Five Signs That You Idealize Love

If you idealize love, you add a touch of romance to your relationships, which can be perfect. On the downside, you might form wrong ideas about what to expect from your partner.
Five Signs That You Idealize Love
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Written by Edith Sánchez

Last update: 07 November, 2022

Falling in love is one of the best experiences you’ll ever have in life. As well as giving you wonderful feelings like the butterflies in your stomach, a relationship fills you with vitality and the desire to live. However, if you idealize love and give it an unreal meaning, you compromise your expectations in an inappropriate way. This can later lead to suffering.

When you love someone, it isn’t easy to balance your emotions and expectations, especially during the infatuation stage. We’re not suggesting you should contain what you feel, or restrict your experiences, but that you don’t lose sight of the horizon. Because, if you idealize love, you refuse to see the horizon and lose perspective.

Loving someone is an experience worth living without any barriers. Nevertheless, it’s important that you’re aware that these intense feelings are only temporary. This is completely normal. However, if you idealize love, you may be disappointed when the relationship begins to cool down or difficulties appear. So how can you find out if you’re guilty of this kind of idealization? Here are five signs.

We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”

-Sam Keen-

Couple lying with a heart lollipop symbolizing that we "married" our fathers or mothers
Overly high expectations are often responsible for the idealization of love.

1. You believe that love and happiness are synonyms

If you idealize love, you probably believe that loving your partner and having that love reciprocated is the answer to endless happiness. As a matter of fact, you’re both right and wrong. You’re right because, in reality, loving and being loved produces great joy. You’re wrong because disagreements and problems are also part of love.

You’re not the only one who feels like writing the word happiness in huge capital letters across the sky. We’d all love for this state of bliss to last forever. Unfortunately, though, this isn’t the case, even less so when it comes to love. In fact, love is a feeling that also involves an accumulation of difficulties and feelings of dissatisfaction. You may not see it this way at first, but it happens over time. It’s a completely normal and healthy phenomenon.

2. You think that everyone has a soulmate and you just need to find yours

It’s a widely held belief that each person has a soul mate. It’s a nuanced version of the famous one-half of the orange myth. It concerns the belief that somewhere out there is someone with whom you fit perfectly. If this were the case, your only problem would be finding that person and, of course, recognizing them.

If you think in this way, you’re going to evaluate each new relationship based on how well it meets your extremely high expectations. However, you’ll eventually realize that there’s no one out there who’s perfect for you. But, in the meantime, you may have missed out on many people with whom you could’ve built imperfect but real relationships. This is what you’re exposing yourself to if you idealize love.

3. You believe that true love lasts forever

This is another of the recurring ideas about love. Indeed, it’s often said that when it’s true, it lasts forever. It may be true, to a certain extent. That said, it doesn’t mean that it always remains intact. Or, that it doesn’t have to be reformulated and transformed on more than one occasion.

Nor does it mean that a relationship lasts forever. Maybe that person you loved will always have a special place in your heart, but it’s also possible that this isn’t enough to build and maintain a stable relationship. It’s one of the realities that you lose sight of when you idealize love.

4. You believe that whoever loves you will never hurt you

Romance is a beautiful feeling that colors our relationships and life itself. However, it also hurts when overdone. It can lead, for example, to you thinking that someone who loves you will never cause you any harm. In other words, you think they stop being human just because they love you.

We all wish it was like that. It’d be wonderful if we could love in such a perfect way that we’d only ever bring our partners absolute joy. Unfortunately, in the real world, no one completely leaves their selfishness, intolerance, and numerous flaws behind, just because they fall in love. We’re all fallible and we also all fail in love.

A couple hugging, representing the need to recognise if you idealize love
We all, at some point, will hurt our partners, most of the time unintentionally.

5. You think that love is linked to your destiny

If you idealize love, chances are you idealize some aspects of life as well. Among them, may well be the idea of destiny. Perhaps you think that everything is written in the stars and that it’s not necessary to work and fight to build a stable and satisfactory relationship. But love isn’t like that. It requires effort, intelligence, and, often, sacrifice.

On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with being romantic and loving deeply and hoping that everything will go well. Accepting that nothing in the world is ever either complete or perfect shouldn’t be an obstacle for you. In fact, often, the value of true love lies in it standing the test of time and overcoming adversity.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Sánchez Aragón, R. (2009). Expectativas, percepcion de estabilidad y estrategias de mantenimiento en las relaciones amorosas. Enseñanza e Investigación en Psicología14(2), 229+.
  • Sanpedro, P. (2005). El mito del amor y sus consecuencias en los vínculos de pareja. Disenso, 45, 5-20.
  • Xenos Duque, D. P. (2015). La transformación del ideal en la decepción amorosa y su relación con la elección de pareja. Estudio realizado desde la teoría sistémica en estudiantes de la Carrera de Psicología Clínica de la PUCE (Bachelor’s thesis, PUCE).

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.