord.
Myth 7: “Jealousy, They name is love”.
The Truth: Jealousy is just another name for irrational insecurities and represents weak bonding and distrust.
Misunderstanding jealousy for Love is just spoiling its name and disrespecting the selfless emotion that love truly is. If you were to truly love a person, you would rejoice in his/her happiness, try to be a part of his success and joy and accept his family, friends and loved ones as your own and value the things valuable to him/her.
Myth 8: Love is saying “I Love you” often.
The Truth: Sure we all need to be loved and reassured time and again that we are lovable. But the only way you can find out if you are actually loved is by the actions of your partner. Caring for each other’s emotional and physical needs, concern about each other’s wellbeing, respect for the other person’s feeling, giving space and freedom to exercise your own likes and dislikes
Myth 9: “Arranged marriages don’t work.”
Researchers at California State University found U.S based arranged marriages lead to love, satisfactions and commitment after they studied marriages of 58 Indians- Americans living in the U.S.
Another study involving 50 couples from India suggests that love in love marriages decreases somewhat over time that love in arranged marriages grows over time and that love in arranged marriages may ultimately surpass the love that occurs in love marriages (Gupta & Singh, 1982).
So if numbers are anything to go by, arranged marriages fare well on longevity, love and sharing happiness.
Myth 10: “Love happens only once.”
The Truth: This myth leads us to believe that there is just one person made on this entire planet for you and if by any God forbidden chance our relationship with this perfect one breaks, there is no way we can find love in our life again. In reality love comes with no boundaries. You meet lots of interesting potential partners all the time. You just need to be open minded and learning from your experiences all the time.
In her new book Love 2.0: How our supreme emotion affects everything we feel, think, do and become, psychologist Barbara Fredrickson offers this radically new conception of love which says that Love is just a micro moment of positivity resonance between two people and not an everlasting emotion.