The Truth of Love

· January 1, 2016

Love is a theme that has captivated poets, painters and musicians for centuries. While it’s lovely to read, admire, or listen to their tributes to this important human emotion, they’ve also created a set of myths about love that many of us buy into blindly. 

The difficulty is that we can build expectations that are too high so that no reality of love could ever live up to what we dream and hope for. So again and again we will be disappointed with reality and will find it difficult to build genuine bonds of love with others.

Below we will delve a little into other groups of beliefs or myths about romance and love.

“He who learns and learns and does not practice what he knows, is like he who plows and plays and does not sow.”

Plato


Love as a whole

The idealized version of love views it as the height of good and the point to which all paths of life lead. Love is seen as the redemption, the salvation, or the culmination of all desires.

We’re often made to believe that we will only be happy if we find and keep a partner. It’s also also said that love involves great sacrifices, based on maintaining the relationship at all costs. The whole being must be committed to the relationship. There can be no secrets or restrictions.

Reality shows us something else. These absolute dedications, in which everything revolves around the relationship, is more a characteristic of neurosis than love

Human beings have multiple dimensions and not all of them can be shared with our companion. There are many situations and people in life that bring us instances of happiness; romantic love is not the only one with this virtue.

There are also personal spheres that we consider to be private. There are spaces that we like to reserve for ourselves. They form part of our process of self-knowledge, of our individual exploration of our own life. And it is not disloyal to not share them with your partner. Nor is it egotistical. It is simply a mechanism to preserve our individuality.

The myth of possession over another

It is widely suggested that all true love must necessarily lead to marriage or, in any case, to lasting coexistence.

The myth of love also suggests that jealousy is an absolutely legitimate passion. There are even some people who say that this is one of the unmistakable signs of love: if they love you, they get jealous for you. In contrast, infidelity is equivalent to a complete catastrophe; infidelity is definitive proof of lack of love, an insurmountable obstacle.

Here again, the reality is that things are not exactly as the romantics suggest. There is no way to guarantee that true love will end in a stable bond that never breaks over the years. Love is not a static feeling and daily we see marriages without love, or relationships that break even if there is a great affection on both sides.

We also know that infidelity exists, even in partners that are very in love. It does not necessarily depend on a lack of love, but many times has to do with insecurities or personal emptiness.

From all of this, one can conclude that we would probably be much happier if we gave up believing in the myths of romanticism. That would allow us to better assess reality and, perhaps, would allow us to stop craving what does not exist so we could fully enjoy what we can really expect from love.

Image courtesy of Elena Dijour